Move over apple, cranberry and—yes—pumpkin, this fall’s hottest flavor is none other than Concord grape. If you’ve never tried it before, imagine your favorite grape juice or jelly—you know, that pure, rich, essentially grapy flavor? That’s the mighty Concord.
These grapes get their sweetest in mid- to late fall, making them the ideal way to breathe new life into your autumnal food routine or Thanksgiving dessert table. Looking for inspiration? Search no further than these five restaurants, all of which are celebrating the power of the Concord grape across the country with whimsical sweet treats.
① Per Se, New York: Devil's Food Cake with Concord Grape Sorbet and Toasted Virginia Peanuts
You may not expect to find a variation on a PB&J at one of the country’s premier fine dining restaurants, but that’s precisely what’s on the dessert menu at Per Se, Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred spot. The offering, of course, isn’t just any PB&J: Concord grapes are churned into a silky sorbet, served alongside devil’s food cake, rich Manjari chocolate mousse and toasted Virginia peanuts for crunch and smokiness—the most elaborate version of the childhood staple you’ll ever find. Since Per Se’s menu changes daily, make sure to try Keller’s take on the classic if you’re presented with the opportunity. You might not get another chance.
② Marta NYC: Concord Almond Tart
Located in The Redbury hotel, Marta churns out thin, crackly-crusted pizzas showcasing seasonal and local ingredients. Pastry chef Jessica Weiss extends this philosophy onto the dessert menu, where her Concord almond tart is filled with a thick layer of Concord grape jam and cream cheese custard. A generous scoop of Concord yogurt gelato rounds off the plate.
③ Vedge, Philadelphia: Figgy Cheesecake with Concord Grape Gel
Philadelphia’s hottest vegetable-centric restaurant, Vedge, serves up a constantly rotating selection of inventive all-vegan fare that’ll satisfy even the biggest meat lovers. The sweets are equally satisfying, including the very nostalgic figgy cheesecake, whose sauce is a sweet, thick gel made of Concord grapes. Madeira wine ice cream and Vedge’s version of the old-school breakfast cereal Honey Smacks round out the craveable creation.
④ Spilt Milk Tavern, Chicago: Concord Grape Julep with Grape Juice
Spilt Milk Tavern offers an unconventional take on the modern bar. Housed in a former pharmacy, the spot offers pineapple soft-serve spiked with the cocktail of the day, milky pink lemonade with vodka and—one of the most popular drinks—a mint julep made with Concord grapes, Ancient Age Bourbon and Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac. It’s an all-too-drinkable concoction that’ll make you wonder why Concord grapes aren’t a staple in all mint juleps.
⑤ Nopa: Honey Frozen Yogurt
San Francisco’s Nopa is an urban gathering place offering a rustic take on wood-fired cuisine. For dessert, Concord grapes are turned into a refreshing, icy granita—the perfect contrast to sweet poached quince and silky honey gelato.
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