Food & Drink

Table Talk: Cherry day and dining cruise promotions

Gertrude's has been picked again to represent Maryland in a national promotion for Rainier cherries. For National Rainier Cherry Day on July 11, Northwest Cherries has commissioned one restaurant in each state to create a menu item featuring Rainier cherries.

Gertrude's represented Maryland in the Tree to Table promotion last year with executive pastry chef Doug Wetzel's cherry almond tart served with sour cream ice cream. This year, Wetzel has created a peach cake with Rainier cherry ice cream.


The Rainier cherry is regarded for its crisp bite and pale yellow flesh bursting with exceptional sweetness, Northwest Cherries says.

Wetzel's special dessert will be available at Gertrude's all month long. But don't go Thursday night. That's when Gertrude's is hosting the 10th annual Crabaret to benefit the House of Ruth.


Chef John Shields of Gertrude's is preparing the crab dishes, cocktails are courtesy of the Wine Source and Heavy Seas, and Mambo Combo performs live in the Baltimore Museum of Art's Sculpture Garden.

Tickets are $125, and it's all to benefit the House of Ruth Maryland. Tickets are available online at

Gertrude's is at the Baltimore Museum of Art at 10 Art Museum Drive, near the corner of Charles and 31st streets. For information, call 410-889-3399 or go to

New in the saddle Kettle Hill, the Teddy Roosevelt-themed restaurant in Market Place, has named Brad Cleaver its new executive chef. Cleaver grew up on Folcroft Street in Bayview, and his first restaurant job was at DuClaw Brewing Co., washing dishes and shoveling spent grain.

Cleaver studied formally at the Baltimore International College and has worked in the Center Club, the Boston Street Bakery and most recently, the Grill at Harryman House in Reisterstown, where he spent nine years, including six as executive chef.

Cleaver's first full menu isn't up yet, but he has already introduced a bluefin tuna tartare and a charred Angus beef carpaccio. "Brad is a great fit for Kettle Hill," said Desmond Reilly, one Kettle Hill's owner-operators. "He's the hardest-working guy in the place. But he still finds time to touch every table."

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Kettle Hill is at 32 Market Place. For more information, call 443-682-8007 or go to

Dining by the sea The Waterfront Kitchen launches a summer Dinner and a Cruise series. The evenings, hosted by the Waterfront Kitchen's wine expert, Jerry Pellegrino, begin with cocktails on the pier next to the restaurant. Guests will then board either the 104-foot pungy schooner Lady Maryland or the 50-foot skipjack Sigsbee for a 90-minute guided cruise down the Patapsco toward the Chesapeake. After the cruise, guests will sit down for a themed four-course dinner at the restaurant.


The evenings begin promptly at 6 p.m., and the first outing is July 19 aboard the Sigsbee, when the theme is summertime reds and grilling. Upcoming excursions will focus on pinot noir from the Willamette Valley (July 26) and summer wines and seafood (Aug. 16).

For more information about the Waterfront Kitchen's Dinner and a Cruise series, call 443-681-5310. Reservations must be made and paid for in advance, and any cancellations must be made 24 hours in advance. The ship sails rain or shine unless the captain cancels the cruise. And forget your high heels. Soft-soled shoes are required to board the ships.

Oyster pairing Ryleigh's Oyster in Federal Hill is hosting a Guinness and Oyster Summer Social on Wednesday night. Guinness brand "ambassadors" will be at Ryleigh's to discuss the tradition of pairing raw oysters with Irish stout. Ryleigh's will be shucking and serving their proprietary farm-raised oysters, Avery's Pearl, from a private shucking station in the restaurant's second-floor loft.

Tickets are $25 and are available at Ryleigh's (36 E. Cross St., 410-539-2093, or through Missiontix.