A Host of Spirited Food and Drink Events

A bourbon pairing dinner, Oktoberfest celebrations and more.

Elijah Craig bourbon. Photo courtesy of Pexels

Elijah Craig Pairing Dinner at Rails Steakhouse
Wednesday, October 9, 7pm

Elijah Craig isn’t just a classic Kentucky bourbon; it’s the name of the old Virginia reverend who (story has it) invented bourbon by aging his whiskey in barrels that had been accidentally charred by fire. Whatever the origin story, Elijah Craig bourbon will be on full display over this four-course pairing dinner at Rails Steakhouse, with a brand ambassador on hand to guide attendees from pairing to pairing with chef Francis Falivene’s dinner menu, featuring scallops and grits, spice-rubbed venison loin and more. Reservations are $110 per person, so likely as not you’ll be eating (and drinking) well. FYI: If you can’t make Wednesday’s dinner, they’re doing it again, next time with Woodford Reserve, on November 13. Rails Steakhouse, 10 Whitehall Road, Towaco; 973-335-0006 

Oktoberfest at Salt Creek Grille
Friday, October 11, 6–10pm

Here’s a slightly different take on Oktoberfest: instead of heading to a beer garden or (delightfully) crowded bar to cheer heaving steins of lager with dirndl-ed strangers, you can go a little classier and easier with a ticket to Salt Creek Grille, where over 20 craft breweries (from New Jersey and Pennsylvania) will be on hand for your civilized sampling pleasure. Don’t worry, it’ll still feel plenty Oktoberfest-y with German victuals prepared by chef Wally Weaver and more than a few breweries (including Germany’s own Weihennstephaner) showcasing their best autumnal stuff. Among more local breweries will be River Horse, Victory, Flying Fish, Carton Brewing. Co, and Ship Bottom. Tickets are $55 and include unlimited samples of beer; the snacks, FYI, cost extra, but especially if you take “unlimited” to heart, bring some extra cash for some fortifying German-style grub. Salt Creek Grille, 1 Rockingham Row, Princeton; 609-419-4200

Oktoberfest Beer Pairing Dinner at The Y.B.
Friday, October 11-13, 7pm

You have three chances to make the Oktoberfest Beer Pairing Dinner at The Y.B. (aka “The Younger Brother”), part of the George’s Place hospitality family in Cape May—reservations are currently open for October 11, 12, and 13 at 7pm and seats are $55 per person, including six courses with six beer pairings from Gusto Brewing Co. In fact Gusto owners Zack and Dan will be on hand to take you through the pairings, which follow German cuisine through some regional specialties; you’ll start with “Bavaria,” or pretzels with honey mustard pale ale sauce and work your way through “Cologne,” “Frankfurt,” “Berlin,” “Munich,” and “Nuremberg” (FYI the “Frankfurt” course includes Vegan Bratwurst). An interesting night to say the least (and a solid value) with German cuisine and beer pairings from a local Cape May brewery whose motto is “Keep It Small & Keep It Weird.” Call the restaurant for your reservation. The Y. B., 314 Beach Avenue, Cape May; 609-898-2009

Grow It Green “All Access” Fundraiser at Jockey Hollow
Monday, October 21, 6:30–9:30pm

Grow it Green Morristown does everything from community-supported agriculture to urban gardening education to farm stands, field trips, even a Winter Market. If you needed any more reason to get invested in seasonal local produce, Grow It Green is also hosting this “All Access” event at Jockey Hollow Kitchen & Bar on Monday night (when they’re normally closed). It’s not a sit down dinner but a festive gathering studded with food and drink and scored with live music. The night includes hors d’oeuvres, but the “all access” part also means you’ll be able to enjoy an oyster tasting at The Oyster Bar and a cocktail making demo at The Vail Bar, among other kinds of free-roaming fun. Wine pairings will be provided by Cambridge Wines, with desserts from the Artist Baker. Tickets are $125—snatch them up sooner rather than later—with a portion of the proceeds going to Grow It Green. Jockey Hollow Kitchen & Bar, 110 South Street, Morristown; 973-644-4180

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