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Pumpkin dishes among fall favorites at Café L’Europe

Posted On: 10-22-2015

By Roberta Sabban

Special To The Daily News

Last week, Norbert Goldner, chef/owner of Café L’Europe was looking over a pile of pumpkins in the produce department of our local supermarket and lamenting how they probably would be gone by Thanksgiving, just like last year.

This time of year brings an infinite variety of pumpkins and gourds. These harbingers of fall are so versatile they may be used for everything from savory soups and stews to all kinds of seasonal desserts. What would Thanksgiving be like without pumpkin pie?

But the harvest finished weeks earlier than usual and the crop is down by half. Although there will plenty of supply for jack-o-lanterns, canned pumpkin made from sugar pumpkins will be in short supply this year. And when a seasonal staple is in short supply, menus must be adjusted.

Goldner carefully selected several medium-sized pumpkins. They were to be hollowed out and fitted with a ceramic bowl of roasted pumpkin soup topped with cinnamon whipped cream.

Updating fall classics

The restaurant is celebrating its 35th year in Palm Beach. A season kickoff will take place at its annual Halloween party on Oct. 31. Although the mainstay of the menu features continental favorites, Goldner introduces fresh ideas every year. The season menu will offer a variety of “small plates” of elegantly prepared comfort foods.

On the menu now are fresh chanterelles that are sautéed simply with herbs and also may be paired with pumpkin gnocchi or ravioli stuffed with roasted pumpkin, sage butter and garnished with crispy-fried sage leaves. They come in either the small plate size or as a regular dinner entrées.

“We wanted to do a takeoff on a traditional Beef bourguignon,” said Goldner. “We roasted mini pieces of osso buco on the bone and prepared a savory broth. Once cooked, the meat was removed from the bone and cut into small pieces. The stew was assembled, ladled into individual lion’s head tureens and sealed with a puff pastry crust, then baked in the oven so the pastry forms a golden brown dome over the stew.”

Other seasonal favorites include baked potato with crème fraiche and caviar, mac and cheese made with four cheeses, mac and cheese with lobster and white truffle oil, and a charcuterie platter served with cornichons.

The three-course prix-fixe menu for Halloween is $140 and reservations are suggested as the evening sells out quickly.



Source: Roberta Sabban, October 22, 2015, Palm Beach Daily News

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