Minnow Closes, Reopens as Chinese Concept ‘The Hot Dry’

| September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

Restaurateurs Chef Ben Lefenfeld, his wife Amy Lefenfeld, and his brother Jake Lefenfeld decided to go in a different direction with their restaurant located at the 2 East Wells complex. The team closed seafood restaurant Minnow on August 24th and reopened the space this week as The Hot Dry. The new Chinese concept The Hot Dry hosted a preview on Saturday and opens for its regular lunch and dinner hours today.

The Hot Dry offers handmade noodles, dumplings, and buns. The name The Hot Dry is a reference to “Hot Dry Noodles” which is a celebrated street food in the Hubei region of central China, specifically in the city of Wuhan. There will be a focus on “the heat and numbing sensations of hot chilis and Szechuan peppercorns.”

Dumpling dishes include Pork Soup Dumplings with black vinegar and Chicken Wonton. The noodle plates have options with added corned beef, tea-smoked chicken, roasted pork, pickled mushrooms, and crispy lamb. The menu also includes small plates and other dishes such as Dry Pot Chicken and Mala Chicken. Sweet dishes will include Green Tea Ice Cream, Sweet Corn Ice Cream, Coconut Sorbet, and a Cream Bun.

The bar and wine offerings will include some old Minnow favorites as well as new additions designed to complement the food and to be shared at the table. 

The Hot Dry has two new black and pink signs on the wood and glass facade at 2 East Wells. New decor was added to the interior including a large painting along the back wall and the addition of more high-top tables.

The Hot Dry is open for lunch Tuesday to Sunday from 1130am to 330pm. Dinner hours are 5pm to 9pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and from 5pm to 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The bar is open all day and night. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Jake Lefenfeld told SouthBMore.com the first two restaurants Chef Ben Lefenfeld worked in after the completion of culinary school were both Asian inspired. “It has been our favorite cuisine through childhood. Since then, whenever traveling we have searched for places that specialize in handmade noodles, soup dumplings, and dim sum. This is food we love and can eat every day without getting tired of it,” said Jake Lefenfeld.

Lefenfeld also added that he thinks this new concept will be a better fit for the neighborhood.

The Lefenfelds also own Basque-themed restaurant La Cuchara.

Minnow was open for more than two years.

Photo courtesy of The Hot Dry Facebook page

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.