Since we are transitioning seasons from winter to spring our new menu changes reflect that seasonal transition – lots of stinging nettles, wild watercress, spring onions and foraged mushrooms. Most of these ingredients are coming from the West coast and it is exciting for us to use in conjunction with our current selection of local winter root vegetables and greens.
For instance, our BEETS dish is a combination of root vegetables paired with a nettle pistou and local greens. The pistou, pickled chard stems and greens give the beets and salsify and bit of lightness and acidity. And the bright green pistou is an indicator of warmer days and spring around the corner.
We’re also burning through the canned goods we preserved from last summer so we have room for new ones – Pepperoncini, sauerkraut, lots of pickled vegetables and canned tomatoes (as found in the Bolognese on the tasting menu). We’re busy preserving lots of citrus before it goes away for the summer season – Meyer lemons, yuzu, grapefruit, blood oranges, kaffir limes.
One of the more unique greens getting play on our menu this spring, stinging nettle has a flavor similar to spinach when cooked and is rich in vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Young plants were harvested by Native Americans and used as a cooked plant in spring when other food plants were scarce. Soaking nettles in water or cooking will remove the stinging chemicals from the plant, which allows them to be handled and eaten without incidence of stinging. We blanch the nettles and blend with olive oil, lemon zest, parsley leaves and salt.
If you haven’t already, come in and taste these flavors and many more on our new six course Chef’s Tasting menu.