The Outer Banks is renowned for its laid-back vibe, great seafood, gorgeous views and Southern hospitality.
The Outer Banks Restaurant Association has wrapped all of the above in one great event — the 2nd annual Oystoberfest.
The event, which is a part of the Association’s OBX Fall Restaurant Week, is from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at Southern Shores Crossing Shopping Center.
Tickets are $45 advance and $50 at the door.
“Part of the proceeds from Oystoberfest will be donated to the NC Coastal Federation, whose mission is to empower residents and visitors from all walks of life to protect and restore the water quality and critical important habitats of the North Carolina coast,” says Audrey Webster, marketing manager and acting secretary of the Association.
“Volunteers from the group will be on hand at the event to help recycle oyster shells and distribute educational materials about their work.”
Oystoberfest is the brainchild of Dan Lewis, president of the Association, a successful Outer banks restaurateur who owns Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar & Wine Bar Café.
“In the past several years, the number of local oyster farmers has increased with several located on Hatteras Island, and the local industry is in growth mode,” she says.
“Dan thought this type of event would be an excellent way to promote local oyster farmers and their product. It was very successful and well-received last year, with over 300 people in attendance, and everyone who did attend left raving about the quality of event, food, drink and atmosphere.”
Webster says ticket sales for this year’s event are limited to just over 400, “so we can keep the special atmosphere of the event enjoyable for all.”
Local and regional oyster farmers will be on-hand shucking oysters, and about six Outer Banks restaurants will offer their individual oyster dish samples. In addition, guests can choose from six North Carolina craft beers.
“We do offer a ‘no beer’ ticket for those who do not like or wish to drink beer or who is a designated driver. That ticket is $10 less, and those folks are welcome to purchase other drinks — wine, mixed drinks or soft drinks — from inside Coastal Provisions market while they can still enjoy all the oyster samples.”
The Association, which also hosts Spring Restaurant Week, has its biggest annual event in mid-March: Outer Banks Taste of the Beach, a four-day food festival with more than 60 different activities — ranging from creative brunches and cook-offs to cooking classes and multi-course wine pairing dinners. In addition, there are shrimp-themed events and beer tastings.
“In the spring, usually around the beginning of May, we hold our Spring Restaurant Week. Spring doesn’t include a special group event like in the fall, but it still offers a 9-day experience of 3-course offers at over 20 area restaurants.”
Webster says anyone who enjoys a great meal would enjoy any of the Association’s events.
“I personally feel like Fall Restaurant Week is a fun and easy event for folks to participate in; there is plenty of flexibility because it runs over the course of nine days,” she says.”
With approximately 20 local restaurants participating in each given year, there are many choices for food lovers to take advantage of — and the price makes for a great dining value: At either a $20 or a $35 price point, not including tax or gratuity, diners enjoy a 3-course value-driven meal from some of the area’s finest restaurants.
Anyone who wants to take part in the event need only go to the OBX Fall Restaurant Week website, peruse the list of participating restaurants, view each establishment’s special 3-course menu offers “and just go whenever you like in that 9-day period,” she says.
“Many folks will go out two or three — or more — times during the nine days to be able to take in as much as possible while it lasts.”