Panzano's Elise Wiggins: Fall Is a "Romantic and Sexy Time for Food!"

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Menus are changing faster than the leaves, as chefs update their offerings to reflect the season. But at Panzano, executive chef Elise Wiggins approaches her menu with more than just fall produce in mind. She's also aware of the way autumn makes us feel. See also: Fall Has Arrived at Local Kitchens -- Including Mine

"I love the season," she shares by e-mail. "To me, it's a romantic and sexy time for food!"

One dish that epitomizes what Wiggins loves about fall -- with its "warmer flavors...slow braises...deep reduction sauces...and umami flavors" -- is braised lamb neck ragu, served with housemade Mafaldine pasta (ribbon pappardelle named for an Italian princess) and pecorino tartufo cheese. And while she wants the dish to taste good, she has higher aspirations for it than that.

"There is nothing like a hot, satisfying meal with a bottle of wine with your loved one to make a romantic night," she adds. "This time of the year is cold, so people are layering up in their clothes. My goal is that they want to take them off after they've had a romantic meal at Panzano."

Forget about fall; who's ready for Valentine's Day?

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