By Connie Leinbach
In anticipation of opening next Friday, the Plum Pointe Kitchen in 1718 Brewing Ocracoke will offer free eats for sampling today (Saturday) from 5 to 7 p.m.
Owner-chef Aaron Gallaher will offer several items hors d’oeurves-style to patrons in the brewery.
“These will be test items for tasting,” Gallaher said Friday as he and one of his staff, Claire Senseney continued to get the kitchen ready. Islander Chris McDonald also is on the food team.
Plum Pointe is a separate food concern inside the craft brewery. Gallaher expects the kitchen to open for business Friday, April 20. Hours will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Brewery hours are noon to 9 p.m.
Among the items for patrons to sample on Saturday will be bacon-wrapped shrimp with chipotle cream cheese, scallops ceviche and Vietnamese wings.
“They’re off the chart,” Garick Kalna, owner of 1718 Brewing, said about the scallops and the wings. “I’m super excited about it. The zucchini noodle is fantastic.”
Gallaher also will have beef sliders with caramelized onions and bleu cheese, pork sliders with Asian slaw and Korean barbecue sauce, drunken chicken sliders, fried plantains and sweet potato chips.
The name of the new eatery derives from Blackbeard, the same as the name of the brewery: 1718 is the year Blackbeard was killed off Ocracoke on Nov. 22, and this year is the 300th anniversary of that event. Plum Point, a narrow strip of land along the Pamlico River near Bath, Beaufort County, is the purported location of Blackbeard’s homestead.
Gallaher is excited about his new venture. A long-time bartender at Howard’s Pub, Gallaher has been on Kalna’s team since brewery construction began 2015, and he has a background as a chef.
He began as a dishwasher at the age of 18 in a five-star restaurant, the former Café Iguana, in Fayetteville.
“I started out as a dishwasher and four months later I was the head cook,” he said. “It had an 80-item menu with 30 items that changed weekly.”
His two-year stint as a chef kick-started his love for good food.
“I’ve always been experimental with food,” he said.
Kalna appreciates that, noting that though two separate entities, Plum Point Kitchen and 1718 Brewing look forward to working together.
“We want food that’s not available elsewhere on the island,” Kalna said.