Baltimore Blogger Bytes with Will Drink for Travel and Ty Alexander

Last week I attended the first Baltimore Blogger Bytes series featuring Ashlee Tuck of Will Drink for Travel and Ty Alexander of Gorgeous in Grey.  A crowd of about 30 bloggers gathered at Forno in Downtown Baltimore to eat, drink, network and learn a few blogger tips from Ty. The cocktails were courtesy of CAMUS Cognac and the bites were prepared by the restaurant.

Baltimore Blogger Bytes Camus Cognac

The cognac cocktails included the classic Sidecar and Old Fashioned, there was also an option to drink it neat or with a mixer.  I ordered the two cocktails on the menu and I really enjoyed them.  It was my first time sampling the CAMUS brand and it was smooth and perfect for mixing.  The bites included mini crab cakes, fried polenta, meatballs and bruschetta.

This was my second time at Forno Baltimore and I forgot how cute the restaurant is. They have an outdoor patio area on the side with heated lamps for those chilly nights.  The restaurant also reserved a plush room for us, perfect to host small events. Guests were  given gift bags that included, a small bottle of CAMUS Cognac, a Baltimore Magazine, skin care and hair care products.

This was such a fun event, I hope they’ll be more to come.  For more photos and information on future events check out Will Drink For Travel‘s blog.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  





#RyeDayThe13th Celebration at Rye Street Tavern and Sagamore Spirit Distillery

Rye Street Tavern has been open for about a month now and has received nothing but great reviews.  The restaurant is next to Sagamore Spirit Distillery and recently they joined forces to host a Rye celebration held on Friday, October 13th – they cleverly titled it “Rye Day the 13th”.   That Friday happened to be a wet one, but despite the weather hundreds of people came out to see what the new restaurant and distillery had to offer.  The event was both inside the restaurant and outside on the restaurant grounds with some of the outdoor portion covered by large white event tents. Outside, guests enjoyed music from a live band, they were also welcome to commemorate the night at the photo/video booth station.  Inside the tents guests were entertained by numerous games including giant versions of Pac-Man, Tetris, Light Bright,  Cornhole and the longest foosball table I’ve ever seen.  There was also an option to take a distillery tour during the event.

There were two food areas set up at the event, one was a taco station that served Pork Tacos and the other served Yellow Fin Tuna Poke and assorted desserts.  The event also featured restaurant wait staff passing hors d’oeuvres such as Roast with Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Carrots and Grilled Oysters.

There were two bar areas serving wine, beer and of course specialty Rye cocktails.  The two featured cocktails were the “Sagamore Rye Goldrush” and the Sagamore Brooklyn”.  I particularly liked how the bar staff pre-batched the cocktails because it cut down on wait time in the drink line.  If mixed drinks aren’t your thing, they also had a table serving free shots of Rye.

If this is any indication of how Rye Street Tavern and Sagamore Distillery celebrate, count me it, I’ll be there every time! #RyeDaythe13th

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  




Night Brunch at Modern Cook Shop

Brunch is definitely my favorite meal on the weekends.  I get to sleep in late and wake with the anticipation that breakfast food and mimosas are on the horizon.  Even though it’s the highlight of my weekend, I can’t always make it to brunch because like most people I have errands to run and obligations to fulfill.  Scrolling through Instagram I was super excited to see a post from Baltimore entrepreneur, Jason Bass , about a new Night Brunch series he was hosting with Martell Cognac at Modern Cook Shop.   I thought this was a great concept for those who aren’t able to enjoy brunch on the weekends and for those who want something different to do on a weeknight.  Modern Cook Shop, per their website, is a “restaurant, market and bar, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Me + Mimosa

I made reservations on Open Table for the event because it was strongly suggested and  I’ve never been to Modern Cook Shop so I didn’t really know what the set-up would be.  When I arrived to the event the hostess and staff were very friendly and accommodating.  My friend was already there waiting for me so they showed me to my table.  I must say, Martell sure knows how to brand their events! The long tables were set with large bottles of Martell, menus and the signature Martell blue pillows. The price of brunch was $40.00 plus tax and gratuity and that included bottomless mimosas and one entrée item.  The menu had 13 entrée items and that I definitely liked because I love variety.  The options included Blueberry Waffles, Traditional Two Eggs any style with a side of meat, Breakfast Sandwich, Omelet, Peach Cobbler Scrapple, Corn Cakes, Breakfast Scramble, Corned Beef Hash, MCS Burger, Cuban Sandwich and Chicken & Biscuits.  In addition to the fixed entrees, there was another menu with A la Carte items that included small salads, toasts, side items and Martell specialty cocktails from the bar.

Chicken, Biscuits and Gravy
Breakfast Scramble
Ricotta & Jam Toast

I ordered the Chicken and Biscuits, my friend ordered the Breakfast Scramble and we both wanted something savory so we ordered the Ricotta & Jam Toast.  Normally with breakfast chicken and biscuits I’ve seen it served with a sausage gravy, but this brown gravy was a pleasant delicious change.  The Ricotta toast I also liked because it was made with rye toast. The house made ricotta was perfectly soft but I do wish the jam was a bit sweeter. I sat next to the kitchen o I got to snap photos of other menu items as they were coming out.

