It’s the final weeks of corn season – the last stretch to enjoy the snap of sweet kernels before a long winter. While elote, or Mexican street corn, is practically everywhere, restaurants are serving up creative interpretations of this harvest favorite. From Nashville’s hip Henley (perfect for catch-up cocktails with friends) to the clubby Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Boston (great for a business huddle or to impress the in-laws), check out these inventive corn dishes.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Boston, Massachusetts
Toss the conventional comfort-food classic to the side at Del Frisco’s (available at the brand-new Boston location in Back Bay and nationwide), where creamed corn gets spiced up with blistered shishito peppers for a flavorful finish. Make it a well-rounded meal with the sweet-corn bisque appetizer, a lush soup topped with crispy tortilla strips and drizzled crema that pairs well with pan-seared scallops. Make a reservation at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse.
Stubborn Seed, Miami, Florida
South Beach is a long way from Australia, where the dessert is believed to have originated, but pavlova gets a contemporary revamp from chef Jeremy Ford. Light and airy and just right for refreshing finish, bay leaf meringue, strawberries, and Meyer lemon, (and, of course, corn) come together for a sweet and sour treat. Make a reservation at Stubborn Seed.
Hank’s Oyster Bar, Alexandria, Virginia
“Urban beach food” gets a little downhome twist, thanks to chef-owner Jaime Leeds. Her seasonal local corn and crab tamale is served with avocado and sour cream. Avo and corn aficionados can also opt for the avocado salad with shrimp, corn, tomatoes, red onions, and cilantro-jalapeno dressing. Make a reservation at Hank’s Oyster Bar.
Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Pancakes get a special accouterment with a popcorn garnish at Alden & Harlow, where chef-owner Michael Scelfo pickles corn from Concord’s Verrill Farm for corn pancakes served with roasted shishito peppers. Make a reservation at Alden & Harlow’s.
Kuro at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, Florida
Crispy and just right for sharing come kakiage Japanese fritters. Typically made with vegetables like onions and carrots, executive chef Alex Becker’s version includes a seasonal staple, tempura, sesame-flavored furikake flakes, and ichimi (seven-flavor chili powder). Make a reservation at Kuro at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Alma Cocina, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia peaches get pushed to the side by Alma Cocina’s executive chef Chad Clevenger, who blends summer and fall flavors in a colorful — and flavorful — charred-corn, watermelon, and radish salad. It’s served nightly atop pan-roasted snapper. Make a reservation at Alma Cocina.
Henley, Nashville, Tennessee
This is farm country, after all, so why not celebrate an ample harvest with a corn pop of another kind? The Last Year’s Crop is the perfect cocktail to clink glasses with. The cocktail features corn, tequila, mezcal, blackberry, lime, and a pinch of salt for the perfect combination of sour, sweetness, salt, and spice. Make a reservation at Henley.
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Carley Wade is a travel writer whose experiences eating street food in Japan, English peas in the UK, free-range steak in Argentina, and Brussels sprouts at Estragon tapas in her hometown of Boston have provided unforgettable culinary inspiration. Shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credits: Kristin Teig (Alden & Harlow); Michael Pisarri (Kuro); Grove Bay Hospitality (Stubborn Seed).