Chestnuts are no longer just roasting over an open fire. The filling and flavorful nuts are a favored ingredient in belly-warming winter dishes. These chestnut dishes will bring comfort on even the dreariest of days.
Nickel & Diner, New York, New York
Ribbons of pappardelle are made with a blend of chestnut and pasta flours. The svelte streamers are mixed with a rich ragu featuring slow-cooked veal breast and maitake mushrooms. The dish is topped off with shaved Pecorino cheese to amplify the nutty notes. Make a reservation at Nickel & Diner.
Dirty Habit, Washington, D.C.
This soup will warm you up on the coldest days. Cream-based, it’s fortified with chestnuts and salsify. A scattering of salsify chips add crunch, while a dollop of foie gras butter adds umami oomph. Make a reservation at Dirty Habit.
Waypoint, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Crunchy salt cod fritters come with an unusual dip: chestnut aioli. The slightly sweet, garlicky sauce is the perfect complement to the briny fish sticks. Squeeze on the charred lemon to add a hit of acid. Make a reservation at Waypoint.
Le DeSales, Washington, D.C.
Rabbit is marinated in honey and beer before getting cooked low ‘n’ slow. The meat is tossed with wide garlands of tagliatelle, fresh spinach, and seasonal chestnuts. The results are the epitome of comfort food. Make a reservation at Le DeSales.
Equinox, Washington, D.C.
Hearty and heartwarming. The luxuriant soup is forged from local chestnuts and porcini mushrooms. Medjool dates, leek fondue, and crispy sage add the finishing touches. Make a reservation at Equinox.
Sixteen, Chicago, Illinois
Meet the Dostal-ini. The tubular chestnut pasta with a peaked roof is the creation of executive chef Nick Dostal. The loveable log is complemented with porcini mushrooms and Nepitella mint. Make a reservation at Sixteen.
Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
There’s a reason this dish is a classic – it’s downright delicious. Chestnut pappardelle is lavished with coq au vin, sage, and plenty of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Just what you need on a chilly winter’s eve. Make a reservation at Centrolina.
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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.