Thursday, October 4, 2012

Japanese Oktoberfest at Yotel New York

Nothing says “Oktoberfest” like giant blonde men and bratwurst.

Or maybe . . . . . mini Kimchee empanadas and a smooth, unfiltered rice ale?

The latter proved preferable at midtown Manhattan’s Yotel as they launched their first annual Japanese Oktoberfest on a humid and rainy Tuesday this week.

“We decided to put our own unique spin on Oktoberfest, using our Japanese design aesthetic as inspiration,” said Jo Berrington, Marketing Director at YOTEL. In its second year of operation, the hotel, home to restaurant Doyho and Manhattan’s most expansive outdoor drinking space, thought that celebrating the traditional German holiday would be the perfect excuse to extend Terrace’s hours into the fall–they had been strictly cut off at summer’s end in the previous year.

On the night of Oktoberfest’s launch, rain interrupted the city; sleek white picnic tables were taken under Terrace’s sturdy tent, which was effective in keeping all visitors, pork tenderloins, and Weizens dry.

A little past the evening’s halfway point, a young waiter could just barely be seen emerging onto Terrace from Dohyo inside. Approximately 60 seconds later, he disappeared again. This happened once or twice more. When he made it over to the bar, he apologized as he offered New York-style pretzels, paired with chipotle mayo or miso mustard.

“I finally told the kitchen they had to give me a tray that held 18. Ten was not cutting it,” he relayed about his inability to get much further than the doorway when carrying what was clearly the favorite of the night’s Richard Sandoval-prepared food pairings.

Other employees of Terrace were equally attentive and helpful. The bar’s regular servers seemed just as knowledgeable as the brewery’s representatives, happily explaining the differences between Hitachino’s typical Oktoberfest offerings—Nest Weizen and a Belgian-style White Ale—and the company’s Real Ginger Brew, a little something for those seeking more traditional Japanese flavorings.

But perhaps the most popular beer of the night was the Rogue Red Fox, distributed by an American brewery in Oregon—fitting, as it has the added appeal of exclusivity: The red ale is brewed specifically for the Japanese island of Hokkaido and is available only on that island and in New York.

Japanese Oktoberfest runs Wednesday, October 3 – Tuesday, October 9 from 5 pm to 9 pm, and will be available during brunch hours over the holiday weekend. Reservations are required, and can be secured by calling Dohyo at 646.449.7790.

Marisa Rindone

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