In January, I celebrated 10 years of Pop.Bop.Shop. Several readers suggested that I should share lists of my best discoveries of the past decade (a brilliant idea), so I have been doing exactly that each month this year. If you missed any of the previous round ups, you can catch up here:
- Top 10: Brunch Spots
- Top 10: Viewing Party Moments
- Top 10: Favorite Books
- Top 10: Outdoor Dining Spots
- Top 10: Dog-Friendly Spots
- Top 10: Cape Cod Spots
- Top 10: Martha's Vineyard Musts
- Top 10: Ice Cream Favorites
- Top 10: Birthday Meals
October is an extra special month for this list, because it's a Top 10 list, in the 10th month, of my 10th year of blogging! That feels like some kind of good omen.
When I thought about the most appropriate theme for the October ranking, one word kept coming to mind: pumpkin. Not only are pumpkins a sign that fall has truly arrived in New England, but they're the unofficial mascot of Halloween, which is today!
Please enjoy this list of the best pumpkin dishes I've had over the last 10 years.
We'll do this David Letterman-style, starting with #10 and working our way up to #1.
10. Burro Bar (Brookline, MA)
The Burro Bar in Brookline, MA is known for their fun twists on classic Mexican dishes. One example, their queso with squash purée, roasted cauliflower, spiced pepitas and cilantro.
I know, I know, squash is not pumpkin, but it's very close! You can't really see the squash in this photo, because it's the layer below the melted cheese. When you dunk a chip in and get both the squash and the cheese together, it's extra rich and creamy.
9. Bandita (Brighton, MA)
Bandita, the Mexican restaurant underneath Article 24 in Brighton, served up one of the most unexpected pumpkin desserts I've had. They offered a waffle ice cream sandwich with pumpkin spice latte ice cream.
While the waffles were definitely frozen, not house made, I give them points for creativity!
8. Cafe De L'Alma (Paris, France)
In 2013, I went to Paris, France for Thanksgiving weekend to celebrate a friend's wedding. One evening, after a very rainy walk to the Eiffel Tower, we found ourselves wandering in search of dinner. We stumbled upon Cafe De L'Alma and it wound up being home to some of the most delicious pumpkin soup.
After coming in from the storm, this soup warmed us right up! This meal is one of my happiest memories from the trip.
7. Black Trumpet (Portsmouth, NH)
Last fall, my mom and I road tripped up to Portsmouth, NH to ring in my 34th birthday. A few weeks prior, she had asked me to pick out a restaurant for a special meal, and I knew immediately I wanted to try Black Trumpet.
The night we went, it was Restaurant Week, so we were able to experience a full, three-course meal. My first course was the pumpkin bisque and I licked that bowl clean!
6. Yvonne's (Boston, MA)
Back in October 2016, I was looking for a place to have drinks and dinner before a concert at the Orpheum Theater. I decided on Yvonne's, a place I love, but rarely get to now that I don't work downtown.
That evening, one of their cocktail specials was a pumpkin spice mule. How could I resist?
The drink was beautifully garnished and tasted like everything wonderful about fall.
5. Farmstead Table (Newton, MA)
Two words for you: pumpkin cake. At Farmstead Table, this dessert is actually more like a whoopie pie. Two pieces of pumpkin cake sandwich a giant scoop of cream cheese.
The cake itself and light, but the cream cheese makes every bite taste decadent.
4. 75 Liberty Wharf (Boston, MA)
On a freezing cold night in December 2014, I found myself in the Seaport meeting a friend for dinner. When we walked into 75 Liberty Wharf, all I knew was that whatever I ordered, I wanted it to be piping hot. I decided on the pumpkin ravioli, which was served with a vodka sauce, cubed butternut squash and the world's most generous shaving of parmesan cheese.
Just looking at this picture makes me want to order it again!
3. Volturno (Worcester, MA)
I love the food at Volturno. While they are known for their pizzas, there are many other star dishes on the menu, including their bisque. It's poured tableside, making your selection feel even more special.
The restaurant now has a second location in Framingham, MA, making it just a little bit easier to get there from Boston.
2. Sift Bake Shop (Mystic, CT)
Over the past 10 years, I have spent a significant amount of time in Mystic, CT. I have had several friends get married there, and I've also been a part of many girls weekends in the town.
One of the most special places in Mystic is Sift Bake Shop, and they really have the pumpkin thing down. My personal favorites are the pumpkin challah (excellent for French toast) and the pumpkin whoopie pies.
Sift has opened a second location in Watch Hill, RI, so if you are in either place, show them some love!
1. The Breakfast Club (Allston, MA)
There is no pumpkin dish that can hold a candle to the pumpkin pecan pancakes at The Breakfast Club. I had them on my very first visit back in 2014, and each year I can't wait for fall to roll around so they will put them back on the menu!
And there you have it! My Top 10 pumpkin dishes.
Tell me, do you have a go-to pumpkin favorite this time of year?