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Spring Dishes on the Rise

content_betony-nettle-ravioliIt’s no wonder most chefs will tell you that spring is their favorite time of the year.  That’s because delicate, verdant produce, like Ramps, Peas, and Fiddlehead Ferns are green delicacies, made even more appealing by the fact that their seasons last only a fleeting three or four weeks.  So you can bet we’re taking advantage of all that spring has to offer, seeking out delicious, warm weather dishes at some of our favorite restaurants, like Juni’s Asparagus with Quail Eggs, Betony’s Stinging Nettle Ravioli, Beautique’s Rhubarb Kataifi and much, much more!

Juni

Juni
12 E 31st St
Midtown East,New York 10016
(212) 995-8599

While chef Shaun Hergatt takes inspiration from seasonal produce 365 days a year, it’s no secret he prefers the warmer months (Juni is Latin for June, or the height of the harvest).  So right now, he’s like a kid in a candy store (make that a greenmarket), fleshing out his menu with a number of dishes that absolutely embody spring.  Look for Quail Egg with planks of Asparagus and blooms of Sylvetta Arugula, silky tendrils of Fava Bean Plant with Frogs Legs swirled with White Balsamic Gelée, and musky Morel Mushrooms perfuming a Veal Tenderloin paired with Sweetbreads and scattered with bitter Mustard Blossoms. Seasonal enough for you?

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Beautique

Beautique
8 West 58th St
Midtown West,New York 10019
(212) 753-1200

Le Cirque’s former chef, Craig Hopson, couldn’t have picked a better time to debut his brand new, modern American restaurant, located a stones throw from The Plaza hotel.  Because his opening menu serves as a showcase for spring’s most lusted-after ingredients, from Rabbit and Fava Salad and Spring Pea Soup as appetizers to Grassfed Beef with Ramp Jus and Lamb with Mint Relish as Entrees, along with Fiddlehead Ferns with Orange Zest and Swiss Chard with Capers as side dishes, and a Brown Butter Kaitafi with Pickled Rhubarb and Ricotta Cheese Sorbet for dessert.

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Betony

Betony
41 W 57th Street
Midtown West,New York 10019
(212) 465-2400

Bryce Shuman’s Glazed Nettle Ravioli are totally worth all of the careful handling and preparation invariably required (yes, stinging nettles really do sting!)  Tasting like a cross between spinach and watercress, the blanched leaves form a filling for tender pillows of pasta, sauced with a shallot and white wine foam and strewn with crunchy, toasted hazelnuts and a generous serving of honeycomb-textured, wildly expensive morel mushrooms.

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Telepan Local

Telepan Local
329 Greenwich St
West Village,New York 10013
(212) 966-9255

Bill Telepan is one of New York’s seminal farm-to-table chefs, so it’s no surprise that he’s remained entirely committed to the greenmarket at his comparatively casual, new Tribeca spot, Telepan Local.  One of the loveliest dishes on his spring menu are nubby, butter-fried Gnocchi, laced with sautéed stinging nettles and snips of wild garlic, finished with a powder of freshly grated cheese.

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Toro

Toro
85 10th Avenue
Meatpacking District,New York 10011
(212) 691-2360

The menu at the New York outpost of Toro (the flagship is in Boston) may be structured around the fare of Barcelona, but plenty of local, farmer’s market inspiration is weaved in there, too.  That’s why you’ll currently find all manner of hyper-seasonal dishes on offer, like Asparagus prepared on the plancha and served with hot aioli and cured egg yolk as well as two, new Paellas; one featuring Lamb, dotted with artichokes, green garlic, spigarello (a broccoli-esque leafy green) and fresh mint, and the other showcasing Lobster, summer truffles, morel mushrooms and favas.

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Tocqueville

Tocqueville
1 E 15th St
Union Square,New York 10003
(212) 647-1515

This perpetually underrated, Union Square eatery was one of the first to get their hands on a shipment of spring’s most lusted-after ingredient – Ramps.  In fact, chef Jason Lawless has designed a four-course, $85 menu especially around them, which will be offered through the end of April.  Expect Ramp Risotto with preserved lemon and grilled Ramps, Oven Roasted Wild Scottish Sea Trout with Ramp emulsion, Veal Loin and Braised Breast with Green Asparagus, charred Ramps, Morel Mushrooms and veal jus, and Vermont Creamery Coupole Cheese wrapped in Ramp leaves and served with first-pressed olive oil and toasted pine nuts.

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Allswell

Allswell
124 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn,New York 11211
(347) 799-2743

April Bloomfield protégé, Nate Smith, is fully embracing the season at his Williamsburg gastropub, serving fantastic springtime specials, like Green Chili and Artichoke Soup, Sautéed Ramps with a sunnyside up egg, Grilled Asparagus with pesto and crab, Gnocchi with Asparagus, Shitakes and basil, and a juicy Flatiron Steak, served with a gardens worth of greens like Fiddlehead Ferns, Artichokes, Escarole, and a zippy Salsa Verde.

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Colonie

Colonie
127 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn,NY 11201
(718) 855-7500

Seasonality has always been a driving force at Brooklyn Heights favorite, Colonie, the first restaurant to be funded through Kickstarter.  And the current menu is positively teeming with sprightly spring fruits and veggies, like Duck Rillette with lacquered Rhubarb, Asparagus with Green Garlic and baby Swiss Chard, Snap Peas with Green Strawberries and Lemon Marmalade, Ravioli with Fiddleheads and Chickpeas, and Cavatelli with Spring Onions, English Peas and Nettles.

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