The scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin make my heart melt. For the month of October, I try to eat as much pumpkin and butternut squash themed foods as possible. Pasta tops my list, but hurry before they disappear until next season.
Morandi (211 Waverly Place) Nestled in the heart of the West Village, Morandi offers seasonal Italian dining in a lively setting. Their fresh handmade pastas are legendary and keeps them packed seven nights a week. For fall, order the Casoncelli di Zucca ($22) pumpkin stuffed pasta in a sage brown butter sauce with pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Pair with a glass of their vermentino ($13) and let the flavors dance on your palette. Definitely make a reservation for dinner since the place is small with a European bistro vibe. If you’re in a meat mood, the Polpettine alla Siciliana ($24) meatballs with pine nuts and raisins are entree sized for sharing. They serve that crispy crumbly crusty bread that begs for olive oil dipping.
Pazza Notte (1375 Sixth Avenue) You may have visited Pazza Notte for their amazing happy hour deals. They offer 2-for-1 martinis everyday from 5 p.m. to closing and 2-for-1 wines from 3-6 p.m. While sipping on your discounted beverages, order the Raviolo di Zucca ($25) butternut squash ravioli with savory braised short rib ragout. The combination of tender meat with sweet squash provides the perfect yin and yang. The atmosphere is lively making it good for groups of any size. They only take reservations for parties of six or more but the wait usually moves quickly. Their thin crust pizza is also rock star. I suggest sharing a pizza as an appetizer and moving on from there as portions are plentiful. Order a half white pie with mushrooms and half with red sauce and meatballs to enjoy the best of both worlds.