Fall Flavors: Philadelphia Region’s Best Autumnal Dishes

October 31, 2022 – Mid-autumn means crisp temps, fall foliage, and a transition from lighter fare to richer flavors and hearty ingredients. To celebrate this delightful season, we’ve rounded up our favorite harvest-focused fare from the region’s premier restaurants including Forsythia, Oloroso, Patchwork, Rex at The Royal, Royal Boucherie, Stella of New Hope, The Twisted Tail, Townsend EPX, and Urban Farmer.

Forsythia, Old City’s modern and innovative French restaurant and bar helmed by Chef Christopher Kearse, is known for serving up ultra-seasonal modern French cuisine which tends to rotate weekly with current festive fixtures including Bone Marrow Roasted Octopus ($20) with yuzu vinegar, pistachio, and pickled honeynut squash, Pumpkin & Black Truffle Beignets ($15) featuring apple butter and miso remoulade, Braised Beef Cheek consisting of coffee and crispy shallot, bone marrow, coffee-pumpkin purée, and au poivre sauce, and Verlasso Salmon Crudo ($16) dressed in apple cider emulsion, dill, green apple, and daikon.

Oloroso, Philadelphia’s premier Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant in the heart of Center City, has a host of fall-themed tapas and larger dishes sure to wow any food-enthusiast courtesy of Executive Chef Jason Peabody including Setas ($13), a tapa of mushroom conserva, migas, sun-dried tomato, and sherry, Coca Blanca ($13), a flatbread tapa covered in caramelized onion, potato, smoked royal trumpet mushroom, mahon, and rosemary, and the seasonally-refreshed Paella Verdura ($52/$74) filled with roasted fall squash, cauliflower, grapes, and salsa macha.

Patchwork, a lively restaurant and bar focused on New American cuisine nestled on the second floor of Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia, is serving fall flavors and autumnal delights to locals and tourists alike including Pan Seared Gnocchi ($22) with butternut squash, cauliflower broccolini, and tomato basil butter, and Roasted Chicken ($24) with kohlrabi au gratin, heirloom baby carrots, and jus.

Rex at The Royal, Philadelphia’s home for elevated Lowcountry fare housed in the historic and newly rejuvenated Royal Theater, boasts a host of autumn-forward dishes fit to make any meal feal like a royal feast. Standouts include Grilled Fall Squash ($15) fashioned with maitake mushrooms, cauliflower, espelette pepper, and served with a side of hot water cornbread, Farmer’s Market Salad ($14) composed of roasted beets, heirloom carrots, turnips, red onion, local kale, apples, and benne seed dressing, Carolina Mushroom Hot Dip ($18) comprised of country-fried hen of the woods mushrooms, hot sauce, and pickled red onion, and the hearty Madeira Braised Pork Shank ($34) with sides of candied sweet potatoes and simmered cabbage.

Royal Boucherie, Old City’s lively and atmospheric neighborhood bistro, recently rejuvenated the French-focused menu with an array of seasonal, indulgent small plates and entrées. Highlights include Warm Foie Gras ($28) displayed on a walnut financier dressed with fruit compote and drizzled with gastrique, making for a truly decadent appetizer or side, and the veg-friendly Wild Mushrooms ($15), utilizing in-season roasted local mushrooms, white wine, garlic, and tarragon.

Stella of New Hope, the modern American restaurant on the Delaware River helmed by seasoned Executive Chef Michael O’Halloran in New Hope, PA, has an array of contemporary dishes that resonate with the beautiful fall foliage of the area including Roasted Kabocha Squash & Local Apple Bisque ($12) topped with curried pumpkin seeds and cinnamon crème fraîche, Whole Grain Casarecce Pasta ($28) prepared with wild mushroom ragout, wild mushroom broth, caramelized cabbage, asparagus, and ricotta salata, and Harissa & Cider Roasted Koginut Squash ($28) served with cardamon custard, pomegranate, rye berry pilaf with sundried cherries & toasted pistachios, and farmers cheese.

The Twisted Tail, the quintessential restaurant, bar and live music venue nestled in Headhouse Square, has captured the flavors of autumn with seasonal dishes such as Maitake Mushroom ($12) dressed in truffle vinaigrette and chives, Lioni Burrata ($14) consisting of kabocha squash, maple, and pumpkin seed, and BBQ Smoked Ribs ($12) cooked low and slow with bourbon, maple, and pickled vegetables.

Townsend EPX, Chef Townsend Wentz’s award-winning French restaurant and bar on East Passyunk Avenue, presents an all-new seasonal refresh of elegant French fare with dishes capitalizing on harvest ingredients and flavors including Pumpkin Bisque ($16) seasoned with ginger, maple, and pepitas, Sauteed Sweetbreads ($18) paired with trumpet mushroom and Swiss chard, dressed with tomato jam and red wine jus, Duck Tortellini ($16) stuffed with wild mushrooms and foie gras and topped with duck fat breadcrumb, and Roasted Romanesco ($28) composed of romanesco broccoli, spiced carrot, pear, and cauliflower cream.

Urban Farmer, the rural-chic farm-to-table mainstay located in historic Logan Square, has brought the quintessential fall harvest to its menu with a bevy of dishes utilizing the season’s ingredients including Kabocha Squash and Apple Bisque ($13) seasoned with pumpkin seed and sage oil, Roasted Squash ($25) with quinoa, pepitas, and dressed with za’atar coconut yogurt, and their Freebird Half Chicken ($32) paired with butternut squash and apple hash, Swiss chard, and pomegranate.

Written by Tristan Kim and Eleni Sterious

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