Ring in the colder months with decadent macaroni and cheese, a new brunch bounty and more.
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Forget looking at the leaves. We’re here to suggest a new — and way tastier — activity: Fall Menu Peeping, where you don your thick knits and roam the city, savoring treats from new seasonal menus at favorite restaurants and a few new arrivals. From mini-golf putting paired with poutine to seafood toast, everyone welcomes these hearty, fall-friendly meals.
After a leaner schedule in recent years, dinner at Chickadee has been increasing nightly since earlier this month, and chef John DaSilva has added some new delights to the menu. Alongside signature dishes like shishito peppers with parmesan chili crunch, try the new Jonah crab toast on grilled sourdough, which gets its kick from zhoug, a green chili cilantro spice. “We’re making a green crab aioli, which I’m told is an invasive species, so I guess we’re doing our part,” DaSilva says, laughing. How can you contribute, you ask? Plan lots of swarms for the Mediterranean-style location in the innovation and design building and bring your friends with you. You might also recognize a recent return trip: the smoked scallops over a warm scalloped potato salad topped with trout roe, crème fraîche and herbs hark back to DaSilva’s days at the Spoke Wine Bar in Somerville. Stay tuned for a new dim sum wagon of raw bar beauties and hot specials launching later this winter.
21 Drydock Ave., Seaport District, Boston, 617-531-5591, chickadeerestaurant.com.
The quiet couple
You can thank the falling temperatures for your chance to dip into the velvety cheese sauce of Quiet Few’s mac and cheese, which returned to the menu at the popular Eastie bar and restaurant earlier this month. It’s the dream of slipping into a hot tub of this stuff – while sipping a new-to-the-menu WhistlePig eighteen-year-old double-malt rye, of course – but in the meantime enjoying it on clam pasta and topped with Ritz cracker crumbles and Herbs. “I’m a big fan of macaroni and cheese, but so far the fancy broccoli has gotten a lot of attention, too,” says owner Josh Weinstein of the fall dishes. Get a jump on those inevitable “eat more veggies” New Year’s resolutions with an order of oven-roasted chic broccoli — sure, it’s topped with cheez whiz, bacon bits, and strings of onions, but it still counts. When it comes to new cocktails, Coffee & Cigarettes is the answer to customers craving espresso martinis. “It’s our own twist, with a German rye whiskey that has tons of dark chocolate and coffee notes,” he says.
331 Sumner St., East Boston, 617-561-1061, thequietfew.com.
There are few more music-to-the-ear phrases in the English language than “new brunch menu”. And the just-launched autumn brunch menu at Grana is more than lyrical – perfect for the glamorous digs of the Langham’s Italian eatery, reminiscent of an opera hall. Inspired by fall flavors and locally sourced produce, the bevy of brunch bites include a carbonara riff on classic Benedict with pancetta and pecorino hollandaise, as well as decadent savory cannoli stuffed with creamy lobster salad and topped with optional caviar. For a sweet twist, try the pumpkin French toast, which sings with a pumpkin seed crumble and a rum-raisin sauce that “cuts the richness with hints of aniseed and cinnamon,” according to Executive Chef Stephen Bukoff. “For the rum and raisin sauce, we essentially make an anglaise by beating the egg yolks and sugar and adding warm cream,” he continues. “But the icing on the cake is the rum-soaked raisins, which are pureed and folded in.” For a duet of seasonal alcoholic goodness, pair it with a pumpkin espresso martini.
250 Franklin St., Downtown Boston, 617-956-8765, langhamhotels.com.
Want to make some plans for the weekend? Bet on Puttshack, a technical take on high-energy mini-golf – a la social darts destination Flight Club and pumped-up ping pong court Spin – that just opened at the Seaport. The Chicago-based brand’s newest outpost sees four miniature golf courses spread over two floors, with two bars and a main dining area on the first floor. Though the emphasis is on mini-golf, expect big flavors from the globally-inspired fare, from Korean bao buns with smoked pork to spiced up Canadian poutine with red wine bacon sauce and goat cheese crumbles. Mark Boyton, Puttshack’s VP of Global Food and Beverage, cites the Boston-specific Boston Tailpipe as a favorite snack. “Of course, we took Boston’s undying love of lobster and created a creamy, decadent lobster mac and cheese spring roll served with fresh tarragon aioli,” he says. Additionally, a dollar from every purchase of the dish will benefit the Wonderfund of Massachusetts youth nonprofit. Miniature golf plus lobster and local love might be just what you’re looking for — or more than anything.
58 Pier 4 Blvd., Seaport District, Boston, puttshack.com/locations/boston.
We have already pointed you to the delights of Italy and beyond of Tonino, which has just opened in JP. But if you need another nudge to give in to the temptation of the Tonino, take inspiration from chef Luke Fetbroth and order his favorite tomato tart. “I grew up driving to Philly to visit family, where tomato pie was the arrival treat we looked forward to after six hours in the car,” he says. “Ours might not be the most traditional — we swap out the thick tomato paste-like sauce for a lighter, brighter tomato sauce and use our homemade Pizza Bianca dough, which has a more open crumb than the typical focaccia-like bread — but it always is another piece that takes me back to my childhood every time I eat it.”
669 Center St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-9217, toninojp.com.