(Image: iStockphoto)

(Image: iStockphoto)

Pumpkin-based dishes are a great way to enjoy the season while supporting local farmers and the restaurants who source from them. There are pumpkin dishes for just about everyone – vegans, junk food lovers and even bar flies! So celebrate fall by heading to one of these lovely local venues.
Pumpkin Ravioli
Al Dente
109 Salem St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-0990

Al Dente is one of the most delicious and affordable Italian restaurants in Boston’s North End. Each fall, it adds pumpkin ravioli to the menu as a specialty dish. Though pumpkin ravioli is served at many restaurants around Boston, the Al Dente version is by far the best. It is sweet and rich – sure to satisfy even the hungriest of patrons. Al Dente is frequented by tourists, but is approved as an old “local favorite,” especially as new, trendy restaurants are popping up in the neighborhood week after week. The pumpkin ravioli goes perfectly with a light white wine.

Earth Bowl
Beat Hotel
13 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 499-0001

A healthy alternative to heavy, creamy pumpkin dishes is the Earth Bowl at the Beat Hotel in Harvard Square. The Beat Hotel is a favorite of vegetarians and vegans because of its creativity with in-season local veggies and non-animal proteins. The Earth Bowl is one of its three main bowl dinner offerings – and it features pumpkin seeds! The other delicious and nutritious ingredients include five-grain pilaf, roasted harissa vegetables, turnips, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, golden beats and locally grown sugar snaps with a tahini dressing. The pumpkin seeds provide crunch to the dish, and are also a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium and potassium.
Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
Cafe 472
472 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 236-4949

Indulging in pumpkin-flavored frozen yogurt is the perfect way to make a favorite summer treat appropriate for fall. It tastes just like pumpkin pie, but without all the hassle of baking. Cafe 472 has an incredible menu of frozen yogurt flavors – perfect for health nuts and junk food fiends alike. But, when the leaves change color, who can seriously turn down pumpkin softserve?!

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Pumpkin Tortellini
355 Hanover St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-9026

Pumpkin-stuffed tortellini with a mascarpone cream sauce is served up seasonally at Giacomo’s. This dish is worth waiting in the line of tourists to eat at Giacomo’s in the North End. But, for those who are do-it-yourself types, Giacomo’s has shared this famous recipe with the food network for all to enjoy. Of course, to get the real, fresh-made pasta with local pumpkin filling, pumpkin lovers will have to head to the restaurant. To avoid the crowds, try to pick an unpopular dinner night out – maybe a weekday with poor weather.
Pumpkin Martini
75 Chestnut
75 Chestnut St.
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-2175

Not all pumpkin specialties are food. And not all pumpkin specialties that aren’t food are coffee and beer – introducing the pumpkin martini! The martini is a festive way for adults to enjoy the season without sabotaging their diets and sacrificing their waistlines. 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill is famous for including locally sourced ingredients in their dishes, and now they have taken this to the next level, by creating a signature drink flavored like one of New England’s favorite fall treats. This year, 75 Chestnut opened a second location in the booming Fort Point District, which is great because now there is more than one place to enjoy this ultimate autumn beverage.

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Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.