With the coming of fall, the truck farmers are rolling out the pumpkins, and happily, so are the chefs. Soup to nuts, or at least seeds, pumpkin and its squash cousins are among the great sweet treats, even without that evil pie crust. And as it happens, October is World Vegetarian Awareness Month, so you can indulge yourself and pretend to be getting into the health swing at the same time. Here are some of the dishes popping up on Washington menus:
COEUR DE LION -- 926 Massachusetts Ave. NW in the Henley Park Hotel; 202-638-5200. Chilled butternut squash, Granny Smith apple and pecan salad with honey-cider vinaigrette, $5.50.
EQUINOX -- 818 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-331-8118. Piedmontese-style plin ravioli of kabocha squash and black truffle with Parmesan tuile and sage butter, $14.
FIREFLY -- 1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202-861-1310. Butternut soup with pickled red onions, pumpkin pie spice and clove oil, $7.50; house-made saffron pasta with roasted pumpkin, red chilies, black olives and Parmesan, $16.
MELROSE -- 1201 24th St. NW in the Park Hyatt Hotel; 202-955-3899. Oct. 4-9 only, four-course squash menu of blue hubbard squash soup with sweetbreads, crab cake with buttercup squash puree, grilled squab and squab leg confit with potato-butternut gratin, and acorn squash creme brulee, $60.
NECTAR -- 824 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202-298-8085. Butternut soup with yogurt and crispy sweetbreads, $12; curry-braised veal cheeks with lentil-butternut puree, $28.
PALETTE -- 15th and M streets NW at the Madison Hotel; 202-587-2700. White truffle-pumpkin ravioli with wild mushroom ragout and toasted cinnamon butter, $23.
POTOMACK LANDING -- 1 Marina Dr., Alexandria; 703-548-0001. Butternut soup with nutmeg, allspice and honey, $5 (bowl) or $4 (cup).
ROOF TERRACE RESTAURANT -- New Hampshire and Virginia avenues NW in the Kennedy Center; 202-416-8555. Pan-seared rockfish with duck confit and curried pumpkin sauce, $30; Atlantic salmon with butternut risotto, $26.
TABERNA DEL ALABARDERO -- 18th and I streets NW; 202-429-2200. Through October, five-course pumpkin and squash menu, including chorizo with pumpkin mousse; seared pumpkin, goat cheese and pumpkin seed salad; grilled flounder with pumpkin puree; beef loin with spaghetti squash; and pumpkin cake with manchego cheese, $65.
-- Eve Zibart