Wed, 30 Sep 2009 20:02:05Newport —
Bratwurst, beer, seafood and barbecue are among the dozens of fall food offerings featured in Newport over the next two weekends.
A Taste of Rhode Island, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the Newport Yachting Center, features local fare from Rhode Island and Massachusetts served up with culinary demonstrations, a waterfront wine garden and two stages of live entertainment. Polkas, German food and Bavarian brews are on tap for Columbus Day weekend at the Yachting Center’s 17th annual International Oktoberfest.
Mike Martin, director of Newport Waterfront events, said this year’s Taste of Rhode Island features more Ocean State food favorites than ever before, including chowder and clam cakes, lobster rolls, scallops, a raw bar, local shellfish and an oyster shucking contest.
The Stop and Shop Culinary Stage will host contenders showing off their culinary savvy in the second annual Rhody Recipe Contest, and Rhode Island chef Timothy Mulligan, who will be demonstrate fast and easy recipes. The Stop and Shop pavilion will also feature brand ambassadors with information and samples of their products.
The two-day festival of food will feature three separate food areas: The Rhode Island Shore Dinner Hall, which Martin said is reminiscent of the Rocky Point Shore Dinner Hall, will sell shoreline favorites including clam cakes and chowder. Brazilian barbecue, pulled pork and ribs are among the smoky fare in the open-air Rhode Island Barbecue Spectacular and the new Fork in the Rhode tent will showcase classic comfort foods, ethnic offerings and desserts.
“We’ve tried to encapsulate what it means to be a Rhode Islander,” said Martin. “From the quirky side like coffee milk and Del’s to the neighborhood restaurants and places along the shore.”
Cuisine from dozens of area restaurants will be among the three tents, including the Blue Plate Diner, Jerry’s Pastries, Timi’s, Saugy’s, Armen’s Gourmet Endings, the Crowne Plaza, Casa Brazil, Chelo’s and Latitudes.
Wine expert Mariola Varona will share her knowledge of food and wine pairings in the Waterfront Wine Garden, where dozens of different types of wine will be available along with jazz music, a Sam Adams brew pub and beer education seminars.
The family friendly two-day festival will also host cookbook authors, a kids fun area and music by local bands including The Ravers.
On Columbus Day weekend the annual Oktoberfest, held Saturday, Oct. 10, through Monday, Oct. 12, will feature bundles of bratwurst on the Johnsonville Big Taste Grill and authentic German cuisine from The Hofbrauhaus restaurant.
“It’s a real community event — just like everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone has a bit of German culture in them during Oktoberfest,” said Martin.
Germany’s top folk musician, Edith Prock, will perform along with yodelers, dance troupes, German bands, lively Polka music from Alpine Squeeze and Spitze!, German entertainers who perform at Disney’s Epcot theme park.
Two separate biergartens will serve special Oktoberfest brews and standard beers from Sam Adams, Newport Storm and German breweries including Beck’s, Spaten Leinenkugel’s, Hoegaarden and Leffe Brown.
The Taste of Rhode Island will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets for Taste of Rhode Island are $10; free for children younger than 12 accompanied by an adult. Tokens for $1, which can be used to purchase food in the tents, will be for sale at the event. Ticket prices and times vary on each of the three days of Oktoberfest. To purchase tickets or for more information on either event, call 401-846-1600 or see www.newportwaterfrontevents.com.
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