Eat This Now: 30 Fall Dishes to Try Around the U.S.

From hot chicken Milanese to pumpkin-spiced cheesecake
October 25, 2017
by Zagat Staff

From a giant côte de boeuf to pumpkin-spiced cheesecake, these 30 new dishes from 15 major U.S. dining cities are essential eats right now. Keep these in mind during your fall travels.

Atlanta: Truffled seafood at Monkey 68
Fall's a great time for this steamy seafood dish at Roswell's East Asian newcomer. The broth holds shrimp, mussels and squid, while a drizzle of black truffle oil provides an unctuous backdrop of flavor, and crispy rice balls offer crunch and texture.

1073 Green St, Roswell, 770-587-3277

Atlanta: Apple almond tart at 1Kept
Peak apple season's wrapping up, and many Atlantans have taken their final weekend trips to the North Georgia mountains to go apple picking. Local chefs are no different, and we're starting to see the (literal) fruit of their labors. Look to 1Kept for a seasonal dessert made with local apples and an almond frangipane, and crowned with a cinnamon-almond crumb topping.

2293 Peachtree Rd NE; 404-254-1973

Austin: Sweet potato rice pudding at Juniper
Derrick Flynn (formerly of La Condesa, Swift's Attic and Wu Chow) just joined the Juniper team as executive pastry chef, and this autumn-tastic sweet potato rice pudding is a new addition to the menu, with torched marshmallow meringue, burnt honey-vanilla sherbet, candied pecans and milk jam.

2400 E. Cesar Chavez St #304; 512-220-9421

Austin: Seared foie gras croissant at June's 
Anytime of year is a perfect time to allow yourself the indulgence of June's seared foie gras slathered with sour cherry caramel on a flaky Elizabeth Street Cafe croissant. But it feels especially right this season.

1722 S. Congress Ave.; 512-416-1722

Boston: Grilled chicken to go at Kirkland Tap & Trotter
Chef Tony Maws knows a certain truth about supply and demand: Low quantities can lead to high popularity. After all, this is the same guy who gave us Craigie on Main's iconic burger, served in limited numbers each night yet still consistently ranked one of Boston's best. Now sibling spot Kirkland has rolled out a grilled chicken to-go meal for two; he cooks up only 10 juicy birds per night (served with two weekly changing sides and salsa verde), and they can be ordered in advance online for pickup after 5 PM. If you want to enjoy it at the restaurant, Friday and Saturday are currently the only nights where it's assured to be on the menu too. 

425 Washington St., Somerville; 857-259-6585

Boston: Composed oysters at North Square Oyster
Chef Doug Rodrigues, alum of haute spots like Clio and Liquid Art House, brings his predilection for pretty presentations (and creative flavor combinations) to this just-opened, seafood-driven North End spot. One of the menu's highlights is the composed oyster platter: Each bivalve is enhanced with funky flavor combinations, like caviar with quail egg yolk and lychee pearls, uni with nori, pineapple and gold foil, or watermelon pearls, rosé and crème fraîche. These are the most sophisticated slurps you'll find.

5 N. Square; 617-829-4975

Chicago: Caldereta at Sunda
It's stew season, and few look more promising than Sunda's. The caldereta is a contemporary take on a traditional, hearty Filipino stew made with lamb riblette, foie-tomato gravy and Asian tapenade, whose briny qualities help temper the decadent meatiness of the dish. 

110 W. Illinois St.; 312-644-0500

Chicago: Pumpkin spiced cheesecake at Petit Margeaux
Although it might sound basic, this is one pumpkin-spiced confection you’re going to want. For starters, it’s cute and photogenic with a pumpkin-shaped shortbread cookie garnish. The cheesecake is also satiny-smooth, redolent of warm fall spices and glazed with a patina of salty caramel. 

11 E. Walton St.; 312-625-1324

Dallas–Fort Worth: Sweet potato soup at Dish Preston Hollow
At the bottom of this steamy bowl of velvety sweet potato soup topped with cornbread crumbles is a garlic marshmallow, which provides a wonderful twist on a classic Thanksgiving side dish at this Preston Hollow favorite.

8611 Hillcrest Ave. # 100; 214-363-3474

Dallas: Broken Wild gulf shrimp jambalaya at Mudhen Meat and Greens
Jamabalaya gets a healthier twist at this veggie-heavy farmer's market restaurant thanks to cauliflower rice in place of white rice, plus the craveable flavors that come from blackened shrimp in Creole sauce with spicy pork sausage, celery, roasted tomatoes and peppers.

