Dining Chicago

Apple Bucket List


This time of year, apples are rolling onto menus faster than Ichabod Crane's head can fly off his shoulders. From savory dishes and desserts to cocktails aplenty, here's everything apple-flavored that you should be eating and drinking this season. 
Siena Tavern
(Siena Tavern's apple pie gelato)

Fat Rice: Anything Fat Rice does merits attention and excitement. Their latest beverage innovation derives inspiration from tiki culture in the form of their new Pie-Eyed in Polynesia cocktail. It's apple cider like you've never tasted before, mixed with rum, sherry, Luxardo Maraschino, lemon juice, angostura bitters, Bittercube cherry bark and vanilla bitters, and a pickled crab apple garnish. It boasts local farm sources mixed with tropical undertones. It's a win-win! 
2 Sparrows: Start the day with apple pop tarts at 2 Sparrows, the brunch-tastic restaurant that put gourmet pop tarts on the map. Here, chef Greg Ellis practices his penchant for seasonality in whimsical form with his unique breakfast pastries. His latest apple pop tarts are made with Red Delicious apples, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. 
David Burke's Primehouse: Green apples are the pome fruits of choice for the newest dessert at David Burke's Primehouse, where green apple sherbet adjoins saffron cake, saffron sheep's milk yogurt sauce, and apple chips for a refreshing, nourishing finale. 
South Water Kitchen: Apples and beer nuts don't often go together so readily, but chef Roger Waysok cleverly changes that at South Water Kitchen. Say hello to apple pie spiced nuts with maple glaze, a sweet and spicy twist on the typical bar snack. 
Siena Tavern: The only thing better than apple pie a la mode is a dessert that fuses those two elements into one. See: apple pie gelato at Siena Tavern. Courtesy of pastry chef Amy Arnold, November's gelato flavor of the month packs a fall punch with apple pie filling mixed with pie crust. 

TeaGschwendner: When people think of drinking apples in the fall, cider immediately comes to mind. But think beyond the cider with potable apple-infused teas at TeaGschwendner. The artisanal tea shop has an alluring blend called Baked Apple, which captures the homey essence of freshly baked apple pie in one convenient cup. Enjoy it hot or iced. 
HQ Beercade: With a name like Mott's, you pretty much know what you're getting into with HQ Beercade's cocktail list. This staple cocktail features all the familiar flavors of fall-themed apple festivities, made with Stoli Apple Vodka, Mott's Cinnamon Apple Sauce, and baked apple bitters. 
Sepia: Keep the cocktail momentum going with the latest creation from Sepia's head bartender Griffin Elliott. The Jack Rosie is a blend of apple brandy and spiced grenadine, which sounds perfectly simple, spicy, and nourishing. 
Sunda: Then there's the Baked Apple Pie cocktail at Sunda, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Anthony's apple pie liqueur, Domaine du Canton Ginger, Trader Vic's, lemon juice, and bitters. 
La Sirena Clandestina: Octopus and apples make for an uncommon and curiously exciting combination at La Sirena Clandestina. Dig into chef John Manion's new grilled Spanish octopus dish with acorn squash romesco and an apple-celery relish. 
The Signature Room: Apple pie lends inspiration to the end all-be all of brunch dishes this season: apple pie pancakes at The Signature Room. Ascend 95 stories to feast on chef Cardel Reid's pancakes strewn with roasted apples, creme anglaise, and whipped butter. 

Little Goat: It's raining apples at Little Goat! The seasonally minded quirky diner is serving up apple-fennel pie with cornmeal streusel and sour cream gelato, caramel apple shakes, spiced cinnamon apple crumble pancakes, spiced apple pop tarts, and apple-cheddar bread. 
Taco Joint: Good old fashioned American cider meets south of the border tang in the form of Taco Joint's new apple cider margaritas. Made with Milagro reposado tequila, cinnamon-ancho chile liqueur, spiced apple cider, brown sugar, and a cinnamon-sugar-ancho rim, this libation has it all in the fall. 

Taco Joint
(Apple cider margarita at Taco Joint)
BOKA: With apples and oats, the new Fireside Cocktail at BOKA is practically breakfast. Or so you'll tell yourself as you pound back drink after drink, along with Old Forester, allspice, and lemon. 
Acadia: Apples fill up the dessert and drink menus at Acadia, where pastry chef Ji Yoon offers a fall-tastic dessert made with apples AND pumpkin. Her caramel apple dessert features julienned apples with bay leaf bavarois, pumpkin seed crumble, and olive oil crumble. Wash it all down with Arunas Bruzas' new Smashin' cocktail with crab apple and mint soda, Bar Hill gin, and Aperol. 

Mercat a la Planxa: More apples are to be eaten and sipped at Mercat a la Planxa. Start by noshing on their new Amanida de farro dish made with Rioja-braised farro, apples, smoked pecan vinaigrette, currants, and feta. Then there's the Primera Copa aperitif cocktail made with Maleoc cider, Lillet Blanc, Mercat Cava, and housemade cranberry and apple bitters. 
Filini Bar & Restaurant: Apple cocktails go Italian at Filini Bar & Restaurant in the form of the Rosso Italiano cocktail. This luscious potable contains Aperol, Lillet Blanc, hard cider, and ginger.
Max's Wine Dive: Apple crisp is essential fall eats. Get your fix with the indulgent version now on deck at Max's Wine Dive. Made by cooking apples in butter and tossing them with brown sugar, vanilla, and warm fall spices, the fruit mixture is heaped into a cast-iron pan and topped with pecan crumble and salted caramel ice cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. 
Takashi: Foie gras and apples go together like peanut butter and jelly. Right? They do at Takashi, where seared Quebec foie gras comes with apple cider reduction, almond strudel, and caramelized Bartlett pears. 
Magnolia Bakery: And we can't talk about apple season without talking about pie. Magnolia Bakery does a killer job with the classics, available in three iterations: the new caramel apple pie comes with a double-crusted lattice top, the double-crust apple pie is as traditional as it gets with Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples, and the apple crumb pie features a sweet sprinkling of streusel over Golden Delicious apples. 

Matt Kirouac


Honest Midwestern fare, prepared by a native Chicagoan executive chef Roger Waysok, we provide comfort food in the heart of Chicago at South Water Kitchen.

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