October is National Apple Month and we're looking forward to trying these sweet and savory apple dishes from some of our favorite chefs.
Apple and caraway make for an unexpectedly delicious dessert pairing at Nico Osteria. Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky's apple crostata ($12) is filled with apple butter, cider cream and apple slices flavored with caraway, cider zabaglione and a scoop of fennel gelato. “The top reminds me of a super-classy version of an old-school funnel cake,” she says. Omilinsky uses early fall apples from Klug and Ellis Farms and she prefers Fuji and Elstar for baking over Honeycrisp. 1015 N Rush St, 312-994-7100
Julienned Granny Smith apples add a sweet and tart finish to a beautiful heirloom tomato salad ($15.95) at this Gold Coast French bistro. “I wanted to create a spin on the steakhouse tomato salad Chicagoans love that is also seasonal, sophisticated and tasty,” Chef Martial Noguier explains. Lump crab meat is sandwiched between two thick slices of Nicholas Farm tomatoes and brioche croutons and avocado garnish the top. 840 N Wabash Ave, 312-944-8400
Chef Kevin McAllister pairs tart apple butter with sweet seared scallops ($16) in a new fall dish. “The apple and celery slaw adds a wonderful freshness and texture,” he says. McAllister gets his apples from Klug Farm and is currently using Gala and Honeycrisp apples although the varieties will change from week to week depending on what is available. 2018 W North Ave, 872-315-3060
The new apple tart ($11) at River North's Bohemian House is served with a scoop of currant-infused lillet blanc ice cream, an unexpected and sophisticated touch. “I took a family recipe that we’ve been serving at fall family gatherings for years and added my own spin on it,” Pastry Chef Celina Torres says. “I like the tartness of Granny Smith apples, which is cut by the buttery crust and balanced by the light and refreshing ice cream.” 11 W Illinois St, 312-955-0439
Caramel sauce is poured tableside over plump apple fritters ($12) served with candied almonds, dulce de leche crème and toasted cinnamon ice cream at this hip West Loop restaurant. Pastry Chef Ashley Danello uses Honeycrisp apples from Seedling Farms in Michigan and her own sourdough starter for the fritters. Caramel sauce is very easy to make at home,” she says. “It’s just sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream. But you can add one part apple cider or pumpkin puree for a seasonal twist on the traditional recipe.” 845 W Washington Blvd, 312-265-1130
Although Salero is a Spanish restaurant, the Basque region of Spain, with its many French influences, led Pastry Chef Celeste Rogers to stick with classical French technique in her 20-hour apple terrine ($10) with Honeycrisp apples from Klug Farms. “Slow cooking the apples is actually a very hands off process, but time consuming,” Rogers says. “It’s really worth it in the end because the process highlights a more in-depth of flavor.” 621 W Randolph St, 312-466-1000