My favorite gourd, the pumpkin, is back in season. It’s often added to menus through fall, so I always call ahead to make sure that a pumpkin item exists before I visit a new place. Pasta is one of my favorite pumpkin foods, and these places do the dish right.
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Lamb shank with pumpkin gnocchi ($24) is the star of their menu. The pasta floats in a perfectly complimentary rosemary red wine sauce. Cask also has a dozen craft beers on tap and one or two cask selections. During the week from 4-8 p.m. you’ll find $5 beer and $6 wine specials.167 E. 33rd St.
Another tasty dish is the Ravioli di Zucca ($19). The sage adds a nice twist and really helps the pumpkin flavor come alive. In Vino is a small brick-lined Italian restaurant that would be perfect for a date night or low-key dinner with a few friends, with an extensive Italian wine list that starts at $40. Try the Polpette al Nonna for $12 as a starter.215 E. Fourth St.
I love ravioli, and Bocca delivers with Ravioli di Zucca e Amaretti ($16), a pumpkin-ricotta dish with brown butter sauce and topped with ground cookies that give the dish just a touch of sweetness and crunch. It’s magical. There are other Bocca locations that sometimes offer pumpkin pasta specials like ravioli, gnocchi and cannelloni, but the East Side location always has them.1496 Second Ave.
Monica DiNatale is a deals expert, food host and author of “365 Guide New York City,” a treasure trove of restaurant deals and bar specials in New York. Monica has hosted segments for The New York Chocolate Show and Craft Beer Week festivals. She dines out eight days a week in search of the best deals in the Big Apple. “365 Guide New York City” is available in paperback and e-book.