There is no better reason to take a leisurely Autumn drive through the scenic country side of Fairfield, Connecticut, than to visit a great “comfort food” restaurant like Redding Roadhouse. Redding Roadhouse is “a charming New England restaurant and tavern”.
Redding Roadhouse is located at 406 Redding Road in Redding, Connecticut. I learned from Ted Stonbely, one of the current owners, that the restaurant has been there for many years and the building itself, is over a hundred years old. Ted and his partners were looking to buy an established restaurant that needed revitalizing for their first adventure into restaurant ownership so they purchased Redding Roadhouse over a year ago, gave it a facelift and a revamped menu.
Ted said that they consider their menu “elevated comfort food” with base in modern American cuisine. Executive Chef Wirt Cook’s comfort food menus focuses on regional New England cooking centering on seasonality, sustainability, and his characteristic laid-back style.
From now until October 27th, Redding Roadhouse is offering their Oktoberfest menu. Every dish on the Oktoberfest menu is German cuisine. While we were enjoying the fabulous fare and beer, we were entertained by a traditional German oom-pah band.
Our German fare adventure started in the tavern where we quenched our thirst with Oktoberfest-style beer. When all the members of our group had arrived, we were lead to our tables and were introduced to our culinary fest.
Charcuterie Plate which was full of Schaller and Weber’s best German cold cuts with grilled bread and purple mustard. Cold cuts included: bloodwurst, head cheese, liver pate.
As we were munching on the cold cuts, out came the house made bacon. These was not your typical thin sliced bacon, but triple thick slices of crispy but tender and juicy bacon. It was cured so that the bacon was a real star. It was out of sight delicious! They could have stopped serving us anything but this bacon for the rest of our visit and the majority of us would been quite happy at this point.
In between all the servings, we were treated to 4 ounce pours of different beers that included Half Full Pumpkin Ale, Thomas Hooker Oktober, Spaten Oktober, and Franziskaner Weissbeir. By the way, if you order a Half Full Pumpkin Ale from the bar, it will come rimmed with sugar and cinnamon. Surprisingly, it combined well with the pumpkin ale.
Continuing on through the offerings, we were treated to Kartoffelpuffer - a potato pancake served with applesauce and sour cream. These were fried to a nice crispness and tender inside. The applesauce was just as I like, with bits of apples.
Next up was Burgoo, a hearty German immigrant stew that had chicken, short ribs, and braised beef in it with carrots, onions, potatoes, and spices. This stew definitely fell within the “comfort food” category, as it would be excellent on a frigid winter night sitting near a wood stove with a snow storm blowing outside. The broth of the stew was thick and rich with flavor.
Having worked our way through the appetizers, we moved on to try the entrees. Of the entrees being offered on their Oktoberfest menu, we sampled Wiener Schnitzel, Sauerbraten, and Best of the Wurst. Accompanying the entrees was Spaetzie and red cabbage.
Wiener Schnitzel: breaded veal cutlet with lemon butter and fresh parsley. The veal was lightly coated and cooked so that it was juicy and tender. I thought the lemon butter paired extremely well with the light meaty taste of the veal.
Sauerbraten: Bavarian style pot roast covered in sweet and sour gravy thickened with gingersnaps. The gingersnaps gave the roast a slight heat / tang characteristic of ginger. The roast was “melt in your mouth” tender.
Best of the Wurst: full plate of smoked bratwurst, weisswurst and brauernwurst steamed in beer and sauerkraut. What more can I say, German style sausage steamed in beer. Each sausage was packed full of flavor was enhanced by the beer.
We finished the meal with warm Apple Streusel with vanilla ice cream. What a perfect closer to a wonderful adventure of German fare. The streusel was full of apples surrounded by a flaky crust.
They also offer two other entrees that we did not taste:
Schnitzel a la Holstein: weiner schnitzel with capers, anchovies, and fried egg. (we did have weiner schnitzel, but it had a different sauce)
Kasseler Rippchen: smoked center-cut pork chop baked in sauerkraut with apples and grapes.
There are several other seasonal beers being offered during Oktoberfest that we did not sample.
If you like German fare and Oktoberfest-style beer, then hurry out to the Redding Roadhouse before October 27th. Each and every dish we tasted was excellently prepared and made me feel like I was sitting in a German tavern, eating authentic German “comfort” cuisine. The atmosphere was rustic and charming where all appeared to be having a good time. If you happened to be in their area during your fall foliage tour, they are open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. On Sunday the brunch starts at 11:00 pm. and goes until 2:00 pm. If you don’t make it for Oktoberfest we highly suggest a visit to the Redding Roadhouse at anytime. You will not be disappointed