By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Sep 30, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Even if you're paying close attention, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest in food news here in Milwaukee. So here's a taste of what's new and notable – including news about Cedarburg’s Oktoberfest, Café at the Pfister’s new menu, and Chocolate and Stout Day at Atomic Chocolate.

Cedarburg Oktoberfest Welcomes Chef Knuppertz
You’ve been to Cedarburg for the wine and strawberry festivals, but have you ever been to its Oktoberfest event?

The fact is, a perfect fall weekend in Wisconsin can only be made better by a stop at Cedarburg’s Oktoberfest, an annual festival which is just bursting with gemuetlichkeit.

The fest takes place on Saturday, Oct. 12, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cedarburg Community Center, W63 N641 Washington Ave. Enjoy free admission and parking, along with plenty of great German music and food.

The festival food booth will be serving up a German Sausage Platter, Sauerbraten, and Wiener Schnitzel plus some ala carte items, with proceeds benefitting Festivals of Cedarburg. Guest German Chef Rainer Knuppertz will be serving Germany’s popular currywurst at the festival, a steamed, then fried pork sausage cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup.

Beer lovers will find specialty beers such as Hofbrau, Hacker Pschorr, Leinenkugel Oktoberfest and Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale, plus a variety of Cedar Creek Winery wines, including their Gold Medal Cedar Creek Riesling. Authentic German entertainment will include the Pommerische Tanzedale Dancers, Tuba Dan, the AlteKameraden Band, D' Lustign Wendlstoana Dancers and the Cedarburg Civic Band plus a wooden dance floor for Polka fans.

For German food lovers looking for a chance to explore regional cooking, Chef Knuppertz, who offers classes and catering in Langendernbach, Germany, will also be offering cooking classes in Cedarburg prior to the festival. The cooking demonstration will feature an authentic recipe called "Limburger Sacker," a pork steak stuffed with sauerkraut and served with pan fried potatoes.

Classes will take place on Wednesday Oct. 9 at 11:30 a.m. and Thursday Oct. 10 at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the Advent Lutheran Church Dining Hall, W63 N642 Washington Ave, in Cedarburg. The price is $45 per person, and includes dinner and two alcoholic beverages. Guests must be 21 or over. For more information, call (262)-375-7611.

For more information on the Cedarburg Oktoberfest, visit

Chocolate and Stout Day at Atomic Chocolate
Have you been to the little Walker’s Point chocolate shop tucked away inside Times Square Pizza at 605 S. 1st St.?  If not, you should.

Chocolate maker Sean Henninger offers 20-plus varieties of chocolate in his shop on any given day. His creativity comes through in flavor offerings like cinnamon and lavender, pumpkin spice, whiskey macadamia nut and mango with habanero.

The fact is, whether you’ve been there before or not, Oct. 5 would be a great day to pay them a visit. All day long, Atomic will offer up one free stout beer, poured fresh from the tapper, along with a complimentary chocolate sample.

If one chocolate just isn’t enough, customers can sign up for the 4 p.m. chocolate tasting, which features five stouts, (including favorites like Old Resputin, Left Hand Milk Stout, and a barrel aged stout) and five chocolates for just $30. Tickets can be purchased at Atomic Chocolate.

Café at The Pfister Refines Menu
You talked, and the Café at The Pfister listened. The menu is updated to focus more solidly on the restaurant’s popular soup, salad and sandwich offerings.

Executive Chef Brian Frakes has expanded the  sandwich options to include a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich and firecracker guacamole burger.  A brand new "Chips n’ Dip" section features housemade Garlic Parmesan Truffle Chips, and Lemon Garlic Hummus.  Notable specialty dishes include Memphis French toast, a cereal coated deep fried croissant with peanut sauce and griddled bananas and housemade bacon maple icecream.

The café will also feature Bavarian-style pretzel served with butter mustard sauce and edible dessert shooters, including flavors like grasshopper pie, Brandy Alexander, and key lime, which are meant to satiate your craving for something sweet without filling you up.

The Café at The Pfister, located in The Pfister Hotel at 424 E. Wisconsin Ave., is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

Fall Wine Dinners at Marcus Restaurants
Wine lovers should take note of two pairing dinners offered in October by the Marcus Restaurants.

First up, on Thursday Oct. 10, experience the Sturino Trotta Wine Dinner. Join Kil@wat’s Executive Chef Robert Druschitz and Kil@wat General Manager Anthony Trester for an evening of fine wines and decadent food pairings. David Trotta Barnes, Wisconsin native and founder of California-based Sturino Trotta Cellars, will be the evening’s featured guest speaker. Pairings include Pan Seared Diver Scallop & Pork Belly Duo, with pickled cucumber, and lemongrass-mango coulis, paired with Sturino Trotta Chardonnay; and Pan Seared New York Strip, with celery root salad, star anise and port wine demi, paired with Sturino TrottaCabernet Rutherford and Sturino Trotta Cabernet Special Select.   

The dinner will include a 6 p.m. reception with dinner at 7 p.m. The cost is $85, plus tax and gratuity. For more information, visit For reservations, contact Anthony Trester at or (414) 276-8686.

The second dinner, celebrating Terlato wines, will take place on Friday, Oct. 18 at Mason Street Grill. Experience a five-course wine dinner with Terlato’s hand-crafted boutique label wines from the Russian River Valley and Rutherford regions of California, perfectly paired with Executive Chef Mark Weber’s culinary creations.

Examples of pairings include Seared Diver Scallops, with a collage of wild mushrooms, black truffle parsnip puree, and snow pea endrils paired with Terlato Chardonnay, 2011; and Palmetto Farms Roasted Squab, with green lentil, Tuscan kale and frisee salad, paired with Terlato Pinot Noir, 2011.

The dinner will begin with a 6 p.m. reception, with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $95 plus tax and gratuity. For more information, visit MasonStreetGrill,com. For reservations, call (414) 298-3131 or email

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.