I get a bit obsessed with pumpkin this time of year, and forget that there are many other autumnal menu items popping up around town. Grab your comfy scarf and softest denim and head to one of these fine fall finds.
The Viand (517 Columbus Avenue) The Viand is a neighborhood bistro that raises the bar with elevated cuisine and hefty entrees. The colossal menu can be overwhelming, but for the fall season order The Viand Famous Turkey Dinner. The feast includes hand carved white or dark meat, apple-walnut stuffing, baked sweet potato, corn, gravy and cranberry sauce ( 24). They also offer their Famous Viand Turkey Salad with fresh roasted hand carved turkey, peppers, tomato and cucumbers over mixed greens in a Mediterranean vinaigrette ( 18). While Viand is technically a “diner”, the energy of the cafe and sidewalk seating rivals that of the best restaurants in town. The service is fast, the food flavorful and the portions large. Wine bottles start at $29 and brunch on weekends includes one complimentary beverage. All kids menu items are $10.50.
Hendriks (557 Third Avenue) Hendriks is an upscale, East Side restaurant with an energetic atmosphere to gather for brunch, dinner or drinks at the bar. For Fall, order the Rosemary Gnocchi with acorn squash, kale, smoked pear, chestnuts and parmesan ( 22). Another contender is the Butternut Squash Ravioli with walnuts, caramelized apples, cider cream, pickled cranberries and goat cheese ( 22). Trust me, you’ll be in pasta heaven. Start with the French Onion Soup with fontina cheese ( 9). From 4-7 p.m. daily chow down $1.50 oysters and discounted drinks at the bar. During brunch on weekends, cocktails are just $6. The are close to Grand Central Terminal if you want to meet out of town friends.