There’s more to pumpkin and squash than meets the eye. Usually found in the final course, these fall vegetables are a standout when cooked sweet or savory. Mild in flavor, the pumpkin is an under-utilized vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Take a hint from one of the following restaurants and dine on pumpkin and squash this fall in a variety of ways as appetizers, entrées or desserts.
West Side Market Stand E3
1979 W. 25th St.
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Ohio City Pasta has one of the longest lines in the West Side Market, but the wait is worth it. It’s fairly young in business, making pasta since 1990, but has made its mark on the city. Sold in few businesses in small quantities, the West Side Market is the place to get larger amounts of this hand-made, fresh, flavored pasta for parties or leftovers. Pasta in fettuccine, angel hair or spaghetti, filled raviolis or made into gnocchi — the possibilities are endless. Basil, lemon and roasted red peppers are three of the most popular flavors. For a limited time this fall, however, Ohio City Pasta offers pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin gnocchi. Sweet and mild, served with chicken, seafood of sausage, pumpkin pasta is an amazing alternative to plain old spaghetti. Have the vendors at Ohio City Pasta suggest a homemade pasta sauce or pesto.
West Side Market Stand C1
1979 W. 25th St.
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
While at the West Side Market picking up your Ohio City Pasta, feel free to step over to City Roast Coffee and Tea for your pumpkin coffee. While supplies last, take home this lightly flavored, dark roasted pumpkin coffee to enjoy every other day the West Side Market isn’t open. It’s caffeinated only, perfect for fall mornings. Just imagine brewing your very own on the weekends; taking a cup to walk the dog in the brisk morning before you and the kids head out to rake leaves. You’ll wish fall could last all year with this pumpkin coffee from one of the most popular coffee shops in downtown Cleveland.
294 Pearl Road
Brunswick, OH 44212
Mapleside Farms is packed every season, and for good reason. Flowers and weddings occupy the spring and summer, apple picking and fall festivities monopolize autumn and the winter beauty on rolling hills is breathtaking when the weather turns. During the fall, Melrose Grille, Mapleside Farms’ specialty restaurant, comes alive with energy and flavor. The kitchen uses all the farm has to offer on its menu from start to finish. An apple butternut bisque appetizer is sweet and mellow, warming you up for the meal. Roasted apples top the bisque, offered in cup or bowl sizes. A generous fire-roasted pizza made with Mapleside Farms homegrown apples with goat and brie, pulled pork and caramelized onions is an excellent pairing with the butternut squash bisque. On your way out, take home a few pumpkins to decorate, and the season is complete.
14809 Detroit Ave.
Lakewood, OH 44107
The Souper Market is one of the coziest establishments to walk into. Fragrant and warm, it begs for falling snow out the windows as soup is slurped and conversations slow. The hand-made soups change with the season, so this autumn expect pumpkin bisque and roasted butternut squash soup. Bread and butter complete the soup experience, but feel free to add a Greek salad or spicy Andouille sausage sandwich. Linger over the bowl and know that, while the season lasts, so does the soup. The taste of pumpkin bisque is always sweet, even if the time it’s offered is limited and bittersweet.
Related: Best Autumn Desserts in Cleveland
13220 Shaker Square
Cleveland, OH 44120
As the growing season winds down, restaurants gear up for the final harvest of long-grown, highly anticipated fruits and vegetables including pumpkins, squash and apples. Fire Food and Drink on Cleveland’s east side does a spectacular job of utilizing these long-awaited vegetables in two dishes, similar in ingredients yet vastly different in execution. Seared scallops with a butternut squash puree are light and rich, filling and delicious, while the autumn vegan-butternut squash quinoa is a dish substantial enough to please carnivores. The menu at Fire Food and Drink is built on seasonal products and local companies.
19701 Lake Road
Rocky River, OH 44116
In Rocky River you might drive past Cravings Café before you realize it’s there. Quickly turn around and head to the café, which is small and eclectic, yet inviting at the same time. Homemade muffins and cookies are offered daily, and this fall the pumpkin muffins and scones are back. The scone is particularly delicious with pockets of steamy melted butter and sweet pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin muffin is perfectly crumbly and will make you wish it was a loaf of bread to take home. Pairing it with the pumpkin coffee might be overkill, but come back day after day for a new treat. With the convenient drive-through window, getting a coffee and scone to go is easier than ever. You won’t regret avoiding the big coffee chains when you get a taste of Cravings Café.