It’s unlikely she was thinking about restaurants when Jeannette Walls wrote in her celebrated 2005 memoir, “All seasons have something to offer.” But the line would not be out of place in describing the philosophy that many eating establishments follow to mark the different times of the year.
As cooler temperatures have signaled the arrival of fall, many local restaurants have begun to adapt their menus to satisfy the cravings of their hungry customers.
At Zum Stammtisch Restaurant, 69-46 Myrtle Ave., Glendale, (718) 386-3014, which offers authentic and traditional German cuisine, the most popular year-round dishes, according to manager Hans Lehner, are Jagerschnitzel, or breaded veal cutlet with mushroom hunter’s sauce, and goulash soup, which he describes as a “hearty thick beef stew, a little spicy,” and is “great for the winter months.”
The restaurant offers a special Oktoberfest menu during the middle two weeks of the month, according to Lehner.
A highlight is Schweinshaxn, a roasted ham hock or pork knuckle that is popular in the German state of Bavaria, and is often served with sauerkraut and potatoes. It may be marinated or pre-boiled and roasted until the skin is crisp.
According to Lehner, the dish “comes on and off as a special” all year round, but it is always available during Oktoberfest.
This charming family restaurant, founded in 1972, is open daily, noon to 10 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 11 p.m. on weekends.
Despite its name, CJ Sullivan’s American Grill, 213-10 41 Ave., Bayside, (718) 224-0060, will also be offering special selections with a German flavor for Oktoberfest, according to Chris McManus, who has owned the place for 20 years. The month-long celebration includes specialties like Jagerschnitzel and Sauerbraten, which is German for “sour roast.” This popular dish can be prepared with a variety of meats and is generally served with red cabbage and potato dumplings.
In addition to an assortment of sausages, including bratwurst and knockwurst, Sullivan’s will also be offering a wide variety of beer specials for the celebration.
Beginning in November, McManus promises “more hearty meals, more comfort foods,” such as chicken pot pies, shepherd’s pies and various pot roasts.
In the summer, he said, salads are quite popular, but as the temperature turns cold, he tries to satisfy customers with “a couple more soups,” including onion and beef barley.
Sullivan’s, a pub, sports bar and barbecue restaurant, is open for brunch, lunch and dinner. Call for specific hours.
Barosa Italian Restaurant and Brick Oven Pizza, 62-29 Woodhaven Blvd., Rego Park, (718) 424-1455, which opened nine years ago, offers an upscale dining atmosphere.
Owner Joe LaRosa indicated that during the cold months, “people don’t tend to do salads.” During the winter months, his restaurant offers what he described simply as “richer dishes.”
Among these are osso buco, a Milanese specialty of cross-cut veal shanks, usually braised with vegetables, white wine and broth, and generally served with polenta, or cornmeal boiled into a porridge with a creamy texture, and gnocchi, or thick, soft potato dumplings, which may be eaten as an alternative to pasta. According to LaRosa, as fall rolls around, the restaurant also serves butternut squash soup, a puree, and butternut squash ravioli.
Hours are Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
CityRib, 89-04 Parsons Blvd., Jamaica, (718) 878-3599, offers a wide variety of barbecue, soul and southern dishes.
While it’s still too soon to speculate as to what special menus will be available for each season, General Manager Regan Uriarte, in collaboration with Joseph Mallol, known as Chef Joe, is planning to “reassess our menu before Thanksgiving,” based upon feedback from customers since the restaurant opened two months ago.
Uriarte indicated that the barbecue dishes will “pretty much stay the same,” but the salad and sandwich offerings will change throughout the year.
Chef Joe has already decided on some seasonal soups, including split pea, lentil, butternut squash and root vegetable, also known as harvest vegetable soup. “With the chilly air, we will switch every week,” he said. Right now gumbo, which he described as “hearty, cool-weather stew” that is appealing “especially if you’re a southern boy,” seems to be doing the trick.
CityRib is open Monday-Friday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.