900 S. Harwood St.; 214-698-7000

Denver: Bacon-cheeseburger dumplings at Kaya Kitchen
How did Ryan Gorby come up with the ingenious, giant-flavored little morsels he serves at Lon Symensma's new Asian street-food stall at Avanti F & B (also available at Cho77, where he's exec chef)? "I had a dream about them," he admits. So will you once you've tried them. Just as sibling ChoLon changed the soup-dumpling game with its French onion–inspired version, so these up the ante for shumai with a stuffing of ground beef, Gruyère, bacon and scallions, capped off with fried onion bits and a pickle of cucumber, red onion and garlic. 

​3200 Pecos St.; 720-269-4778

Denver: Whole roasted gourd at Emmerson
As if this Boulder destination weren’t hot enough, it’s now serving a dish that’s literally on fire. It starts with a whole squash (likely kabocha, acorn or butternut, depending on the day) that’s roasted and filled with rutabaga noodles and other veggies as well as a cream of coconut milk, sunflower and hay, then served on a bed of more hay that’s set alight for a smoky aroma. What better way to ring in gourd season

1600 Pearl St. Ste. 100, Boulder; 303-953-9852

Houston: Ravioli del Cacciatore at Potente                                                                
Cooler months bring forth earthy flavors like mushrooms and wild game. Find both with elegant Italian-meets-Creole flair in Danny Trace’s roasted pheasant and rabbit ravioli; tender meat is paired with woodsy Indian Creek mushrooms, black pepper chevre and gunpowder spice tucked into pillows of fresh pasta.

1515 Texas Ave.; 713-237-1515

Tandoori chicken salad at Killen’s STQ
While Ronnie Killen’s Briargrove outpost is famous for red meat meals like high-end steaks and barbecue, the tandoori chicken salad is also ideal for welcoming the cooler months. A complex combo of flavors and textures, it features chicken breast from local Two Sisters Farms, slightly crunchy grilled radicchio, sweet charred grapes, curry roasted cauliflower, BBQ chickpeas and smoked apple dressing. It's finished with a cucumber yogurt.

2231 S Voss Rd.; 713-586-0223

Kabo-cha cha cha at Baroo
Chefs Kwang Uh and Matthew Kim are still creating their most popular dishes at the tiny Hollywood strip-mall spot, but they’re also adding seasonal specials like this silky kabocha squash soup. But like everything here, it’s a study in contrasting flavors and textures: burnt buttermilk kabocha yogurt, crispy sage, crunchy mung beans and oats all add to the dish.

5706 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-929-9288

Chaufa paella at Rosaline
Although served year-round, there's something about this Peruvian fried rice that feels most appropriate for cooler nights. It comes to the table in a hot pan, filled with flavors and aromas of pancetta, Chinese sausage, bagoong (a salty fish paste) and prawns. Ricardo Zarate serves it paella-style, so it’s excellent for sharing.

8479 Melrose Ave.; 323-297-9500

Miami: Sweet potato pancakes at Verde

Taking advantage of the cooler temperatures, the folks at Verde recently expanded both the restaurant’s terrace seating area, as well as the menu with new items like this autumn-inspired brunch dish (pictured at top). Prepared with housemade sweet potato purée, the thick and fluffy buttermilk pancakes are finished with thin-sliced caramelized pears, candied walnuts and maple syrup.

1103 Biscayne Blvd.; (305) 375-8282

Miami: Stone crabs at Joe’s Stone Crab
Whether you brave the legendary wait times for a table, or go to the market next door, there is one thing everyone orders for when visiting this century-old South Beach institution: a pile of fresh, chilled and cracked stone crab claws with creamy mustard dipping sauce. The flavorful crabs are only in season from October through May, so get them before they're gone.

11 Washington Ave.; (305) 673-0365

NYC: Côte de Boeuf at Ferris

Former Le Turtle executive chef Greg Proechel and Major Food Group alum Charles Seich are behind this new subterranean eatery located inside the new MADE hotel in Chelsea. The eclectic New American menu highlights foodie ingredients like squid ink chawanmushi and blood sausage. But the piece de resistance is a decadent main course for 2-4...the côte de boeuf with all the fixins. This 60-day dry aged cut is sliced and served with garlic chives and two sauces including black garlic jam and walnut molasses/beef fat. Fixins include onion consommé with potato dumplings and beef fat croutons; whipped buttermilk with charred cippolini onions dusted with leek ash; and a shaved salad of beets, apples, red onions and Brussels sprouts.

44 W. 29th Street; 212-213-4420

NYC: Hot chicken Milanese from Popina

Chef Chris McDade (Maialino, Cafe Altro Paradiso) is breathing new life into the old Pok Pok space in Columbia Waterfront with this Southern American-infused Italian spot. No dish better encapsulates the melding of his Italian training with his Georgia roots than the mash-up entree, hot chicken Milanese: chicken breast pounded thin, dipped in buttermilk, coated with panko and fried, then brushed with a chile oil mixture (a play on Southern American dish hot chicken). Fair warning: heat level on this chicken is intense.

