As annual Oktoberfest celebrations go, restaurants known for their seafood specialties don't often come to mind for those who seek authentic Bavarian fare.
But during the month of October, the Brigantine is offering an exclusive array of items not on the regular menu that celebrate beer, brats, and battered foods.
I dined at one of the local Brigantines last week for lunch and sampled three of the Oktoberfest menu items:
- Grilled Brats with beer dipping sauce and garlic toast
- Beer battered Portabello mushroom fries with a lemon aioli
- “Sloppy Joe" Sliders with stout braised onions, thinly sliced and chopped New York Strip steak and white truffle horseradish cream.
Among me and my two guests, the sliders were the consensus best of the selections.
The strip steak was tender and flavorful and with the addition of the horseradish cream, packed a punch. The truffle was barely detectable in the sauce however, as the horseradish flavor was strong to the point of overwhelming.
“Stings the nostrils,” I told my companions, borrowing a line from (fictional) San Diego legend Ron Burgundy.
“I like horseradish, so for me it’s ok,” said another of my companions. “But it really does attack the palate.”
The onions, which were braised in an Oktoberfest stout, provided a bit of sweetness to the dish, however.
Not being a fan of mushrooms, I declined to have the beerbattered Portobello fries, but they were given the green light by my companions. Though they said that the fries were the least successful of the three items, it didn’t matter to one, who said, “fried food with side fats equals delicious!”
My other companion said she thought there was too much batter, which drowned out the mushroom taste a bit, “but that’s also why someone else might like it.”
Finally, we came to the most, well, Octobery, of the Oktoberfest offerings – grilled bratwurst with a beer mustard dipping sauce and garlic toast. The brat was very flavorful, full of salty and smoky aromas and tastes that played nicely with the sauce. The sauce was a bit sweet, however, and didn’t seem to match what your mind “thought” it might taste like.
One of my companions did not like the sauce, claiming that “it’s just not mustard.”
The garlic toast was also a bit puzzling initially, but we surmised that it was served deconstructed, and represented the “bun” of the sausage.
Overall, it was a pleasant surprise from the popular seafood restaurant. Time is running out however on the opportunity to get your fill of Bavarian-style favorites.
The six Brigantine Seafood locations in the county are serving these menu items for lunch or dinner, and the menus vary by day and location. Some of the other Oktoberfest items include:
- Corned beef Rueben “Monte Cristo” with ale mustard dipping sauce
- Ale glazed rib bites
- Sautéed white ale spicy shrimp with white cheddar and bacon grits
- Ale and cheese soup with cheddar cheese, andouille sausage and roasted onions with homemade pretzel bread
- Beer battered fresh fish street tacos
- Buttermilk battered “sausage” corn dog bites with house made beer mustard
- Seared Kobe beef meatballs stuffed with California blue cheese and a creamy hazelnut brown butter cream sauce
- Brisket braised in “Oktoberfest” with apples and potato cakes
Along with these entree specials, signature Oktoberfest drinks also will be on special until Sunday, Oct. 21.
For more information, visit www.brigantine.com.