Ready or not, spring has sprung and menus, they are-a-changing, reflecting mother nature’s blooming bounty.
We’ve rounded up some noteworthy new dishes in the Bay Area. Here is what you need to check out this spring.
OctaviaLike many restaurants in San Francisco, the menu has just changed at chef/owner Melissa Perello’s one-Micheiln-starred favorite where “beautifully defined flavors and seasonally-driven cuisine are the cornerstones of [the] menu.”
The crisp new potatoes with pickled jalapeño, spring onion aioli and salsa verde is simple yet vibrant, and a sure-fire way to start a meal.
Other new spring dishes include fennel soup with fingerling potato, green garlic, crème fraîche and lemon agrumato; coulotte of wagyu beef, koji, grilled asparagus, spring onion and gribiche; and five-spice duck leg with black garlic, baby bok choy, citrus and toasted hazelnut.
Monsieur BenjaminFried chicken à l’anglaise stuffed with homemade ham and Gruyère and topped with a sauce suprême with button mushrooms is now up for grabs at Corey Lee’s casual bistro in the Civic Center. “[It’s] kind of retro, but so tasty,” he says.
AcquerelloSuzette Gresham is celebrating spring with new dishes nettle pasta with Tuscan bean “ribollita” and olio nuovo; grilled Arctic char with baby artichokes, durum wheat cous cous and tomato brodetto; and Willamette Valley lamb with parsnip-spice bread, black trumpets, walnuts and cocoa.
Sons & DaughtersIndeed, the nine-course tasting menu changes often at chef Teague Moriarty’s one-Michelin-starred restaurant in Nob Hill. April’s menu offerings include gently-grilled white asparagus with kaluga caviar; fava bean pithivier with roasted mushrooms and chicken skin lardons; and aged New York strip with twice-baked new potato and confit green garlic.
Chef Alex Jackson is helping with menu r&d; we’re hoping this braised octopus dressed in nettles with a blood sausage atop a scallion-feta pancake will be available soon.
Al’s Place“Vegetables are the star of the menu at this bright blue oasis on busy Valencia Street, which adheres to a mostly pescatarian philosophy, with carnivorous options available on the side,” say our anonymous inspectors of chef/owner Aaron London’s one-Michelin-starred Mission eatery.
New plates include mushroom broth chawanmushi with Fuji apple and pistachio; asparagus, green peach mayo, maitakes, yuzu cucumber and burnt miso; and campanelle, smoked fumet, spring garlic pesto and goat’s gouda.
The hearty curry dish (pictured above) has also changed to reflect the spring season; it now features green pea curry, black-lime cod and pickled strawberry.
Rich TableNew on the dinner menu at Sara and Evan Rich’s one-Michelin-starred restaurant is spring vegetables and leaves, buttermilk and black garlic; aged beef agnolotti, green tomatoes, chipotle and romaine; and pork chop tonkatsu with savoy cabbage and Japanese curry.
But the dish we’re most excited about, however, is the savory—not sweet—foie gras pie with strawberry, rhubarb and almond.