Foodstuffs: Oktoberfest At Rowdy, Brunch Is Back, Big Win For Sagaponack Spirits, and Cauliflower Carnitas in Springs

Check out Oktoberfest at Rowdy Hall. Photo courtesy Rowdy Hall.

It’s Oktoberfest!

Rowdy Hall is celebrating Oktoberfest with special German dishes available through October

Enjoy a Bavarian pretzel. Photo courtesy Rowdy Hall.

3. A giant Bavarian pretzel with mustard will be offered a la carte during Oktoberfest for $11. Obatzda, a Bavarian beer cheese served with rye toast and radishes, is $12. Also on the menu this week is potato leek soup with pretzel croutons ($12), knockwurst, bratwurst, and bockwurst, German potato salad, sauerkraut and mustard ($27) and for dessert, Black Forest torte, cherry compote, whipped cream and chocolate curls ($12).

Rowdy Hall is at 10 Main Street, East Hampton. For details, visit or call 631-324-8555.

Main Street Tavern Brunch

Main Street Tavern’s grilled hanger steak with crispy fingerling potatoes and sunny side up eggs. Photo courtesy Main Street Tavern.

Main Street Tavern in Amagansett is now serving brunch. Every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests can enjoy seasonal fare like ricotta toast with autumn squash pumpkin seeds, maple and sage, and a kale frisee salad with summer squash, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, ricotta salata, and honey vinaigrette. The menu also offers decadent brunch classics like brioche French toast with whipped cream and maple syrup, spicy chicken and waffles with a bourbon honey, and grilled hanger steak with crispy fingerling potatoes and sunny side up eggs. Of course, the Tavern burger will be on the menu available, served with the Tavern’s famous cottage fries.

Big Wins For Sagaponack Spirits

Tasting room at Sagaponack Farm Distillery. Photography by John Musnicki,

American athletes weren’t the only ones racking up gold metals over the summer. In recent months, Sagaponack Farm Distillery won awards in the 21st annual Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition in June and in the annual American Distilling Institute Craft Spirits Awards last month in California. Both contests judge thousands of entries.

In the Finger Lakes competition, three Sagaponack Farm Distillery products were entered, all three won, namely:

Double Gold – Distilled Spirits Specialty – Sagaponack Farm Distillery Aquavit

Sagponack Farm Distillery Aquavit. Photography by John Musnicki,

Double Gold – Best Flavored Vodka – Sagaponack Farm Distillery Cucumber Vodka

Sagaponack Farm Distillery Cucumber Vodka. Photography by John Musnicki,

Gold – Gin – Sagaponack Farm Distillery American Gin

Sagaponack Farm Distillery American Gin. Photography by John Musnicki,

The Fingers Lakes competition website states, “All entries were blind-judged by a distinguished panel composed of sommeliers, wine makers, wine writers, experienced spirits judges, and educators. They awarded bronze, silver and gold medals, and — where it was unanimous — the coveted double gold.”

And in California, the distillery’s aquavit and cucumber vodka were also American Distilling Institute winners:

Gold Medal Specialty Spirit – Sagaponack Farm Distillery Aquavit

Bronze Medal Flavored Vodka – Sagaponack Farm Distillery Cucumber Vodka

Entries accepted into the American Distilling Institute Craft Spirits Awards are scored in a 100-point system by the judges.

“We couldn’t be more pleased,” said Marilee Foster, manager of the distillery, which is owned by her brother Dean Foster.

“This is further confirmation that our seed-to-glass approach is exactly the right one,” Dean added.

The 94.4-proof Sagaponack Farm Distillery Aquavit tastes of caraway, dill, and cilantro fresh from the Fosters’ fields. The 90-proof Sagaponack Farm Distillery Cucumber Vodka is created seasonally, in small batches. The Fosters’ cucumbers are harvested and processed by hand. The 90-proof Sagaponack Farm Distillery American Gin is bright and floral. It’s a small-batch gin that clears the mind as it opens the senses.

Additional products available by the bottle — and served in original cocktails in the tasting room—include: Single Spud potato spirit, Rhubarb Liqueur, potato vodka, and wheat vodka. Other potential award-winning quaffs are maturing in barrels in the distillery itself, which is visible from the tasting room.

The Sagaponack Farm Distillery, located at 369 Sagg Road in Sagaponack, was founded by Dean Foster in 2013. Everything processed in the facility — including corn, cucumbers, herbs, potatoes, rhubarb, rye, wheat — is grown onsite, or on the nearby Foster Farm, which was founded in 1870. Dean and Marilee Foster carry on their family’s farming tradition. You can often see Dean zipping around on a hover board, checking on his crops. Marilee also grows a wide variety of vegetables — including her famous heirloom tomatoes — for Marilee’s Farmstand, located at 730 Sagg Main Street. The annual release of her coveted Tiger Spud Potato Chips is scheduled for next month.

To get a taste of these award-winning beverages for yourself, stop by the Sagaponack Farm Distillery at 369 Sagg Road, Sagaponack, and grab a seat in the tasting room or on the patio. Reservations for larger groups can be made by calling 631-537-7300. Visit for more information.

Cauliflower Carnitas

As early fall is the prime cauliflower harvest season, Rita Cantina in Springs is sharing the recipe for its glazed North Fork cauliflower carnitas, a new addition to the new menu and a fresh seasonal dish is locally sourced from nearby North Fork farms.

The cauliflower carnitas are enclosed in butter lettuce wraps and garnished with homemade guacamole and salsa. This vegan dish comes from executive chef Eric Miller, a pioneering proponent of farm-to-table movements and an advocate of local purveyors.

Rita Cantina’s glazed North Fork cauliflower carnitas. Eric Striffler Photography.

Carnitas Roasted Cauliflower From Rita Cantina


1 medium size head of North Fork white cauliflower (well-cleaned but with some leaves on)

Olive oil


Apple cider vinegar

BBQ spice blend

Sea Salt

Warm tortilla



Boston lettuce for wraps

Hot sauces, both green and red

For Rita’s Spice Rub:

1/2 teaspoon each of: paprika, chipotle powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground black pepper, kosher salt, guajillo powder, chili powder and ancho powder.


In a large pot add sea salt and bring to a boil. Drop in cauliflower and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the core is tender. A toothpick will easily pass through. Remove and shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking.

Dry the cauliflower and place on a baking sheet with a raised bake tray and season the cauliflower. Rub the entire cauliflower with extra-virgin olive oil and liberally sprinkle with sea salt.

Prepare a solution of half honey, half apple cider vinegar and add the Rita’s Spice Rub.

Cook for 15 minutes in 475 degree oven until brown, coat cauliflower in vinegar and spice rub mixture and cook 5 more minutes.

Serve with lettuce wraps, tortilla, guacamole and salsa on the side.