Last week we celebrated Oktoberfest in grand style at the Quicks Hole Tavern, complete with house-made pretzels, wild boar bratwurst, plenty of fine German beer and an appropriately decadent sunset view from the second floor dining room. It was a lovely fall day, warmer than usual for mid October, and about forty fans of the Tavern gathered at 6.30 pm for this five course tasting meal.
Beers were beautifully paired with the food, each crisp cold lager bubbling across the tongue and palate cleansing between courses. We started with house-made pretzels, mustard and an ale dipping sauce which was married with Reissdorf Kolsch from Cologne.
The second course was the wild board bratwurst, which Chef John Wilson told us would not have come together this week without the KitchenAide borrowed from one of the other guests that night. Deeply appreciative, we all devoured this tasty sausage, thoughtfully paired with a Spaten Oktoberfest Un-Marzen from Munich.
Moving on to the salad, a baby kale with a brown butter vinaigrette plus a soupcon of poached halibut, you could feel the energy in the room rising as diners began to settle into the rhythm of the evening. Paired with this light course was the only American beer — a delightful Brooklyn Oktoberfest.
The pork shoulder that followed was a highlight for me – tender braised meat with a crispy salty edge that was blackened and divine. Served on a bed of pureed sweet potato with fried Brussels sprouts, paired with a bold, smokey beer called Schlenkarla Oak Smoke from Bamberg — Yum! Our beer guide explained that this brew was kilned with oak wood in the old fashion, thus the smokey flavor. It really complimented the rich flavors of the braised pork.
Finally, the dessert course — a Belgian chocolate truffle cake with creme fraiche whipped cream and raspberries paired with an Ayenger Celebrator Dobbelbock from Munich which was the perfect finish on the evening.
Guests included regular customers & fans as well as visitors from farther away such as the author Geoffrey Wolff who was in town for an event at Falmouth Academy with his wife Priscilla (all the way from Bath Maine). Perhaps it was fitting that Geoffrey was present as we announced the new name of our wine and beer tasting series: CenterBoard. Meant to evoke both the groaning board that is our dining table, as well as a tip of the hat to the sailors we watch from the windows of the restaurant, the CenterBoard series will continue this winter. Wolff, a wordsmith extraordinaire (among many others books, he is the author of a biography of Joshua Slocum the first man to sail solo around the world), certainly appreciated the double entendre.
On Facebook the next day, one fan wrote “just talked with 3 people who attended and have given RAVE reviews from first course to last,” which leaves us pleased as punch and looking forward to seeing all of you at our next Centerboard meal, October 29th where the theme will be “A Journey Through Portugal.” Reservations are required.