What better way to experience the seasons’ transition than through food? With more than a week left until the equinox’s official finale, we’re sharing some of our favorite seasonally-themed bites at Houston restaurants.
Here — six essential restaurant menus for those looking to savor the flavors of fall before it is too late.
Sardinian restaurant Arcordoro channels its roots with a special fall menu inspired by the Blue Zones — five geographic regions home to the longest living people in the world. Sardinia — owner Effisio Farris‘ native country — is one of five countries with official Blue Zone status.
The menu highlights local and seasonal ingredients, a key factor in Sardinians’ longevity. Start your meal with the Vellutata di Zucca con Fregula Croccante, a butternut squash soup topped with roasted buffalo ricotta — or opt for the Grigliata di Rape e Kaki, Belgian endive tossed with roasted turnips, persimmon, ricotta salata, and balsamic cherry vinaigrette.
Don’t miss stand-out entrees such as the Lorighittas con Polpetti e Patate Dolci, hand-braided Sardinian pasta tossed with baby octopus and sweet potato; and the Coscetta di Anatra al Sugo Piccante, roasted Peking duck served with a spicy tomato garlic herb sauce & homemade potato gnocchi. Finish off the meal with sweet treats like Arcodoro’s homemade, spicy pumpkin ice cream.
Brunch and dinner receive a fall jolt with New Orleans-inspired dishes at Brennan’s. Indulge in the Hill Country quail fricassee crepe filled with stewed oyster mushrooms and creole veggies; Texas redfish on the half shell accompanied by cast iron-blackened fall vegetables and charred peppers; Tangipahoa Cushaw pumpkin and carrot soup topped with cayenne-spiced pepitas and all spice crème fraiche; or a Southern Fall harvest made with fire-roasted butternut squash, pickled okra, and pistachio butter.
Apples and creme pain perdu, eggs Creole with wood-grilled French toast, and a beef tenderloin breakfast round out Brennan’s fall brunch offerings.
Executive chef Antoine Ware transforms Harold’s dinner menu with fall-centric bites reminiscent of the Deep South. Foie gras gets its due with dishes such as the chicken fried pork chop roasted with cast-iron potatoes and mixed fall vegetables, topped with foie gras gravy; and a pistachio-crusted foie gras torchon served with apple gastrique and jalapeno apple salad.
Don’t leave without a taste of the blue crab-stuffed Gulf fish served with black eyed peas, house-made tasso ragout and tomato jam; the roasted quail stuffed with andouille sausage and cornbread accompanied by butternut squash and local vegetables; and the vegetables du jour — a seasonal, wood-grilled, vegetable ragout with potato gnocchi and tomato coulis.
Burgers get the fall treatment with homegrown, organic burgers at Jerry’s. The Divine Burger is giving patrons their fall fixe with a chicken or beef patty topped with chopped bacon, cranberries, goat cheese, a caramelized onion comporte, arugula, and roasted garlic and honey aioli. For those craving lighter fare, the grab-and-go restaurant is also offering a harvest salad, crafted with kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, and apples, then topped with a house-made honey vinaigrette.
Dropping temperatures aren’t deterring us from savoring some of our favorite frozen treats. Steel City Pops is satisfying our sweet tooth with a number of seasonally-flavored pops. Fruity renditions include cinnamon apple, bosc pear with honey, cranberry orange, and plum with rosemary.
As for Steel City’s creamy pops, butter pecan takes the top prize. You can also dive into creamy, festive holiday flavors such as egg nog, peppermint, pumpkin, rum raisin, and sweet potato pecan.
Now all that’s left is to grab your favorite seasonal pop, then dip, dredge, and drizzle until your heart’s content.
Six flavor-packed dishes channel fall at Rice Village restaurant Sud Italia. Start with the carpaccio di polpo, a thinly sliced octopus carpaccio seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil dressing. Then go for the carbonara calabrese, spaghetti mixed with spicy Calabrian salami, eggs, and parmesan; or opt for the slow-braised rabbit with green olives in a red wine reduction.
Of course, there’s no harm in also sampling standouts from Sud’s regular dinner menu like the pizzaiola di spaghetti al nero di seppia, a squid ink pasta tossed with lobster meat and homemade pizzaiola; and the branzino al forno — a whole-roasted Mediterranean sea bass carved table side.
End your meal with a bottle of Sud Italia’s house-made limoncello.