127 Columbia Street, Brooklyn; 718-222-1901

Philadelphia: Pastries at Walnut Street Café

There’s a lot worth checking out at the Cira Centre South’s all-day restaurant from the team behind New York’s acclaimed Rebelle. At the top of the list is pastry chef Melissa Weller’s heavenly assortment of baked goods, from chocolate babka to kougin-amann to pistachio-cherry croissants. Bonus: All are available to-go.  

2929 Walnut St.; 215-867-8067 

Philadelphia: Potato pave at Whetstone Tavern

To create this refined version of scalloped potatoes at the Queen Village brasserie, chef Eric Leveillee slices the potato into 30 layers and presses it into a brick. Cider, champagne and chanterelles foraged at Green Meadow Farm give it an autumnal boost.  

700 S 5th St.; 267-239-0906

San Diego: All of The Above cookie at Extraordinary Desserts

Supporting gender equality and human rights for women and girls never tasted so good with this limited-edition cookie. The collab between chef Karen Krasne and Cupcakes and Cashmere benefits the Global Fund for Women. The treat starts with a dark Valrhona chocolate base mixed with Valrhona white chocolate chunks and caramelized cocoa nibs. Each cookie is finished with French sea salt and the pastry shop’s signature edible gold leaf. Find it at the Little Italy and Hillcrest locations through the end of the year.

2929 5th Ave.; 619-294-2132
1430 Union St.; 619-294-7001

San Diego: Chorizo scotch egg at Nomad Donuts

We recommend following the Hillcrest shop’s Instagram feed for announcements on when this special item is available. This take on the British comfort food (pictured with the shop’s ube cronut) wraps a jalapeño corn cake around chorizo sausage and a hard-boiled egg. A cilantro glaze finishes it off.

3102 University Ave.; 619-431-5000

San Francisco: Lamb belly at Parigo

Move over pork belly. Chef de cuisine Danny Murcia gives lamb belly the spotlight at The Barrel Room’s Marina sibling. He braises the meat for four hours, sears it for a perfect tender texture and finishes with a thick hoisin glaze that partners wonderfully with the lamb’s trademark gaminess — and, of course, the restaurant's playful Contrast and Complement wine listings.

3232 Scott St.; 415-580-7080

San Francisco: Clams cooked in hay at Gibson

Hay is not just for the pumpkin patch this fall. Chef Robin Song uses them to cook a clever riff on that love-it-or-hate-it local dish: clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. Manila clams are cooked with lardo and seafood consommé then temporarily topped with hay while in the kitchen's hearth. The cooked clams are then taken out of their shells and paired with a potato-sourdough purée. This resulting "chowder bowl" feels like Fisherman's Wharf by way of Copenhagen.

111 Mason St.; 415-771-7709

Seattle:Miso-braised beef rib at Kokkaku

This charming Japanese-inspired meat house has enticed us with many things on the menu. There’s tableside duck fat brioche, pig ear with frisee and braised daikon radish to be enamored with sure, but the dish that’s won our hearts is the miso-braised beef rib, incredibly tender and jazzed up with earthy miso. 

2208 N 45th St.; 206-588-1568

Seattle: The tasting menu at Addo

Chef Eric Rivera (formerly at Bookstore Bar and the Huxley Wallace Group) recently announced his Addo popup has found a more permanent home in Capitol Hill at the cozy Coffee Flour Lab (formerly Crush) space. He’ll be hosting cooking classes, collaboration dinners, random themed pop ups centered around toast and burgers and his crowning jewel, Addo. Grab your tickets now for the 15 course progressive tasting menu experience that serves as a peek inside Rivera’s creative brain and features fusion flavors and unexpected treats.

2319 E Madison St

Washington, DC: Sea urchin linguini at Bresca
At this incredibly hot newcomer on busy 14th Street NW, chef-owner Ryan Ratino takes the popular combo of sea urchin and pasta to the next level. The umami bomb of a dish starts with housemade pasta that’s generously sauced with an emulsion of leavened yeast, butter, black truffles and porcini conserva. (Ratino says the yeast adds a creamy texture, acid and a bready aroma that complements the truffles.) It’s all topped with blue basil and Maine sea urchin — and all that’s missing is actual bread for sopping up that luscious sauce.

1906 14th St. NW; 202-518-7926

Washington, DC: Crema Catalan at Calle Cinco
Pastry chef Alex Levin, who oversees sweets at all Michael Schlow restaurants, says the enchanting vanilla- and citrus-infused take on crème brûlée at this newest restaurant in the group was inspired by his travels through Spain. And while the dessert sticks closely to the creamy classic, Levin modified and updated the baking method to cut out the need for a water bath, which resulted in a silkier custard. After cooling in the fridge for several hours, it’s sprinkled with turbinado sugar and blow-torched till the top is perfectly golden and crackly.

465 K St. NW; 202-629-4662