Spooky Sips: Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

There is only one antidote for an overdose of Halloween candy and jack-o-lanterns — and that’s a drink or two. Tricks are for kids; treat yourself to one of these Halloween and Day of the Dead cocktails to get in the spirit of things.

Bleu Boheme, San Diego, California
Creatures of the night will be reaching for the new Sleepy Hollow cocktail just in time for Halloween. Made with mescal, allspice Dram liqueur, and an absinthe rinse, this creation is garnished with toasted rosemary. Wisps of smoke emanating from it resemble an eerie fog. Make a reservation at Bleu Boheme.

Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

Dusk at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida
The Witches Brew is a rich concoction of Absolut Elyx, Cointreau, POM Blueberry juice, and a hint of sweet and sour. Some dry ice and a black sugar rim give this fruity cocktail a sinister look and feel to get you in the mood. Make a reservation at Dusk at the Ritz-Carlton.

Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

Holsteins-The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada
Holsteins Shakes and Buns will offer the Graveyard Bam-BOOzled shake from through Halloween. This seasonal shake is created with vanilla ice cream and cherry vodka and is garnished with a graveyard made from Oreos, cherry sauce, a gummy skull, a mummy lollipop, a marshmallow Peep tombstone, bloody bones hard candy, and whipped cream finished with a candy corn-frosted rim. Get your drink and your candy fix all in one! Make a reservation at Holsteins-The Cosmopolitan.

Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

Rosa Mexicano-Tribeca, New York, New York
To celebrate Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos, certified mezcalier Courtenay Greenleaf created the Rising of the Dead cocktail. It’s a spicy margarita with pineapple and basil, playfully garnished with two red chiles de arbol standing upright to resemble someone rising from the grave. Every sip is equal parts mysterious and spicy. Make a reservation at Rosa Mexicano.

Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

Calavera, Oakland, California
At this Mexican restaurant in uptown Oakland, you’ll find the Ancient Corn Old Fashioned just in time for the Day of the Dead and Halloween. It combines Mezcal Vago ‘Elote’ harvest mezcal, bourbon, housemade pumpkin-spiced bitters, carved rock, and a homemade spiced caramel lollipop – the best flavors of fall in a single glass. Make a reservation at Calavera.

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Good Gourd: 12 Pumpkin Desserts to Celebrate the Season

Once a humble, orange gourd best known for adorning dining room tables and decorating doorsteps, pumpkin has become a divisive element of the fall culinary landscape. Each year, pumpkin in all forms appears in coffee shops, grocery stores, and restaurants across the country, to the delight of some and exhaustion of others. We’re taking a stance, though, however controversial: we love pumpkin. Whether it be the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte, a creamy, comforting bowl of soup, or a hot-from-the-oven bread, we’re all in. However, pumpkin desserts reign supreme in our diets. From tiramisu to fritters to the most distinctly autumn ice cream sandwich, check out how chefs from around the country do justice to our favorite fall flavors.

Ginger Snap Cookie and Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich, CBD Provisions, Dallas, Texas
This modern-yet-inviting brasserie in the heart of downtown Dallas is open all day, but make sure to stop in for lunch or dinner for a taste of fall on a plate. Executive pastry chef Keith Cedotal combined two of the season’s best, most quintessential flavors in his Gingersnap Cookie Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich with housemade cookies and a coating of pumpkin seeds for a little added texture. If we could dole these out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, we’d officially be the most popular house on the block. Make a reservation at CBD Provisions.

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Spice Gelato, Alla Spina, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Among the many reasons to love chef Marc Vetri’s Italian gastropub is the extensive beer selection (including the Victory Verde, a saison made exclusively for the Vetri family restaurants,) the comforting yet impressive, pork-centric menu, and, not least, the soft serve gelato. Flavors change seasonally, but this fall enjoy a Pumpkin Spice swirl in a cup, on a cone, or, for a little pick me up, an affogato with a shot of espresso. Make a reservation at Alla Spina.

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Basque Cake, The Bristol, Chicago, Illinois
Renowned chef Grant Achatz has called the Basque cake at this beloved American restaurant in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood one of his favorite desserts in the city. A staple on the menu, pastry chef Amanda Rockman has given the cake an autumn spin, adding pumpkin marmalade — made from scratch by cooking a mixture of small diced pumpkin tossed in maple sugar and lemon zest — and a garnish of candied sage, spiced pumpkin seeds, and maple chantilly to the classic Spanish dessert. “If you can find them, the best pumpkin for marmalade that I have found is called a Long Island Cheese Squash,” asserts Chef Rockman. “Odd name, but great pumpkin.” Make a reservation at The Bristol.

Pumpkin desserts

Tiramisu’ Alla Zucca, Lago, Las Vegas, Nevada
At this stylish spot in the Bellagio, get a front row seat to the resort’s famous fountain show while enjoying plates like crudo, small pizzas, and focaccia. And for those celebrating Thanksgiving in town, don’t miss the seasonal spin on the traditional Italian dessert. Tiramusu’ Alla Zucca layers pumpkin mascarpone mousse onto espresso-soaked lady fingers in an indulgent, impressive — and appropriately Vegas — presentation. Make a reservation at Lago.

