2011-01-26 / Restaurant of the Week

MANOR OKTOBERFEST

Manor Oktoberfest is a lovely neighborhood restaurant, bar and caterer serving delicious German and American cuisine in a friendly setting. The spacious dining room and bar is painted in soft shades of green and there are lots of wood banquettes and exposed brick wall all warmed by soft, opalescent lighting. Located on Yellowstone Blvd. in Forest Hills, Manor Oktoberfest is easy to find.

Manor Oktoberfest is your “go to” place for gatherings of friends, families with kids or a casual first date. Owner Mark Gallagher has nearly three decades of experience in the business of making and serving delicious food with the famed Manor Deli in the Atlas Shopping Center. He has quite a following of patrons who look forward to his special promotion nights that feature food and drink specials. Sign up on their web site to be included on the mailing list.

Decompress with friends at the convivial bar or at your table with a house specialty cocktail called “Red Baron,” or perhaps a classic martini, Cosmo or glass of wine is what you feel like. Choose among a dozen of draught beers imported from Belgium, Germany and Ireland. More than two dozen bottled beers are stocked as well and the beer connoisseur will be in paradise here.

The food is fantastic, served piping hot in generous portions at reasonable prices, so let's dig in. Start with crunchy coconut shrimp, hand dipped and served with sweet and sour dipping sauce ($10). A house specialty that you won't find anywhere else is called BBQ pork wings. Indeed pork doesn't have wings but these delicate mini pork chops fall right off the bone, doused in house made barbecue sauce that is out of this world. Chicken liver paté is lavishly spread on crusty bread and the potato pancakes with applesauce are delicate and crisp ($7). I'm told the crab cakes are excellent too. Those munching at the bar can share platters of hot wings, beerbattered onion rings, mozzarella sticks or a half rack of pork ribs. There are flat screen televisions visible from every vantage point in the restaurant, but they're muted, so as not to disturb your dining conversation. Choose Manor Oktoberfest for your Super Bowl viewing and dine on delicious food while you watch the game.

German food tends to be meat-centric and winter is the best time of year to rejoice in it. I dove into traditional sauerbraten, roasted beef marinated in a sweet and sour sauce, sliced thin and served over a bed of spaetzle, which are handmade German dumplings and a side of pickled red cabbage ($23). This really hits the spot on a frigid night. Bratwurst is one of the most asked for dishes, and you'll get two meaty wursts, potato salad and sauerkraut served on a platter, or in a sandwich ($17). Classic schnitzel is made from tender pork cutlets pounded thin, breaded and fried until golden brown. Jaegerschnitzel adds a topping of creamy mushroom sauce to this hearty meal, available as a platter or in a sandwich, served with home fried potatoes and red cabbage. Smoked loin pork chops called “kassler rippchen” are very popular among the regular crowd for their tenderness and smoky flavor. Another dish unique to Manor Oktoberfest is “porko-bucco”, a German take on Italian osso bucco. This dish incorporates a hefty pork shank, slow cooked for hours to render the meat tender and juicy, and served with mashed potatoes to soak up the savory juices. Another house special is roasted duck breast, rendered lean with balsamic glaze, served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

If you prefer something simpler, juicy rib-eye steak, shell steak and filet mignon are cooked to order and served with roasted potatoes and vegetables. The same goes for veal chops and roasted chicken, so there's something for everyone. There are even some fish dishes on the menu for those eschewing meat.

Manor Oktoberfest offers a special lunch menu for just $7.99 that includes juicy grilled burgers, bratwurst sandwiches, BBQ pulled pork, grilled chicken and more. Try to save some room for one of their delicious desserts. Apple strudel is made inhouse and is delicious, served warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Créme brulee is made here too or you can indulge in a hunk of Junior's famous cheesecake or chocolate mud slide cake along with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.

Behind the dining room, Manor Oktoberfest has a beautiful room for private parties. This grand space has a cozy fireplace and is elegantly appointed for your next engagement party, shower, birthday, anniversary or business event. Please call for catering details.

Come visit Manor Oktoberfest and treat yourself to delicious, hearty German and American fare served in a friendly and comfortable dining room. Come for the big game on Super Bowl Sunday or any night of the week for a Happy Hour. Sign up on their mailing list or just text "OKTOBERFEST" to 74455 and you'll be instantly alerted to special promotions. Gutten appetit and danke shoen!

MANOR OKTOBERFEST

73-11 Yellowstone Blvd., Forest Hills www.manoroktoberfest.com  718.544.2400

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