Bits & Bites: Another Italian eatery opens in Fells Point, viral video shuts Blackwall Hitch and AFRAM Restaurant Week returns

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Osteria Pirata is the newest Fells Point restaurant from Chef Ashish Alfred.

He’s done classic French cuisine, burgers and Instagram-worthy cocktails. Next up for Chef Ashish Alfred: red-sauce Italian favorites.

Alfred, the chef and restaurateur behind Duck Duck Goose and Anchor Bar in Fells Point, the Good Ducking Burger ghost kitchen and Federal Hill’s No Way Rosé, debuted his newest restaurant, Osteria Pirata, late last month. The Fells Point dining spot takes over the former Points South Latin Kitchen space at the Admiral Fell Inn.


It’s the latest Italian restaurant to join the waterfront neighborhood: Prima Dopo, from restaurateur Dominic Lascola, opened on Thames Street earlier this year. But where Prima Dopo focuses on pizzas, sandwiches and “classic-ish” entrees, Alfred’s restaurant takes an even more traditional route, with main plates like trout piccata, veal Marsala and chicken parmigiana on the menu alongside pasta staples like lasagna Bolognese, ravioli stuffed with sheep’s milk ricotta and red wine pappardelle with braised lamb ragu. (You can also add a side of simple spaghetti marinara to any dish for $7.)

Alfred bills Osteria Pirata (Italian for “Pirate Tavern”) as a “casual and fun, yet elevated” spot. The chef said he’s also taking diners’ budgets into account. Starters range from $7 to $21, entrees cost between $21 and $47, and pasta dishes run $17 to $24 (there’s also a family-style option for $14).


“I know inflation has been hitting some people hard,” Alfred said in a statement, “which is why I actually decided to trim our menu prices a bit, so people can come and take their minds off the day-to-day without worrying about their wallet.”

The new restaurant is just one of a slew of new dining spots that have recently opened or are getting ready to open this summer. I’ll have more details in an upcoming story. In today’s column, meanwhile, I have news of two eateries opening in Clarksville, details about this year’s AFRAM Restaurant Week and a follow-up to the viral video of rodents running wild in a downtown Baltimore restaurant.

Viral mice video was an ‘isolated incident’

Blackwall Hitch is taking new anti-pest precautions after going viral last week when a TikTok influencer shared video of rodents inside the downtown Baltimore restaurant.

User Chloelynneats, who posts food reviews and other lifestyle and wellness content, filmed video of mice scurrying underneath tables at Blackwall Hitch during a recent visit there and shared it with her followers on TikTok, titling the video “Places to Avoid.”

“Within 10 minutes of sitting down, I saw like five to six mice,” she told viewers.

@chloelynneats “hey siri: call the health department”it’s giving infestation. 😭🥴🤮 📍Blackwall Hitch in Baltimore, MD this restaurant is a huge NO for me. the fact that I saw that many mice at once?? I’m sooo disgusted. unfortunately, now I’ll never know how the food tastes. what would you do in this situation? #chloelynneats #blackwallhitch #mice #healthdepartament #baltimorerestaurants #baltimore ♬ down 4 u

Baltimore City Health Department officials shut down the restaurant at 700 E. Pratt St. on June 1, citing a “rodent infestation,” but approved a reopening the next day.

Monday, Blackwall Hitch took to social media to address the incident, which the restaurant blamed on “a high foot traffic concert on Memorial Day Weekend which resulted in significant trash being left unattended in the street in front of our building.”

“...After several days without city cleanup, several mice were present in our community, leading to them being spotted by patrons in our dining room area,” the restaurant explained, calling the infestation an “isolated incident.”


Blackwall Hitch has installed new door sweeps at the entrances and increased its weekly pest control inspections to twice a week to prevent the rodents from returning, the post said.

“We sincerely apologize for any concerns caused by the incident,” the restaurant added. “Our chef and staff are back in action, committed to providing the same exceptional fine dining experience you’ve come to love in Charm City’s iconic Inner Harbor.”

New Clarksville eats

There’s a lot of new cooking coming to Clarksville this summer.

The Howard County community welcomed GuiGui’s Haitian Cuisine with a ribbon-cutting June 2. The Haitian restaurant, owned by Guirlene Pierre-Louis, is the newest addition to The Common Kitchen, a food hall with 10 counters and a shared commercial kitchen at 12250 Clarksville Pike.

GuiGui’s serves Caribbean staples like beef legim, a hearty stew; sos pwa, a black bean soup; and griyo, a fried pork dish, along with heaping sides of rice and beans, fried plantains and seasoned cabbage. Diners can also find Pierre-Louis’ BonGou seasonings for sale at The Common Kitchen Marketplace.

Opening nearby will be a new restaurant combining the flavors of Italian and Spanish cuisine.


Genova il Sapore d’Italia will take the place of You Pizza at Clarksville Commons, the shopping center that also houses The Common Kitchen. Owner Roberto Bernades was born in Barcelona and raised in Genova, Italy, and was inspired by both countries while crafting the menu for the new dining spot.

“There are many similarities between the two countries and yet a truly exquisite flavor profile when the two come together,” Bernades said in a statement. “It’s the taste of home to me and I cannot wait to share it with everyone.”

Genova il Sapore d’Italia, a new restaurant combining Italian and Spanish cuisine, is slated to open at Clarksville Commons in June.

The former pizzeria space is getting an upgrade, with black banquette seating and a black, white and silver color palette.

Dish Baltimore


Get the scoop on that new restaurant, learn about chef changes and discover your favorite new recipe. All your Baltimore food news is here.

Look for Mediterranean favorites like pasta, pizza and meat and cheese boards when Genova il Sapore d’Italia opens this month. Signature dishes will include filet mignon with rigatoni tartuffata, seafood risotto and honey-roasted salmon atop a bed of crab mash. Bernades is planning a children’s menu, too, with options like pizza, pasta and chicken.

Ranazul update

In other Howard County dining news, a long-standing Maple Lawn restaurant is making its move to Columbia official.

After 15 years on Maple Lawn Boulevard, Ranazul will pack up for new digs at the Hickory Ridge Village Center. The wine and tapas bar is aiming to open in the Columbia space by the end of the year, according to a Facebook post.


AFRAM Restaurant Week

AFRAM, Baltimore’s beloved festival celebrating African American music and culture, is rapidly approaching — and local restaurants are planning special dishes to mark the event.

In the lead-up to the festival, scheduled for June 17-18, the city will host AFRAM Restaurant Week, a weeklong event highlighting Black-owned eateries. This year’s restaurant week will feature two dozen participating restaurants, each offering a signature dish.

Try the AFRAM Restaurant Week cheesesteak sub at Grandma CC’s Wings Fish and Grill, the AFRAM pudding at Crazy Puddings or a special AFRAM ice cream at Cajou Creamery. Some restaurants will offer discounts, too, including 20% off baked potatoes at the Capital Lounge or five-for-$15 “Good AF” oxtail wontons at Judy’s Island Grill.

AFRAM Restaurant Week runs June 12-18. You can find a full list of participating restaurants and specials at