Red Head

An autumn meal that matches the leaves
Dinner's Ablaze

Autumn is upon us: the shifting colors, the quickening advent of dusk, the brisk chill in the air.

Similarly, our food is making the transition toward the tastes--and shades--of fall, so October's menu is a nod to the season's flavors and hues.

To begin, raise a glass and toast the change of seasons with our grape-cognac cocktail. Frozen grapes and thyme sprigs garnish the glass, creating a drink both colorful and well chilled. In between sips, snack on a sweet-spicy mix of hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and cashews.

The first course is a crisp salad of apples tossed with radicchio and tarragon vinaigrette. Save space on your plate for a side of roasted sweet potatoes combined with chanterelles and crispy prosciutto.

For the main course, acorn squash is roasted until tender and caramelized. Some of the squash is folded into a farro risotto, which is then spooned into the orange-green squash shells.

Finish the meal with a sweet panzanella. Autumn's first pears are roasted in red wine that has been spiced with star anise. Then they're tossed with cubes of sugared brioche and served with a reduction of the same plucky red-wine sauce. Vivid pink, it's a bold way to finish a welcome meal in honor of fall.

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