Overheard on the restaurant scene… This week’s food news (October 7)

File photo. File photo.

How do you like them apples? If you’re Clifton Inn’s Tucker Yoder, you like them incorporated into a gourmet tasting menu, which is exactly how he’s prepared fall’s ubiquitous fruit for the month of October. National Apple Month will bring a four-course tasting menu to the Clifton table, with dishes like apple and fall squash risotto with pumpkin seeds; seared striped bass with smoked Albemarle apples, creamed cabbage, and pork jus; and grilled butter-poached apples with cinnamon ice cream, bacon crumble, and bourbon. The meal is available through October and costs $62 per person. Reservations are required, so call 971-1800 or e-mail reservations@thecliftoninn.com.

Fall festivals are finally in flux (alliteration!), and one of the best is just on the horizon. The seventh annual Chocolate Festival comes to Lee Park and First United Methodist Church Saturday, October 19 from 9am to 2pm and will feature homemade chocolate treats, a cupcake contest, and non-chocolate-related activities like a used book sale and a moonbounce.

File these two Barracks-area deals under “things to remember”: First, Sedona Taphouse’s $5 Steak Out for Charity. Every Monday night, get an eight-ounce Angus steak over red-skin mashed potatoes for just $5 and 20 percent of the sales are donated to charity. A beverage purchase is required, but that shouldn’t be a problem given the restaurant’s expansive craft beer selection (and non-alcoholic bevs, too).

Second, keep Brixx Wood Fired Pizza in mind for late-night cravings. The Barracks Road Shopping Center spot offers a buy-one-get-one-free special every night after 10pm. Buy a pizza and nab an appetizer on the house. Recommended: the pear and gorgonzola pie with some spinach and artichoke dip to start.