The Changes of Fall

October 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Chef/Partner Dan Latham shares his thoughts on the seasonal shifts outside and on our menu.

Fall.  Summer departs and the season of real food arrives–the braising of meats till tender, the roasting of winter squash, the pressing of apples into cider. Now comes the beautiful color of change, a time to slow down and reflect, and the chance to let go and create.

Outside there is a snap in the air.  In the kitchen, too, we are falling into Fall.  From up the river we bring in Hudson Valley Duck which we roast,  gently turning the breast into Magret which we serve with a warm Pear Sauce and Mashed Sweet Potatoes laced with Goat Cheese. A new found connection in my quest for local, this upstate duck farm reminds me of the duck I knew growing up.  Beautiful crisp skin, a deep red rose color, the meat bursting with juicy flavors.

Raised in the Finger Lakes, this is the season I love.  Raking the turning maple leaves into huge piles to jump into. The smell of autumn left on my jacket.  In the vineyards the grape harvest in colors from deep purple to mossy green.   The vegetable garden is nipped by frost, the yellow orange butternut squash and deep acorn squash stand out ready to be picked.   In this spirit at the Café we slowly roast Butternut Squash to infuse our Mushroom Risotto drizzled with Truffle Oil and Shaved Parmesan.

My daughter loves the cool weather.  Me too!  It is the time I can bring out the slow cooked Belgian Beef Carbonade, Lamb Shanks tender to the bone, Duck Confit cooked in its own fat,  and Short Ribs slowly braised in a Fall Vegetable Gravy spiked with local Six Points Beer and resting on Parsley Mashed Potatoes.  A thin moist layer of fat between the meat, yum!

Fall… apples fall, pears fall, time for ciders, pies, crisps, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter and cream.  At the start of school every year we would travel along Keuka Lake to the Apple Barn to pick our Macs, Empires, and Cortland.  We sampled the orchard to find the perfect sweet, crisp, sour bite.  Then hot cider.  So… The Berkshire Pork Loin with caramelized apple and a cider reduction, perfumed with smokiness from the grill.   And to finish, our Pastry Chef has been making a Pumpkin Bourbon Ice Cream with a chocolate stirrer.

Come join us–take a trip to Cornelia Street to see the changes of Fall.



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