If the restaurant sounds familiar to you, that’s because I was just there about a months ago for their delicious Summer Prix Fixe menu tasting (read my previous blog here). Allen and I were so incredibly honored to be invited back to try their Oktoberfest menu last weekend. This tasting had to be one of the most ‘wunderbar’ and memorable dining experiences among the many I’ve had in the last few years.
(Special thanks to Allen Taylor Photography for providing the following beautiful images!)
Our reservation was for 5:30pm and I requested to be seated at the outdoor patio overlooking the beautiful marina. Mr. Giovanni Marino, our Maitre D’ and the hostess greeted us right away and led us to our table. As soon as we sat down, our friendly server, Craig, introduced some wine from the wine list and special drinks from the house. Allen and my other guest ordered the Austrian White Wine (Sorry, I couldn’t begin to remember the name as I don’t drink and am unfamiliar with all the fancy names!) My son and I ordered Ginger Peach and Pomegranate Green Tea Ice Tea.
Soon after, Chef Paul Gstrein personally came over and gave us a very warm welcome. I was completed overwhelmed and so humbled that I got to speak to him this time around at our private table!! Chef Paul recommended that we try the 6-course tasting meal he had prepared for us and we happily obliged! Chef Paul and his staff personally served each dish and explained in detail how they were prepared. To say that I felt like royalty was an understatement!
Course #1 – SPECK PROSCIUTTO (Grilled Sourdough / Sweet Butter / Thyme / Arugula). I was impressed with how delicate the prosciutto was. Unlike others that were way too salty (to my taste), these were light and went perfectly with the sweet butter.
Course # 2 – RAUCHERFORELLEN TURMCHEN (Smoked Trout / Horseradish / Granny Smith Apple / Celery /Dill / Pumpernickel). Wow, this was very, very complex. It was creamy, a little crunchy, a tad bit bitter, then balanced out by the sweet tartness of the Granny Smith Apple. It was really nice!
Course #3 – KASEKRAINER BRATWURST (Emmenthal Cheese Infused Pork Sausage / Sauerkraut / Pretzel / Sweet Spicy Mustard). Man oh man, this was out of this world! I was really worried about fatty sausage and was never a fan of sauerkraut (now I know it was because I’ve never had Chef Paul’s) but I LOVED this dish! Unlike other sausage made with 80/20 ratio (80% lean meat, 20% fat), this was locally made with 100% lean meat and Emmenthal Cheese. With every bite, instead of the fat, it was the cheese oozing out. And the sauerkraut was unbelievably delicious. This dish is also Chef Paul’s favorite. You’ve got to order this when you come!
Course #4 – SCHWEINERUCKEN SCHNITZEL (Lightly Breaded Pork Loin Medallion / Appenzeller Cheese / Black Forest Ham / Cucumber). This was much like a Chicken Cordon Bleu. To tell you the truth, by now I was stuffed. I managed to eat 2 bites. I liked it, but I couldn’t say I loved it as much as the bratwurst. I also enjoyed the cucumber salad with vinaigrette dressing.
Course #5 – WIENER SAFTGULASCH (Beef Short-rib / Caraway / Marjoram / Sweet Paprika / Yukon Potato / Roasted Pepper / Melted Leek / Charred Brussels). OK, I was beyond ‘stuffed’ now! But I couldn’t resist the beautifully slow-cooked (for 9 hours) short-rib. It was so tender it practically melted in the mouth! Had I not been so STUFFED, I would have eaten the whole plate! This is another must-try dish.
Now, since it’s Oktoberfest, you’ve got to have something made with chocolate, right? I loved, loved this MOHR IM HEMD (Chocolate Bread Pudding / Macerated Cherries / Vanilla Ice Cream). It had the consistency of bread and cake so it was lighter than a regular ‘bread’ pudding. Chef Paul is also excellent in making dessert. All the desserts are made in house!
We were so lucky that we also got to try the Tiramisu (left), Creme Brulee (upper right), and Sorbet Trio (lower right). Everyone was holding their stomach, but we couldn’t stop eating. OMG! Dessert heaven!
As the sun set, we marveled at the beautiful view and savored all the fabulous food we had just devoured. What an absolutely amazing tasting meal crafted by the talented culinary master artist, Chef Paul!
Thank you so much to Chef Paul, Bayside Restaurant and staff, and Groff-Hinman, Inc. (especially Jenna) for your hospitality. I can’t wait to bring my friends back so they can try the special Oktoberfest menu, too! And you should definitely call and make a reservation, too! Guten Appetit! Mahlzeit!