Executive Sous Chef Bobby Riahi inspires his culinary team to think outside the box and create new recipes made from local fare. Sous Chef Joe Kurrle accepted that challenge and the result is the newest item on the menu at Starved Rock Lodge: Pumpkin Gnocchi. This entrée is a team effort composed of hand-made gnocchi (made by our chefs) filled with roasted pumpkin they picked at a local farm. Luke Holly owns a 4-acre pumpkin patch in Granville, IL that he initially started for his two children. Once he saw the joy they experienced in growing and picking their own pumpkins, he decided to expand his garden into two four-acre patches. Each year, he rotates the crops between sweet corn and pumpkins.
The Lodge’s pumpkin gnocchi is rich and hearty. It’s topped with a light cream sauce with a note of fresh fennel. Microgreens garnish this comforting winter dish that is accented by a freshly toasted Parmesan Crisp which adds a unique texture to the dish.
Past local fare menu items have included Bassett Farms Chicken, Mareta Ravioli, Wyanet Sausage Lasagna and Sweet Corn & Morel Mushroom Risotto (with hand-picked sweet corn from Whiskey Acres of DeKalb, IL).