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Cake in a Box, BOA Steakhouse, Santa Monica, California
The classic steakhouse gets an L.A. twist at this perpetually buzzing Santa Monica hot spot. After treating yourself to a juicy steak — the 40-day, dry-aged New York Strip or bone-in Kansas City filet mignon are among the many menu heavy-hitters — the Cake in a Box is an apt ending. With moist, spiced pumpkin cake, vanilla cream cheese icing, anisette cream, and candied pecans, the “box” aspect of this dessert means taking it to go is just as easy as diving in on site. Make a reservation at BOA Steakhouse.

Pumpkin Desserts

Baked Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts, Taste on Melrose, West Hollywood, California
Paired with a hot coffee at brunch or saved for dessert at lunch or dinnertime, the Baked Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut — made with a soft pumpkin brioche, drenched in butter, and covered in cinnamon and sugar — makes for a perfectly autumn indulgence at this warm little neighborhood spot. Or, opt for the spicy Pumpkin Crumb Cake, topped with an almond nutmeg crumb layer. With ample outdoor seating for L.A.’s 364 days of sunshine, enjoy either one of executive pastry chef Katie Shyne’s house-baked creations and win fall. Make a reservation at Taste on Melrose.

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In Season: 10 Top Corn Dishes to Order Now

Corn is summer’s comfort food, especially as the sunshine season comes to an end and you want to hang on to its best flavors. Fresh corn on the cob with drippy butter and those plastic metal pronged holders is a #ThrowbackThursday childhood food memory for sure. Fast forward to, well, now, when you’ll find corn has husked its boring boiled reputation and reinvented itself in some dishes you may not  recognize — but will surely want to get to know. Here are 10 top corn dishes to order now — from the classic cob to more creative takes on the yellow summer goddess, such as spicy elote (translation: Mexican street corn).

Slate, New York, New York
Chef Darryl Harmon has introduced Elote to his late summer menu — corn with Ancho-lime spiked sauce and cotija cheese. The Jersey corn comes to this Flatiron District restaurant from a family-owned-and-operated New Jersey farm. Sweet. Make a reservation at Slate.

Top Corn Dishes

The Clam, New York, New York
Think corn-on-the-cob for dummies. It’s called Charred Sweet Corn Off the Cob — basically, it’s sweet corn (taken straight off the cob), charred, and seasoned with some chili, parmesan and a squeeze of lime. Easier to eat and no more corn-stuck-in-teeth Instagram shots. Make a reservation at The Clam.

Top Corn Dishes

Sarsaparilla Club at The Shelbourne, South Beach, Florida
This just-opened American Dim Sum restaurant in the Shelborne Wyndham Grand Hotel South Beach honors the iconic late-summer treat with its Corn 4 Ways dish. It’s grilled sweet corn, cornbread butter, cornbread crumbs and lemon popcorn — a ménage a quatre. Make a reservation at Sarsaparilla Club at The Shelbourne.

Top Corn Dishes

Bleu Boheme, San Diego, California
Executive chef-owner Ken has debuted a twist on traditional pot de crème to his menu, adding fresh corn and blueberries to the French classic. The corn is roasted, the cobs are shucked, and the kernels are pureed and added to the custard mixture. It’s then crowned with fresh blueberry preserves. Voila! Make a reservation at Bleu Boheme.

Top Corn Dishes

Marrow, Indianapolis, Indiana
The elote at this Indy restaurant is dolled up with ancho mayo, cobija chili, and lime. And, by the way, Indiana makes the top-five-states-list for mass production of corn and this year’s crop is the second-largest corn crop in Indiana history (and the season is still youngish.) Now you know. Make a reservation at Marrow.

Top Corn Dishes

Therapy, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Fire Roasted Street Corn here is great therapy for end-of-summer blues. It’s made with fire-roasted corn, obvs, and seasoned with lime aioli, chili pepper, and parmesan cheese. The fresh corn comes from Simoni & Massoni Farms out of Byron, California. Make a reservation at Therapy.

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June 2016 Restaurant Weeks: Where to Save on Dining This Spring

June 2016 Restaurant Weeks

Delicious ways to save this month in a city near you…

* Milwaukee Downtown Dining Week brings three-course $12.50 lunches and $25 + $35 dinners to Brew City, June 2-9. Make a reservation.

* Lake Geneva Restaurant Week is sure to delight with $10 gourmet lunches and $25 + $35 dinners, June 3-12. Make a reservation.

* Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week has $28, $38 + $48 dinners for desert diners, June 3-12. Make a reservation.

* Triangle Restaurant Week is almost here. Don’t miss multi-course $15 lunches and $20, $25 + $30 dinners, June 6-12. Make a reservation.

* Las Vegas Restaurant Week is a sure thing with $20 + $30 lavish lunches and $30, $40, $50 + $80 dinners, June 6-17. Make a reservation.

* Coral Gables Restaurant Week offers more than two weeks of steals on meals. Take advantage of $23-$28 lunches + $27-$40 dinners, June 6-26. Make a reservation.Continue Reading