Fall Food Preview

by Dave on August 27, 2009

from Coastal Sussex Weekly magazine, August 27, 2009

Fall. Ask any local and they’ll tell you: the autumn season is the best time of year at the beach. It’s the weather. And the festivals. And the changing of the seasons. But most of all, it’s the food. Here are some of the area’s palate-pleasers, and what they’re planning for the upcoming season.

Where: Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach

Chef Hari Cameron of Nage Bistro and Wine Bar will be celebrating the flavors of fall by adding dishes such as Chanterelle and Pecan Baklava, Huckleberries, Thyme, Goat Cheese Foam and Housemade Venison Sausage Gemelli, Toasted Ancho Chilis, Wild Mushrooms, Butternut Squash, Thyme, Feta to the creative and playful menu at Nage later this fall.

“Autumn is one of the best seasons for food,” says Chef Glenn Babcock of Nage’s DC restaurant.  “Much of what we celebrate in the fall centers around food and the harvest.  You have all the vegetables that carry over from summer, plus you get to play with all the ripened-tree fruit and heirloom squash.  There are so many great seasonal fall foods that the possibilities for the daily specials board seem endless,” In addition to the creative new fall dishes on Nage’s menu, diners can also look forward to the return of some fall favorites such as the Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and the Lobster Pot Pie.

Where: At Area Retailers

Local cookie and dessert creator Bella’s Cookies has a menu to die for in the fall, according to Mark Leishear.

It starts with apples: Fresh Apple Pies, Apple Turnovers, Apple Cinnamon Muffins, Apple Turnovers.

“I think we are going to start working with businesses whose niche products make a sensible fit for our creations,” says Leishear.  “Give more local play to each of them. ie Smith for Apples, maybe Bennett for Peaches, Blueberry Lane next year for blueberries.

“We have a family recipe for a Sweet Potato Pie, a Chocolate Carrot Cake, and we’re even working on a Chocolate Sake cake. Isn’t that interesting?

“Cheesecakes also return in the fall, along with pumpkin pie and Peach Custard Bread Pudding and Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding. We use Old World Breads’ bread for our bread puddings and promote it as such.

“Of course the fall cookies will be coming back in “Hunky Punky” (Pumpkin with Chunks of Crystallized Ginger) and “Appledoodle” (Apple Snickerdoodle).”

Where: Coastal Highway, Lewes

Wine and beer have become such a big part of the culinary coast here in Delaware, and changes in the fall are evident in that industry, too, says Mike Dickinson of Cape Wine & Spirits in Lewes.

“A lot of it depends on the weather,” says Dickinson. “If it stays warm, a lot of people tend to drink what they did in the summer. But as the weather gets dramatically cooler, people step up in the weight of what they’re drinking. They gradually move up from a lighter Pinot Noir to a lighter Malbec or an earthier Pinot Noir.

“When people move to more smoked and grilled meats in the fall, maybe a South African wine that has that good smoke to it.

“The bottom line is to just drink what you like, no matter the season.”

Another trend building in the beverage field is the pairing of beer with wine, and Cape Wine is highlighting two of the best with fall beer tastings highlighting local beer giant Dogfish Head (August 29) and Californian craft brews from Stone Brewery (September 5th).

“Dogfish does crazy, crazy stuff with their beer,” says Dickinson. “In doing a beer like the Palo Santo Marron, you can pair something like that with a bourbon pork chop or a heavier meat dish.”

Cape Wine’s tastings are done with representatives from the breweries, and encompass a lot more than just sipping samples.

“People are psyched to sample the stuff that they may not be able to get in their home markets.”

Fifer Orchards (Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach) will do their Fall Farm Fest at their farm in Wyoming, DE from September 21st through October 31st, with a 5-Acre corn maze, pumpkin painting, a straw castle and a lot of information about where our food comes from.

Striper Bites (Savannah Rd., Lewes) will soon unveil their fall specials, including “Hat Night” where patrons will receive a discount simply for wearing a hat.

Patsy’s Gourmet (Campbell Place, Bethany Beach) celebrates 10 years with their annual Food & Wine dinner on Saturday, October 3rd. For this edition of the annual event, Chefs Patsy and Robin Rankin will select a five-course prix fixe menu from their favorite dishes of the past ten years.

There is a world of fall flavor here on the culinary coast, far beyond what we’ve mentioned here.

Events, festivals, farmer’s markets, wine dinners and more will keep you warm inside as the weather cools during the best time of the year.

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