Courtesy photoHalloween is right around the corner and that means it's time again for the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival.

An expedition to Himalayan cuisine at The Third Eye Restaurant

Claiming to be the first Indian restaurant in Millbrae, The Third Eye Restaurant & Bar is now open serving Northern Indian dishes and the hard-to-find cuisine of Nepal, courtesy of a former chef at San Mateo's acclaimed All Spice who is originally from Nepal. The Himalayan-steamed dumpling specialty is the headliner, either filled with water buffalo or chicken. Other Nepali dishes include a unique goat curry and the coconut-flavored rice pudding, kheer. The Indian part of the menu is more extensive, featuring standards like samosas as a starter, biryanis, freshly baked naan and roti, and tandoori grilled meats. There are also interesting main plates and curries from the country's north, including a Kashmir-style rabbit, a Goan-style shrimp curry and a curry with roasted chicken and cumin. Lunch brings a buffet and there is a sports bar half of the restaurant with a full array of cocktails, beer and wine, and several TVs for following Bay Area teams. Don't forget garam masala creme brulee for dessert. 333 Broadway, Millbrae; (650) 777-0907, hirdeyesf.com

PALO ALTO

With a world-fusion menu literally spanning the globe from bourbon- and lime-spiced lamb belly with curried mandarin orange and manchego cheese risotto, to a brisket crepe with lotus paste and hoisin sauce, alkymists restaurant, bar & foodanthropy has opened in Palo Alto. Alkymists' varied menu is divided into small and large plates, street food like pork belly tacos with curry-glazed corn, and doughs. The 100-seat restaurant takes over the former Palo Alto Grill space with sidewalk seating, lots of reclaimed wood and saffron-terra cotta-colored walls, and a prominent bar. At that bar, innovative cocktails are served featuring juices and syrups all made in-house, and several unusual ingredients and elixirs like yerba mate tea and catuaba (a type of tree bark) that possess specific health benefits. Foodanthropy is now a word and once a month alkymists will close to the public and feed low-income individuals with a free brunch. 140 University Ave., Palo Alto; (650) 321-3514. Alkymists.com

FOSTER CITY

Specialty's Café & Bakery has a new location in Foster City, offering its breakfast, lunch and pastries menus with an emphasis on freshness and being made from scratch. This is the small West Coast chain's fourth Peninsula cafe. Featuring a Peet's Coffee bar, Specialty's has breakfast choices including blueberry scones and egg sandwiches. Lunch brings several warm and cold sandwiches, soups and salads like the chicken cobb. Then there are always peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies to bring back to the office. 1031 E Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City; No phone. Specialtys.com

HALF MOON BAY

Halloween is right around the corner and that means it's time again for the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival. In addition to the parade and celebrating the champion Great Pumpkin, the eats and drinks menu features everything pumpkin: pumpkin beer, pumpkin jack-o-tinis, pumpkin chili, pumpkin churros, chicken pumpkin sausages, and much more. Pumpkins are everywhere next weekend at the World Pumpkin Capital, Oct. 18-19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pumpkinfest.miramarvents.com fresheats@sfexaminer.com

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