House made scrapple over rye bread with soft egg
Breakfast Sandwich
Two eggs any style
Open Faced Cuban Sandwich

In addition to brunch and booze the event also included beats by DJ Impulse – it was essentially a brunch party with music and I must say I had a nice time.  I used to be able to party into the wee hours on the weekday but not anymore and at the Night Brunch I got to eat, drink, two-step and socialize all by 10:00 pm.  It was a mature crowd and there were some very attractive men at this event, OooKaaayy.! (insert emoji eyes).

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  





Rum Day DC at Hank’s Cocktail Bar

The rum selection used in the competition

Yes, Yes, I’m sure you know by now how much I love a good spirit-themed holiday!  And it’s not because I like to drink but mainly because I enjoy seeing the competition and tasting the unique cocktails that each bartender creates with the ingredients they are given.  I had so much fun at last year at the Margarita Standoff at Quarter & Glory that I decided to attend “DaiqOff,” another event hosted by the US Bartender’s Guild DC Chapter.  DaiqOff (such a clever name) was the title given to the official Rum Day DC event at Hank’s Cocktail Bar.

My friend and I arrived at Hank’s a bit early because we wanted to grab a bite to eat and check out the bar before the competition, turns out it was burger night…sweet! We ordered a 1/2 priced “Hanks’s Burger” with swiss cheese and bacon and that came with homemade chips.  We also ordered the loaded sweet potatoes, my first time having a loaded sweet potato and I really liked them.  We also both ordered the 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney which was made with Glenladough Gin, Honeydew Agua Fresca & Lime.

After we ate, we headed to the rear of the restaurant and onto the outdoor patio where the competition was set to take place. It was a perfect summer evening to sit outside, I’m glad it wasn’t too hot or raining. The competition included seven rums each assigned to a different bartender.  The bartenders were timed and had to create a cocktail some complete with garnishes.  The six judges sat at the bar while the bartenders made their cocktails and were given the first drinks to sample. After the judges tasted the cocktail the attendees were given samples to try.

Patio before the crowd
Patio with the crowd

Garnish Game on Point!! That’s a banana btw.

The cocktail sampling tray was passed around at least 10 times, some cocktails we got to taste twice. Also, I received a free cocktail as a bonus for registering for the event early.  Hank’s Cocktail bar was kind enough to create four signature cocktails for the event and $2.00 from each cocktail purchased went to the US Bartender’s Guild DC.

I chose the Tea Time cocktail pictured below, it was made of Cruzan Rum, Hibiscus, Chamomile and Lime.

“Tea Time” cocktail

And did I mention that Hank’s Cocktail Bar is located on a quaint residentail block that also includes a Taqueria and pizza restaurant.

I enjoyed another fun event hosted by the USBGDC! Follow them on social media and keep up with their future events.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  


Ciroc Brunch Series at The Elephant

Ciroc Vodka’s latest marketing train recently made a stop in Baltimore.  Not a train in the literal sense but figuratively Ciroc is always on a roll and full steam ahead when it comes to marketing their brand and new products.  Ciroc has hosted brunch across the country to promote their products. Last Saturday, Ciroc partnered with The Baltimore Sun to host a local brunch at The Elephant restaurant in Mount Vernon, Baltimore.  Some of you may remember when The Elephant was a nightclub in Baltimore for a short time, that was my first time in the space.  The short-lived nightclub is now a beautiful restaurant with multiple rooms and levels, each with a different look but an elegant, cohesive theme. The brunch was held on the first level in the front dining room. The room was decorated with pink walls, marble fireplaces, chandeliers and gilded trim mirrors – all feminine elements that I loved!

Once inside we were directed to the back bar area to grab our welcome cocktail “The Charles”.   A delicious, light cocktail complete with edible flower ice cubes.  After grabbing our welcome cocktails, guests started to fill in the dining room and select seats, once seated we were given a bowl of small cinnamon French Toast Bites with cinnamon butter. The French Toast bites were perfectly seasoned with cinnamon, fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.  I think the bites are a great idea for an intimate brunch party at home.

Our second cocktail was the “924 Breeze,” made with Ciroc, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and lime.  The name is a twist on the traditional “Bay Breeze” cocktail that features the same ingredients and the “924” is the address of the restaurant 924 Charles Street.  The second brunch course was a Belgian Blueberry Waffle with Thyme Maple Syrup topped with a Lamb Chop.  The blueberries in the waffle were fresh, no frozen waffles here and that pork chop – delicious and grilled to perfection…I wanted another one.

The final cocktail was the “Heatwave,” made with Mango Ciroc, Habanero Simple Syrup, Mango Puree and Lime. With a name like that, you already know it was spicy but in a good way. The final brunch course was The Elephant Eggs Benedict made with a Potato Latke, Duck Bacon, Spinach and Hollandaise.  I do love a runny egg and it’s always a great idea when I can eat vegetables with my brunch food.

After all courses were served, the Ciroc liquor representative introduced us to the newest flavor Ciroc French Vanilla and the servers passed out samples to everyone.

Enjoying my French Vanilla sample

Guests were also asked which cocktail was our favorite because the winning cocktail would be featured on The Elephant’s drink menu for the next month. Overall the food was delicious, but I would have liked larger portions especially to help balance all that liquor we were drinking…I’m sure the portions were made petite for the brunch only.

If you are ever looking for a restaurant with great food and ambiance, The Elephant is the place!  Have you been to The Elephant?  Tell me about it.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  


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