By Anne DesBrisay
This time of year suits me. The garden’s been put to bed, the motley tomato crop’s been transformed into sauce, the outdoor markets are dwindling down to a few brave and mittened souls selling off the last of the apples, squash, and kale — and yet the madness of the Christmas season is not yet upon us. And as I’ve always been a big believer in waiting for the sun to set before the cork comes out of the bottle, well, late fall feels like a good friend.
Nothing quite says “November” to me more than when chefs and bakeries start dusting off the bottle of molasses. And then rooting around for all those ancient aromatics — cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, allspice — to add gingerbread to their menus. There’s an inherit zing to gingerbread, and a sweetness that’s there, but subtle. I love it in warm puddings, cakes, and cookies or, when used judiciously, paired with foie gras, say.
Four of our city’s crackerjack eateries are cozying up our autumn with their delicious takes on gingerbread: