If the occasional oases of Trix-colored foliage dotting the concrete canyons of Manhattan are not enough of an indicator that the seasons have changed, the nip in the air lets you know: Autumn — or pumpkin spice season, as it is better known to foodies — is upon us.
For us, the season officially begins with the first sip of a latte made with that spice. There are numerous places around town that serve pumpkin spice lattes, but none captures the spirit of the season better than Masseria Caffè, in Hell’s Kitchen, which is decked out in autumn foliage. A vine of leaves and acorns wraps around the pastry display, and a mini pumpkin patch adorns the shelves. In addition to its pumpkin spice latte, the caffé also does a pumpkin mocha version of the beverage. Masseria Caffè, 891 Ninth Avenue (at 58th St.), 212-969-0900.
The branch of the Japanese mini-chain Momoya in Soho, meanwhile, offers up a dessert parfait titled “Autumn in New York.” The layered production brings together a plethora of fall flavors including apple sorbet, sweet potato ice cream, paper-thin wafers of sliced fresh apple, pomegranate mochi, a rosemary foam, and an Assum tea jelly. The affair is crowned for good measure with a shiso apple-filled sake mousse coaxed into the shape of an apple, a pumpkin macaroon, and a chocolate Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building. Momoya Soho, 47 Prince Street, 646-429-9315.
If you’d prefer to ring in the season with a little liquid refreshment, the modern Korean restaurant 8282 has what the doctor ordered in its Miss Persimmon cocktail, a blend of persimmon, chai tea syrup, rye whiskey, and bitters. Stay for dinner and usher in the fall with the crab hobak soup, a butternut squash porridge with red crab meat and fried milk buns. 8282, 84 Stanton Street, 929-837-0360.
Another fall flavor combination that is making its presence felt throughout the city is apple and cinnamon. You will find this melding of flavors in the apple cider donuts at the Doughnuttery. The sweet treats also betray traces of orange zest. The shop has multiple locations: Chelsea Market, 425 W, 15th Street; Columbus Circle, and 1000S Eighth Avenue. The bakery also pops up seasonally for holidays at Bryant Park, 42 W. 42nd Street. You can also order online.