by Jenn Rubin - 27 Reviews - 4 List
Orange you glad that pumpkin is back on the menu? There are, of course, the seasonal classics like soup, pie and ice cream, but the festive gourd also pops up in unexpected dishes like pumpkin potato chips and pumpkin curry. Check out Boston's array of traditional and unusual pumpkin-themed plates--they're so tasty, you'll soon be grinning like a jack-o'-lantern.
(Photo: Sweet's pumpkin cupcakes by Jenn Rubin)
Updated: October 23, 2009
PUMPKIN CUPCAKES: If there were a contest for the world's biggest pumpkin cupcake, this pretty-in-pink patisserie would certainly have one of the top contenders. Available until Halloween, the ?Great Pumpkin,? complete with frosting leaves and cream cheese filling, is three times as large as a regular cupcake. Regardless of the season, two pumpkin cupcake are always on the menu: One comes topped with cream cheese frosting, and the other is coated with graham crackers and piled high with nutmeg-dusted whipped cream.
PUMPKIN RISOTTO: The orange gourd plays double-duty in this restaurant's pumpkin risotto, acting as both the main ingredient and the serving bowl. The kitchen serves the thick risotto (containing chicken, dried cranberries, baby spinach and caramelized onion) inside of hollowed-out baby pumpkins. The century-old Southie bar also has pumpkin ravioli with chicken and fried leeks on the menu.
PUMPKIN CURRY: Pumpkin on a plate might be one of the best universal languages we know. Though not all Thai restaurants serve it, pumpkin curry is a traditional dish. Enjoy it at this family-owned Thai restaurant in Stoneham, and don't forget to finish things off with pumpkin custard for dessert.
PUMPKIN PIE: It tastes just like Grandma used to make it. This Somerville sweetshop offers a dozen different types of pie, but come fall, pumpkin is one of its most popular sellers. A thin, crispy shell holds a creamy puree seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg. There's also a cake version, which is topped with cream cheese frosting and pumpkin-shaped candy.
PUMPKIN BEER, PUMPKIN CHIPS: Despite the Oak Bar's resemblance to a British officer's club, with its marble fixings and a painted coffered ceiling, the Fairmont Copley's hotel bar has turned its fall beer menu into a regular pumpkin patch. Regional brews on the menu include Pumpkin Ale from Smuttynose Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing in Portland, Maine; and Pumple Drumkin Draft from Cisco Bay Brewing in Nantucket. To add more orange to your order, bite into the bar's pumpkin-spiced potato chips with French onion dip.
KADDO: This pan-fried pumpkin dish can only outshined by the bright yellow walls and colorful carpets furnishing this fine-dining Afghan restaurant. The kitchen constructs kaddo--it means pumpkin in Farsi--as an appetizer mixed with ground beef sauce and a garlic yogurt drizzle. For those seeking a full-on pumpkin meal, the kaddo and banjan challow entree is prepared with pumpkin, eggplant, beef, rice and tomato sauce.
PUMPKIN MARTINI: Amidst modern art and classy Mediterranean cuisine, bartenders at this restaurant in the North End mix up a Halloween sweet treat that's just for the adults. The restaurant recreates pumpkin pie in glass by fusing Voyant chai liqueur, Stoli Vanilla, sugar-roasted pumpkin puree and cinnamon. You'll lick up the attention to detail--the rim of the martini even comes with a graham cracker crust coating.
PUMPKIN ICE CREAM: This ice cream parlor in Harvard Square packs each rich, cinnamon-scented scoop with pieces of pie crust and chunks of pumpkin. It's just one of the approximately 30 homemade selections offered at this standing room-only shop.
PUMPKIN PASTA: This specialty grocery store in Davis Square rolls out two types of pumpkin ravioli daily. One version features fresh sage; the other, smoked mozzarella. To bring out the flavor of the pumpkin, pair these ravioli with the shop's homemade nutmeg or smoked tomato cream sauces. Gourmands can also peruse a variety of domestic and imported wines, cheeses, chocolates and other artisanal items to go with any fall-themed meal.
PUMPKIN SOUP: In addition to pumpkin creme brulee and gelato, this sophisticated South End Italian kitchen serves up a pumpkin soup as refined as the shapely chandeliers and classical pillars in the elegant dining room. Its version of this classic fall appetizer includes traditional spices, like nutmeg and ginger, mixed with more unusual ingredients like carrots and Caribbean potatoes.