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The Most Smashing Pumpkin-Infused Meal of My Life

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Half Moon Bay has long been one of my preferred towns for a day or a weekend getaway. However, I always avoided this coastal town around Halloween because of the event that has helped put it on the map, The Annual Pumpkin Festival.  This year I took the plunge and embraced this pumpkin-loving fest full on, and I am so glad I did.

Everywhere you turn, you are reminded that this is Pumpkin Town, USA. There are pumpkin patches, pumpkin stalls, pumpkins on doorsteps and rooftops. Even locals and visitors alike are sporting pumpkins! Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, and I did for one night only. 

Chef Aaron Zimmer knows his way around a pumpkin

As part of my pumpkin adventure I enjoyed one of the most amazing and creative meals I have ever had the joy of eating—at The Ritz-Carlton no less!

Shrimp and diced pumpkin                               Foie gras with cinderella pumpkin and date bread

This is how our pumpkin tasting adventure began—with one massive Bay shrimp sitting on a bed of miniature diced pumpkin. The sweet taste of pumpkin with this larger-than-life shrimp was perfect.

Pumpkin gnocchi with beef and short ribs       Dessert

It was an unforgettable meal conjured up by chef Aaron Zimmer. When I think pumpkin I usually think pie; but it was nowhere to be seen on this delicious five-course tasting menu. Instead, a menu filled with surprises and delights was offered and pumpkin was presented in ways I would never have imagined. For $105, this meal is worth every dollar. This was one of the best meals I have ever enjoyed—or rather, devoured. 

Pumpkin, who knew it could provide such a party on one’s palette.