Fall dining favorites?
What are some places you will be visiting more now that the fall is upon us? Any favorites that you like to visit especially in the fall?
How about favorite fall cocktails?
I can walk to Oleana, which is one of my all-time favorites. I don't go there a lot, but walking there with a snap or chill in the air on darkened streets and shortening days and going in this warm, delicious special treat place (esp when the fire is going in colder weather) and eating food that tastes like it had special care put into it and enjoying service that seems to care about my experience...well, yum all around. Bring on fall, I say!
A few thoughts, despite my not really being ready to abandon my late summer local-corn-and-tomatoes mindset for autumn quite yet:
Pumpkin: pumpkin ravioli at the Tuscan Grill (an annual tradition) and kaddo at The Helmand. Someone recently posted favorably here about pumpkin gnocchi at Antico Forno, a place I quite like, so that's on my list now too.
Apples: Formaggio-provisioned picnics in apple orchards during apple picking season, tarte tatine with cardamom creme fraiche at Petit Robert Bistro.
Cider: unpasteurized cider from local orchards: hot, cold, and/or mixed with bourbon or rum on brisk weekend days, especially with a college football game in front of it. My alma mater never wins, but with the right provisions, we don't care.
Choucroute garni: heartier fare like this, from places like Sandrine's and Brasserie Jo, are what I start thinking about when the weather gets brisk.
Polish food: I love Cafe Polonia, but I love it more in cool weather, when potato pancakes, borscht, stuffed cabbages, and fatty smoked sausages appeal to me more.
re: MC Slim JB
With the cool, damp weather yesterday, we stopped in to Cafe Polonia for lunch. Borscht warmed the core, with great mushroom dumplings. Split a combo plate - excellent grilled kielbasa with spicy mustard on the side - golumpki (stuffed cabbage) was also great - pierogies were ok, but would have browned/fried them more on the outside - heaping pile of kaputsa (fried sauerkraut) was studded with bits of meat but VERY vinegary. Not for everyone. DC had the potato pancakes, which were good with a side of sour cream, although they were essentially a combination of hash brown-y exterior with mashed potato interior. Not your Polish father's potato pancakes - I prefer shredded potato over this format. Still a great place to pop in for a good bit of food. Left very satisfied.
Places with open hearths like Sabur or Antico Forno, or any BBQ joint for that smokiness that smells so good when the weather turns cool.
Fall for me means matsutake mushrooms -- complex aromatic woodsy notes of pine and cedar. Would likely take good matsutake over white or black truffles. I've started to see it served as specials at some of the more upscale places in the area. Was actually wondering if anyone has had a good dish with these remarkable mushrooms.