As the leaves change colors and the air becomes more crisp, one of the most delightful aspects of the fall season is the excuse that cooler temperatures give us to indulge in heartier, more comforting foods than we might enjoy during swimsuit season. Autumn brings with it a cornucopia of distinct and comforting food flavors that evoke warmth and coziness. Here are 10 dishes from local restaurant menus that I think capture the fab flavors of fall.
SeventyOne Cheesy Ziti
At Snowbird’s SeventyOne restaurant – named for the year the resort opened – Chef George Lackey and his team dish up an array of comfort foods ranging from Gnocchi Fritti and Soft Pretzel Sticks to House-Smoked Chicken Wings and the popular Bacon in a Jar. But my favorite SeventyOne dish is the oh-so-comforting Cheesy Ziti with creamy white cheddar sauce, cremini mushrooms, baked ziti, and tender, tasty, shredded beef brisket.
Meatloaf, of course, is a comfort food classic that is especially apt for eating in autumn. And nobody does meatloaf better than Chef/Owner Jen Gilroy. At her Porch restaurant in Daybreak, Gilroy’s Meatloaf is made with a mixture of all-natural ground beef and pork, topped with a tomato-balsamic glaze, and served with buttermilk whipped spuds, charred green beans, tomato confit, and crispy carrot chips. It’s elevated comfort cuisine at its finest.
Pho 33 Pho Bo
Soup is always a no-brainer in the fall, and Vietnamese pho has all the heartwarming and soul-affirming flavors we’re yearning fo’. One of my favorite pho spots is Pho 33 in South Salt Lake. The broth for the Pho Bo with rib-eye at Pho 33 is excellent—beef bones simmered slowly and infused with fragrant flavors of onion, ginger, black cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon. Thinly sliced rib-eye is added to the steaming broth right before serving—just enough time to heat the beef and cook it rare—done perfectly. A generous portion of rice noodles are also perfectly cooked, just slightly firm—al dente—swimming in that wonderful beef broth with sliced onions and scallions.
Feldman’s Deli Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Is there a better autumn dish than a big serving of chicken pot pie? Well, this fall – for a limited time – Feldman’s Deli is serving hearty bowls of Chicken Pot Pie Soup, a brilliant idea. Fresh, tender chicken bits are cooked with corn, carrots, potatoes, and other veggies in a creamy soup, served with puff pastry on the side and garnished with scallions. It’s sensational soup! Come get it while it lasts.
Pine Cone Ridge Braised Lamb Shank
In Park City, Bill White’s Pine Cone Ridge serves contemporary American fare, including comforting dishes like Chicken Ala Queen, Broiled Oysters, Crab Cakes Louis, Chicken Fried Mushrooms, and much more. An autumn type dish that I really love there is the tender, tasty Braised Lamb Shank with heavenly stone ground grits, pickled veggies, luscious red chile mole, and guajillo pepper honey.
Trolley Cottage Cafe Croque Madame
In France, the classic sandwich called Croque Madame is a year-round classic, but particularly fab in the fall, when gooey cheese just seems appropriate. One of the best Croque Madame sandwiches I’ve ever gotten my lips around is made by Chef Olivier Bouillot at Trolley Cottage Cafe. High quality ham, Gruyere, hearty toast, Béchamel, and a fried egg come together to add up to much more than just a sum of its parts. It’s a super sandwich.
Little America Coffee Shop Roast Turkey Dinner
Turkey, obviously, is most closely associated with Thanksgiving and I love a turkey sandwich made from Thanksgiving Day leftovers. Well, at the Little America Coffee Shop, you can enjoy a hot turkey plate any time of year with their popular Roast Turkey Dinner. A gargantuan plate of freshly roasted turkey breast comes with mashed potatoes, sage dressing, a side of cranberry sauce, rich and creamy gravy, and side veggies. Or, enjoy the Hot Turkey Sandwich at lunchtime. It’s killer comfort food and it’s not made with leftovers.
Tupelo Park City Beef & Barley
Tupelo Park City is renowned for its global spin on comfort foods like Rocky Mountain Elk Bolognese and Charred Cauliflower with black lentil hummus. A favorite dish from the current fall menu at Tupelo is the rich and hearty “Beef & Barley.” It’s eight ounces of grilled sirloin with barley risotto, Gracie’s Greens, garlic puree, and seasonal vegetables.
Weller’s Bistro Das Schnitzel
Up in Layton, one of the most popular dishes at Jan Weller’s namesake Weller’s Bistro is Das Schnitzel, and justifiably so. It’s boneless pork loin pounded thin, cooked with parmesan breading, and comes with a choice of lemon caper beurre blanc, creamy mushroom sauce, or a bell pepper and onion sauce (zigeunersauce). The schnitzel also is served with rotkohl and bratkartoffeln alongside; that’s braised red cabbage with apple and roasted potatoes with onions and speck, respectively. It’s simply stellar schnitzel and the perfect Oktoberfest-type dish for autumn.
Villaggio PIzzeria Sausage Calzone
Last, but certainly not least, is one of my favorite foods from Villagio Pizzeria. Of course, Owner Ricci Rondinelli’s Villagio Pizzeria is most well-known for serving up the best NYC-style pizza in town. But his calzones are also killer. I especially love the Sausage Calzone, but there’s also a three cheese calzone with provolone, ricotta and mozzarella, and a pepperoni calzone. Why not just order all three?
How about you? Do you have any favorite fall-autumn type dishes? We’d love to hear about them!
Photos by Ted Scheffler & Courtesy
Culinary quote of the week: “The most powerful social media … it is not the internet, it is not Facebook – it is food. This connects all human beings.” – Alex Atala
Featured image courtesy of Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.