Judging by the inescapable aroma of pumpkin spice in the air, fall is here. Far beyond the standard latte, pumpkin and other fall-flavored delicacies are abounding throughout Chicago these days. From beer to dessert, here's where you should be feasting on fall ingredients around town.
RPM Steak (66 W. Kinzie St.)
Seasonal steaks get the veggie treatment at RPM Steak (pictured above), as chef/partner Doug Psaltis exhibits his penchant for dexterous cookery. New to the menu for the season is his spice roasted butternut squash "steak" with hazelnuts and preserved lemon.
Reno (2607 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
The butternut squash pizza is back at Reno. A seasonal sensation at this Logan Square keystone, the pizza features an array of butternut squash ribbons, sunflower seeds, sage and Gouda.
Owen + Alchemy (2355 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
One sip of Owen + Alchemy's No. 33 juice and you'll forget all about those pumpkin spice lattes. Essentially fall in a bottle, this bright orange beverage is a heady medley of sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, cinnamon and ginger, and it's as delicious as it is beautiful.
Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club (3700 N. Halsted St.)
Fall martinis are on deck at Kit Kat Lounge, resplendent with flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, apple cider and more. Cocktails include the Pumpkin Pie Martini made with Pinnacle Whipped vodka, pumpkin puree and a splash of cream; the Sticky Bun Martini with Pinnacle Cinnabun Vodka, Rumchatta, coconut cream and maple syrup; and the Fire Apple Cider Martini with Jim Beam Fire, Jim Beam Apple, apple cider and cranberry.
Dusek's Board and Beer (1227 W. 18th St.)
At Dusek's Board and Beer, ingredients like chestnuts, squash and sweet potato take the plate in more ways than one. The matsutaki risotto dish ties together chestnuts, shaved carrots, crispy sage, a smoked duck egg and Parmesan, while a roasted venison dish contains roasted delicata squash and sweet potato gnocchi.
Floriole Cafe & Bakery (1220 W. Webster Ave.)
It's raining pumpkins and apples at Floriole Cafe & Bakery. The seasonally-minded Lincoln Park staple is embracing the season in bold, flavorful ways via unique creations like the Calvados-splashed Normandy apple cake, pumpkin sticky buns, pumpkin-shaped gingerbread cookies and butternut squash tarts over a gingerbread crust.
Gingersnap Sweets & Such (1416 W. Irving Park Rd.)
For more special fall desserts, look no further than Gingersnap Sweets & Such. This crafty bakery has a slew of novel creations on deck, including squash- and ricotta-filled pasties (aka savory hand pies), pumpkin gooey butter cake, caramel-poached apple bostock, bourbon pecan tarts, apple cranberry tarts, and more.
Pub Royale (2049 W. Division St.)
Revel Room (1566 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
Trenchermen (2039 W. North Ave.)
In terms of autumnal cocktails, the Heisler Hospitality collective has you covered. Try the aromatic Wassail at Pub Royale, made with a blend of apples, cider, Madeira, port, and spices, or opt for the "Of Quarters & Halves" at Revel Room, a drink featuring Rittenhouse Rye, Halfwit cold brew coffee, Amaro, cacao, and Bitterman's New Orleans Coffee Bitters. Just down the street, Trenchermen is featuring a cider-based drink on draft called Newton's Flaw, with ginger, clove, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and Rittenhouse Rye. It can also be ordered non-alcoholic.
Lowcountry (3343 N. Clark St.)
Marion Street Market (100 S. Marion St., Oak Park)
Another apt potable is the Pumpkin Old Fashioned at Lakeview's newly opened Lowcountry. Here, the cocktail classic gets an update with pumpkin spice syrup, black walnut bitters, and a cinnamon stick. Another spot slinging newfangled Old Fashions is Marion Street Market in Oak Park. Spiced apple cider is the bill of fare for this rendition, outfitted with chili peppers, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
DryHop Brewers (3155 N. Broadway St.)
Corridor Brewery & Provisions (3446 N. Southport Ave.)
Goose Island (1800 W. Fulton St.)
Of course, we can't forget the fall beers. DryHop Brewers has a pumpkin stout titled "Starry Night in Sleepy Hollow" made with sugar pumpkins, spices, and lactose, while new sister spot Corridor Brewery & Provisions (opening October 15) is making a farmhouse ale called "Nibble, Nibble Little Mouse," rife with pumpkin spice ad walnut. Goose Island is of course getting in on the action as well, with their third Fulton and Wood beer called "The Great Road." It's a Dunkel-cider blend rich with dark malt and apples courtesy of Seedling Farms.
Photos: RPM Steak, Jason Normann (Reno), Owen + Alchemy, Dusek's Board and Beer, Gingersnap Sweets & Such, Lowcountry