There’s nothing like the turndown in temps and the changing leaves this time of year, but we’re also fond of the way in which local restaurants capitalize on nature’s bounty. Here are our picks for some great Charm City spots to order fall-inspired meals in the months to come.
Maggie’s Farm (4341 Harford Road, Lauraville. 410-254-2376): This contemporary restaurant, known for its rustic décor and unique take on classic comfort foods, features a wide array of menu items inspired by the flavors of the season.
- For starters: Kick-off a fall-inspired meal at Maggie’s with offerings like pork-and-pumpkin pot stickers with braised red cabbage, or autumn apple- and-arugula salad made with poached crabapples and smoky goat cheese, tossed in a mulled cider vinaigrette. The menu also features snacks such as farmstead cheeses and house-made charcuterie to get the meal off to a good start.
- Main event: In keeping with the farm-to-table inspired fare, Maggie’s “’Merica Burger” is served with its signature tomato jam and farmstead cheese, and topped with a fried egg. For a meatless option, try the veggie burger topped with fresh apple slaw, curry aioli, and smoked tofu.
- Sweet treats: If you happen to have room for dessert, the apple-cider donut is a must-try. This crispy-fried treat is topped with brown-butter ice cream, a maple-pecan glaze, and wet nuts.
RA Sushi (1390 Lancaster St, 410-522-3200):This trendy Harbor East hotspot, known for its iconic Japanese-fusion cuisine, is capturing the spice of the season with its newest menu additions.
- For starters: Warm up from the dropping temperatures with appetizing eats like spicy Asian chicken wings lightly fried and tossed in a spicy Asian sauce, or lobster ceviche served on a bed of guacamole and freshly sliced avocado and topped with chili-garlic salt.
- Main event: Specialty sushi featured on RA’s fall menu includes Lobster Nigiri topped with a dill-and-lobster cream sauce, and Salmon Kinoko, with grilled salmon and asparagus, finished with a mushroom cream sauce.
- Sweet treats: Indulge in a sweet ending with offerings like cinnamon tempura gelato finished with a chocolate-raspberry glaze, or green tea ice cream.
Pen & Quill (1701 N. Charles St. 410-601-3588): Located just a stone’s throw away from The Charles Theatre in Station North, this relaxed restaurant is the perfect place to celebrate the season.
- For starters: To satisfy immediate hunger after catching a movie or strolling around Station North, order snacks for the table like fall squash dip. Small plates with a special seasonal twist include a pear salad made with Reid’s Orchard pears, granola, and pine-nut vinaigrette, Fairytale Pumpkin Soup, and roasted mushrooms with house cheese, thyme, and an hour egg.
- Main event: The truffle orecchiette with acorn squash sauce, chard, melted leeks, and grano padano, is a must-try for diners in search of rich fall flavors. Another entree fusing fresh fall ingredients is the fried tempeh sandwich, served with pickled carrots, Brussels slaw, roasted jalapeños, and avocado mayonnaise.
- Sweet treats: End your gourmet meal with one of Pen & Quill’s many after-dinner cocktails accompanied by dessert offerings like roasted corn sweet pone served with blueberry ice cream and corn silk crème Anglaise or an apple terrine with brown butter ice cream and salted caramel.
Ananda (7421 Maple Lawn Blvd, Fulton, 301-725-4800): This elegant restaurant combines the flavors of traditional Indian cuisine with organic farm-to-table style ingredients. Seasonal house specials are prepared with fresh ingredients that are the perfect fit for any fall meal.
- For starters: Try the organic butternut squash and carrot soup made with farm-fresh butternut squash, home-grown carrots, and Granny Smith apples and complimented with spiced pear chutney. Ananda also offers an organic orange and fennel salad made with Breeze Willow farm-fresh feta, and dressed with lime, honey, and mint.
- Main event: The Kerala Cake, made with local Sweet Silver Queen kernels and toasted mustard seeds, puts a fall-inspired twist on a traditional summertime crab cake. For a heartier entree, try the herb-roasted Ruppersburger lamb shank accompanied by seasonal root vegetables.
- Sweet treats: Taste the harvest flavors of fall with Ananda’s signature house dessert. The Apple Asian Pear Cranberry Crisp is made with local apples, Asian pears, and dried cranberries, topped with organic oats and almonds, and served with salted caramel ice cream.