A new season means a new set of ingredients for chefs to play with. Apples, pumpkins and a rainbow of squash are showing up on plates around the city. We found 20 must-try items to make the most of fall.
Pumpkin-Spiced Spiked Shake at 25 Degrees
While you friends are freaking out over pumpkin spice lattes, sip on something better. This seasonal shake is made with housemade pumpkin purée sauce, butterscotch caramel, vanilla ice cream and spiced rum.
Crème Brûlée di Zucca at 312 Chicago
This seasonal twist on classic crème brûlée is made with butternut squash custard that's covered in sugar and torched to form a crunchy crust. It's served with caramelized, gingered squash and fresh berries.
Alaskan Halibut at Allium
This entree makes the most of in-season vegetables with a sweet-potato gnocchi, squash tea and matsutake mushroom base acting as a bed for lightly seared Alaskan halibut.
Rocoto Relleno at Artango Bistro
It’s a red bell pepper masquerading as a pumpkin. This Peruvian-inspired dish is stuffed with quinoa, mushrooms, kale, carrots and butternut squash topped with melted, smoked provolone cheese.
Apple Crumble Pie at Baker Miller
Throwing down the gauntlet for fall pie season, Megan Miller's decadent treat is filled with seedling apples and topped with an apple cider reduction.
Pumpkin Pie Donuts at Beaver’s Donuts
This new menu item is already a favorite on social media. Made-to-order mini-donuts are served with a dollop of pumpkin pie filling and fresh whipped cream.
Oh My! Caramel Pie at Beaxtrix
Another favorite in the pie category is the Oh My! Caramel Pie. This pie starts with a shortbread cookie crust that's filled with a rich caramel filling and housemade vanilla-bean whipped cream.
Sazerac at Carriage House
Welcome back to stirred and boozy cocktail season. Rediscover an old classic, the Sazerac, made with rye, Demerara, bitters and Herbsaint.
Cacciucco alla Livornese at Coco Pazzo
This hearty Tuscan seafood strew is served with fish, mussels and baby octopus swimming in a spicy broth.
Grilled Pork Loin at Fountainhead
It may not be the trendiest cut of meat, but it is one of the most flavorful in the hands of chef Cleetus Friedman. His grilled pork loin is served with braised cabbage, apple and shallot bordelaise as well as celery root.
Spiced Apple Cake at The Gage
Granny Smith apples are a fall favorite for pastry chef Mitsu Nozacki. She uses them in a spiced caramel cake served with salted brown sugar peanuts and chantilly.
Tide Water Boil at Kinmont
Fall is peak season for lobster and other shellfish. One of the most over-the-top presentations is this traditional lobster boil loaded with mussels, prawns, clams, market fish, corn, potatoes and smoked sausage, all served on a hefty platter accompanied by country bread.
Fall Torte at Nico
A seasonal torte is always on pastry chef Amanda Rockman’s dessert menu. This fall’s variation is an apple butterscotch torte with confit apple, fried rosemary, apple cider sabayon candied pecans and burnt vanilla gelato.
Chicken Pot Pie at Rustic House
As far as comfort foods go, chicken pot pie is on the top of our favorites list. The one at Rustic House is filled with free-range chicken, seasonal veggies and topped with puff pastry.
Schnitzel at Scofflaw
An old favorite is the newest addition to the fall menu. The schnitzel sandwich stars a breaded pork cutlet, bacon-spring-onion jam, apple slaw and egg on a pretzel bun.
Carrot Bisque at Sepia
This dish screams fall in both color and flavor. The creamy carrot bisque is accompanied by parsley root custard, cashew, sage and Madras curry.
Pumpkin Sage Ravioli at Fig & Olive
Housemade pumpkin ravioli features free-range chicken, ricotta and charmoula, fresh sage, pumpkin olive oil emulsion, toasted pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, aged balsamic and Frantoio olive oil.
Bacon Cinnamon Sangaree at Spritz Burger
A meaty variation of the port-based cocktail uses bacon-infused bourbon that's mixed with applejack and cinnamon syrup, shaken and served over a single ice cube with a sage leaf.
Pumpkin Toast at The Winchester
Stay on top of the toast trend with this seasonal version that starts with whole grain toast that is dressed with pickled pumpkin, toasted pumpkin seeds, ricotta and Concord gastrique.
Logan Poser Ramen #2 at Yusho
Logan Poser Ramen 2.0 starts with an extra-rich pork broth that's swimming with pigtail, hen egg and fish ball as well as spicy sesame oil. It’s the perfect dish for the increasingly colder nights.