I love a good pumpkin spice latte as much as the next person, but now that everything comes in pumpkin (from cheesecake to pasta to candy corn and even skin creams), I've gotten more than a little burned out. Luckily, a combination of last weekend's Chicago Gourmet festival and the launch of every fall menu in town has left me with plenty of non-pumpkin options.
Stetsons Modern Steak and Sushi brought a perfect cup of fall to Chicago Gourmet that had roasted figs and mandarin orange, Cafe des Architectes showcased fall veggies like red pepper, eggplant, and yellow and green zucchini in a succulent terrine, and Farmhouse brought home made apple cider and caramel apple pie popcorn. Outside of the festival, Adamus at the Silversmith Hotel has a menu that heavily features things like goat cheese, mulling spices, and pear, while Hot Chocolate is showcasing a lot of root vegetables, sprouts and nuts.
While I may not see a spiced fig latte or walnut cheesecake all that often, peeking out from behind the wall of pumpkin-spice everything made me appreciate the coming of fall even more, though I may be reaching for a pumpkin chai from Julius Meinl the next time a polar vortex rolls into town.
Jessica Berson for bunnyandbrandy.com