New Fall Dishes Around DC

By Olga Boikess  |  September 10, 2013

While we’re still enjoying summer bounty, enterprising chefs are devising dishes with seasonal ingredients for the heartier appetites of early fall. Cooler waters make local shellfish meatier in texture and more developed in flavor, and duck and quail pair beautifully with autumn flavors like pumpkin and duck-fat potatoes. Hungry yet? Check out some of the delicious options that you’ll find on restaurant tables this fall.

  • Blue Duck Tavern: Wood-Oven-Roasted Duck Breast

    This elegant regional American’s hearty duck dish rings in fall flavors. The bird is brined and smoked, then the breast is wood-oven-roasted, and the cured leg is cooked in duck fat very slowly. A relish of shredded pumpkins cooked with spices and vinegar adds tangy flavor.

    1201 24th St. NW; 202-419-6755

  • Boqueria: Ensalada Berza y Gambas

    Seasonal salads featured on this DuPont Circle Spaniard’s early-fall lunch menus include one with local kale and shrimp (pictured) and a composition of ahi tuna, avocado, mango and butter lettuce. Intriguing sandwiches like Serrano ham and truffled fresh cow's milk cheese, pressed and grilled on pullman bread, will also be offered.

    1837 M St. NW; 202-558-9545

  • Equinox: Duo of Jumbo Blue Prawn & Diver Scallops on Baby Bok Choy With Carrot Ginger Broth

    This close-to-the-White House New American’s chef-owner Todd Gray tells us that the cooler weather brings tastier shellfish. What’s more, he says, “My local farmer from Colonial Beach starts bringing wonderful bok choy to us in the fall as well as great root vegetables and sweet carrots."

    818 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-331-8118

  • Et Voila: Stuffed Quail

    Over at this Palisades French-Belgian restaurant, diners can celebrate the cooler fall weather with a stuffed quail served with a fig and wild mushrooms and fingerling potatoes roasted in duck fat. Close your eyes and you’re in Europe.

    5120 MacArthur Blvd. NW; 202-237-2300

  • Masa 14: Chimichurri Grilled Baby Octopus With Cucumber, Nuoc Cham, Pea Shoot and Roasted Peanut

    Expect intriguing taste combinations in the new fall dishes at this Latin-Asian 14th St. NW hot spot. For its octopus dish, the cephalopod is poached with soy sauce, ginger and other aromatics, then tossed in an Argentinean chimichurri and charred on the grill. The salad underneath is shaved cucumber, red bell pepper and fresh ancho chile tossed with pea shoots, burnett leaves, Thai basil leaves and torn mint leaves. It is dressed with a nuoc cham of fish sauce, garlic, lime juice, Thai chile, sugar and peeled cucumber all puréed together. The plate is finished with Togarashi and crushed roasted peanuts.

    1825 14th St. NW; 202-328-1414

  • Ovvio: Minestrone

    This contemporary Italian newbie in Merrifield is offering a traditional minestrone soup with farm-fresh spinach, zucchini, pancetta and borlotti beans finished with Parmesan and housemade croutons. Its hearty blend of vegetables sounds just right for fall.

    2727 Merrilee Dr., Merrifield, VA; 703- 573-2161

  • 1789: Garganelli

    Burgundy truffles will add a cool-weather touch to this Georgetown New American’s fall pasta dish. It features sweet sausage, chanterelle mushrooms and Dante cheese. The black truffle gives it an earthy note.

    1226 36th St. NW; 202-965-1789

  • Zengo: Spicy Crab Potato "sushi"

    This modern Latin-Asian in Chinatown will offer a play on the Peruvian seafood and potato dish called causa. Prepared like a sushi, with a potato cake replacing the sushi rice, it has the other elements of a sushi roll - a slice of avocado and spicy crab salad. It’s garnished with crispy corn cancha (like popped corn) and a piece of chive.

    781 Seventh St. NW; 202-393-2929