Sweaters have made their first appearances and the air has turned crisp, but the traditional pumpkin spice latte isn’t the only fall flavor to celebrate the change of seasons.
Now that it officially feels like autumn in the District, you’ll want to factor in some fall dishes before restaurants swap them out out for winter dishes around Thanksgiving. From apple butter oatmeal cookie ice cream to butternut squash-stuffed tortellini, here are some culinary creations from around D.C. that offer a fresh take on fall flavors.
Pumpkin Bar – Buttercream Bakeshop
Satisfy your pumpkin craving on the go without a bland latte in a to-go cup by grabbing a layered pumpkin cake bar from Buttercream Bakeshop in Shaw.
This fall, the bakery is serving up various seasonal sweets, including a noteworthy pumpkin bar ($3.50). Served chilled, the pumpkin bar is similar in both taste and consistency to a dense square of cake, topped with cream cheese frosting and roasted pumpkin seeds. The bar has two layers separated with frosting, and each layer has walnuts and chocolate chips mixed into the sweet and spice-filled cake. The cake layers aren’t as sugary, so the frosting provides the perfect amount of sweetness and the pumpkin seeds and walnuts added a nice crunch.
Buttercream Bakeshop, located downtown at 1250 Ninth St. NW, is the perfect stop for when you need something sweet. From cupcakes, scones, bars and even freshly brewed Compass Coffee, Buttercream Bakeshop has any dessert you could desire. With a pastel-filled interior, hot coffee and enough pumpkin bars to satisfy you and all your friends, Buttercream Bakeshop is worth a stop this fall.
Brown Butter Bourbon Bread Pudding – Puddin’
If you’re craving rich, melt-in-your-mouth Southern comfort food, then look no further. Try Puddin’s signature and namesake dish: brown butter bourbon bread pudding.
Traditional bread pudding is a sweet dessert made with day-old bread, milk, eggs and butter often sweetened with sugar, syrups, honey or spices. The brown butter bourbon bread pudding from Puddin’ challenges the bland reputation of classic bread pudding with a sugary, syrupy bourbon sauce drizzled generously over a soft, gooey base of spongy bread. While the overall dish is moist and fluffy, the bourbon sauce cascades through the cracks of the bread pudding, turning every bite into a mix of delicious, warm ingredients.
Owner and chef Toyin Alli got her start as a vendor at Eastern Market, but Puddin’ has now expanded to Union Market six days a week and has two food trucks that frequent places like Chinatown and outside the World Bank. While a petite ($6) is the perfect size for one person, you may want to opt for a medium ($8) or grand ($10) if you’re in the mood to share. Grab a friend and head over to the market of choice, or hunt down one of the two food trucks.
Butternut Squash-Stuffed Tortelloni – Darlington House’s
If you prefer your vegetables hidden inside pasta, head to Dupont Circle for Darlington House’s fresh butternut squash-stuffed tortelloni ($17).
Handmade pasta meets farm-to-table squash in a light butter sage sauce that lets the butternut and ricotta cheese filling shine. While the outside texture of the pasta is soft and smooth, the cubed butternut squash adds density and heavy flavor packed inside. The butternut and sage combination is a harmonious pairing and creates an instant fall staple with its warm flavor.
Set in a converted Dupont Circle townhouse, located at 1610 20th St. NW, Darlington House features a classy yet cozy interior and is often used as an event space for weddings.
Apple Butter Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream – Ice Cream Jubilee
This fall, Ice Cream Jubilee is serving up some out-of-the-box seasonal ice cream flavors like Sweet Potato Molasses Candy and Pistachio Cannoli – but the top recommendation goes to the Apple Butter Oatmeal Cookie flavor.
The ice cream’s base is a sweet cream flavor swirled with a thick, super-sweet homemade apple butter and crunchy oatmeal cookies. Between the sweetness of the apple butter, creaminess of the ice cream itself and unexpected – yet delicious – crunch from the cookies, this flavor embodies fall with its hints of cinnamon and apple. You can get one ($2.95), two ($4.95) or three ($5.95) scoops of this ice cream in a cup or homemade waffle cone ($1).
To celebrate the shop’s one-year anniversary, Ice Cream Jubilee partnered with local food vendors like Dog Tag Bakery and Zeke’s Coffee to incorporate those shops’ products into Ice Cream Jubilee menu items. District Doughnut is another partner, which means you can have a scoop of Ice Cream Jubilee’s best seasonal flavor, apple butter oatmeal cookie, served between a freshly baked doughnut this fall. Pick up that upgraded ice cream sandwich at their 1407 T St. NW location.