3 of a Kind: Creative Cider Dishes

Cider has enhanced pork dishes and spiced up apple cakes for years, but several restaurants are using the autumnal sip in new and inventive ways.

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

Cider may seem best on a hayride, but as harvest season winds down, the fall favorite is staging a last hurrah. Sure, it’s enhanced pork dishes and spiced up apple cakes for years, but these restaurants are using the spiced sip in new and inventive ways.

Housemade Chevre at The Dawson , Chicago

At this multilevel, Midwestern-focused neighborhood restaurant, Chef Shaun King is extending the seasonal spirit with his housemade goat cheese. His chevre uses local goat’s milk wrapped in apple leaves that have been soaked and cooked in a blend of cider and whiskey. “What's more comforting than the smell of smoldering leaves reminding you of the change of seasons?” he asks. The softened cheese is best smeared on warm bread.

Cider Chai Syrup at   Fifty First Kitchen and Bar , Nashville

Chef Tony Galzin often has a hard time parting with his favorite fall beverage, so he creates a long-lasting cider syrup that he can use in everything from a seasonal Bellini to a bourbon topper that makes for a spicy nightcap. “The possibilities are endless, and the deep, rich spice that this chai brings out makes you want to try them all,” he says.

Cider Chai Syup
1 tablespoon loose chai tea
1 tablespoon raw sugar
2 1/2 cups apple cider
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain the syrup through cheesecloth into a glass jar. This syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to 10 days.

Photo by: William Bragg ©(C) William E. Bragg

William Bragg, (C) William E. Bragg

Cider, Celeriac and Gruyère Soup with Smoked Apple Fritter, Tobacco Honey, Arugula and Almond Onion Jam at Le Petit Cochon, Seattle

Chef Derek Ronspies likes to use cider as part of a soup that graces the menu of his restaurant, which features farm-sourced, nose-to-tail cuisine. Ronspies uses fermented cider like Wandering Aengus Ciderworks for the tart, sour flavors that enhance the root vegetables and nutty Gruyère. “You can really taste the apple-y notes, and they pair well with the celeriac and the cheese,” he says.

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