The appearance of squash at the farmer’s market heralds the arrival of fall. Chefs and bartenders love the gourds for their sweet ‘n’ savory flesh, which instantly adds an autumnal accent. Here are 15 restaurants for gourd-geous dishes, drinks, and desserts starring squash. Not near any of them? OpenTable has you covered with more than 51,000 restaurants for any craving or occasion.
Santina – New York, New York
This vegetarian carpaccio dazzles the eyes like an edible mosaic. Thin slices of butternut and delicata squashes are dotted with spiced honey agrodolce, pumpkin seeds, sage brown butter, pink peppercorns, and creme fraiche. Don’t forget to take a picture before you take a bite.
Stella Barra Pizzeria – Chicago, Illinois
Outlier – Seattle, Washington
The backbone of the Squashington Sour is a squash syrup featuring a wealth of warming spices – anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. The sweet and savory syrup is shaken with barrel-aged gin, lemon juice, and egg white to give it a velveteen texture. The cocktail is garnished with star anise and dashes of cranberry bitters.
Gracias Madre – West Hollywood, California
The Poni Room – New York, New York
True Food Kitchen – Bethesda, Maryland
Boqueria – Dupont, Washington, D.C.
Say “hola” to the calabaza con sobrasada. Roasted rings of sweet acorn are paired with toasted hazelnuts, Mahón cheese, and sobrasada, the soft, spreadable cured pork sausage from Mallorca. A drizzle of local honey adds a sweet finishing touch.
Bresca – Washington, D.C.
The Three Lady Shoofly cocktail riffs on Bolivia’s national drink: the Chuflay. As per usual, Singani (grape brandy) forms the backbone and the requisite ginger beer appears as a whipped topping. However, this complex rendition also includes squash juice to give it an autumnal profile.
Ambar – Washington, D.C.
This salad will give you all the fall feels. Generous chunks of squash are mixed with a mélange of greens, panko-crusted mozzarella, and crispy bacon. It’s tossed with sweetly tart pomegranate dressing.
Husk – Charleston, South Carolina
Grilled delicata squash stars in this fall standout. The nicely charred rings are complemented by smoked peaches, country ham, cornbread crumbles, and ají miso vinaigrette. It’s everything you want at this time of year.
Little Park – New York, New York
Mirabelle – Stony Brook, New York
Bluestem Brasserie – San Francisco, California
Generous layers of butternut squash spice cake bookend a layer of salted maple cheesecake. The triple-decker is thickly iced with espresso cookie butter frosting. Tart candied cranberries and a swoosh of cranberry sauce offset all the sweet components.
E&O Kitchen & Bar – San Francisco, California
The Conservatory – Half Moon Bay, California
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photos Credits: Noah Fecks, Rey Lopez