Sage Advice and Pumpkin Spice

Sage Advice and Pumpkin Spice

Sorry, there is no advice in this article— or pumpkin. The title was just too good to pass up. 

Anyway, seasonal is always a buzzword when it comes to menu planning. Ingredients like spring peas and asparagus are typical and expected for spring. Fruits like strawberries and watermelon in the summer keep your menu refreshing and bright.  Each season has its unique ingredients that are only available during those certain times of year and it’s always exciting to feature them. Fall menus, though, seem to have their own genre.

There is just something about autumn. 

Maybe it’s the nostalgia of remembering family, holidays, and the changing leaves.  Whatever it is, no seasonal offerings compare to the warm and comforting flavors of fall menus.  

We decided to reach out to chefs around the country and put together a short list of some of the best fall menu items across the nation. Thank you, everyone, for your submissions.  We got a lot!

Our criteria for selecting the best dishes is, as follows:

  1. Ingredients - Are they actually seasonal?
  2. Visual appeal - Will the picture make me travel the distance to get this dish?
  3. Creativity - Is it unique?
  4. Nostalgia - Does it make me excited for the holiday season or bring back memories of quality time with family?

Ok, Here we go!

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Pumpkin Spice Is Overrated. There We Said It... But These Recipes Are Not

Pumpkin Spice Is Overrated. There We Said It... But These Recipes Are Not

Autumn’s most eponymous squash, pumpkin, has much more to offer this season than a hurried rush of spicy latte in a green and white cup in one hand and the Instagram machine in the other.

There is reasonable certainty that what we like about pumpkin spice latte is not so much the latte, nor the pumpkin, but all the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, clove and vanilla that makes coffee devotees clench their fists in spasms of caffeinated angst.

Pumpkin is inexpensive, abundant and swollen with complex, deliberate flavor that is celebration-worthy rather than tucked under too much spice. Loaded with plenty of naturally occurring sweetness that can be coaxed with a long cook time, pumpkin flavor can be lost under the clove of darkness.

In the North End of Boston, for instance, Giacomo’s North End Ristorante lifts their pumpkin game with pumpkin tortellini in sage-mascarpone sauce. The subtle Italian cream cheese works as a velvet canvas for the pumpkin to be the star. Just around the corner, in the very same neighborhood, La Famiglia Giorgio gets all Italian with their pumpkin treatment, too. Pumpkin is tucked into pasta pillows and dressed with marsala in pumpkin ravioli.  

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Fall Flavors That Are Sure to Keep Guests Engaged Through the Winter

Fall Flavors That Are Sure to Keep Guests Engaged Through the Winter

The weather shifts again and guests will soon be clamoring for all things autumn.

Higher octane and fuller-flavored brews paired with bold-flavored dishes that keep the menu offerings clean and satisfying, should round out seasonal menu changes.

The savvy guests visiting your establishment will be expecting seasonal flavors, prepared in ways that incorporate spices and ingredients from all over the world. Guests have moved beyond the American fall classics and are ready for your interpretation of a world-influenced fall dish.

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How are Vegas restaurants Incorporating Autumn Ingredients

The festive seasonal ingredients available in autumn are consumer's favorites. However, restaurants don't want to be repetitive with their autumn menus. So this year how are Vegas restaurants getting creative this season with Squash and Pumpkin?

At the Top of the World restaurant, butternut squash is being served with farro instead of the traditional rice supplement. While at this month's no. 14 restaurant on our Top 25 Restaurants list, Comme Ça, Kabocha Squash appears in two of their dishes on this season's menu- in the duck confit appetizer and the salmon entree. And Restaurant Guy Savoy goes all out with their Pumpkin soup, which is served from a hollowed pumpkin. Read more here to see some other Vegas restaurant seasonal dishes.

How have you been using these ingredients to enhance your menu? Are you seeing that consumers are over these ingredients all ready?