Ready or not, spring has sprung and menus, they are a-changin’, reflecting mother nature’s blooming bounty.
We’ve rounded up some noteworthy new dishes in the Nation's capital. Here is what you need to check out this spring.
At Hazel, a Bib Gourmand designee in the ever-bustling Shaw neighborhood, executive chef/owner Rob Rubba brings forth the spring season to diner’s delight via his globally-inspired collection of small plates. Now on the menu: asparagus with soft-poached egg, smoked tofu and grilled onion vinaigrette; confit rabbit-Waldorf with toasted English muffin, hazelnuts and grilled gem lettuce; and fava bean falafel with fennel jam, jalapeño and black sesame yogurt (pictured below).
Executive chef Anton Bolling has revamped his menu at the Trabocchi duo’s waterfront seafood restaurant in Georgetown. This season’s additions include a spring garden salad of baby gem lettuces, spring vegetables, leek panna cotta and almonds; milk-poached French white asparagus with sea urchin aioli, nasturtium and Sicilian olive oil; and tonnarelli
pasta with rabbit ragu, blonde morel mushrooms, colatura (an Italian fish sauce) and Pecorino cheese.
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As for main entrées, diners will delight in the grilled Norwegian salmon with spring vegetables, dandelion greens and citronette, which is available for lunch.
A multitude of spring ingredients are highlighted on executive chef Tracy O’Grady’s tasting menu: smoked salmon is paired with asparagus, pickled shallots, dill and beet gastrique, while seared halibut is served with fennel mousse, basil and bacon/caper/tomato broth.
Also on the menu are plump, seared scallops served with truffled savoy cabbage, beet coulis, baby sorrel and carrot emulsion.
“What makes this 'pearl' such a memorable dining experience is that the cooking is ambitious yet whimsical, and completely devoid of formality or fuss,” state Michelin inspectors of Aaron Silverman’s two-Michelin-starred eatery on Capitol Hill.
The new spring menu was revealed last week, with dishes including house-made silken tofu with Hokkaido uni, veal sweetbread en croute and a celebration of abalone featuring abalone panna cotta set inside their beautiful shells and topped with the braised meat, salsify cream and Royal Ossetra caviar.
D.C. diners revel in restaurateur Hakan Ilhan’s modern American-meets-French eatery on 16th street. This spring, executive chef Frank Ruta is serving up warm white asparagus with tarragon coulis, blood orange, almond and quail egg; foie gras poached in consommé with chrysanthemum leaves, radish and onion buds; and Pennsylvania rabbit ballotine with organic barley, fava beans, tender carrots and nettle froth.
And for dessert, pastry chef Aggie Chin has created whimsical dishes including black pepper pavlova with green apple mousse, Pernod gelée, golden raisins, green apple fennel sorbet and yogurt granita; and the pamplemousse (pictured above) featuring grapefruit chiffon cake studded with grapefruit pâte de fruit, candied and fresh grapefruit and topped with grapefruit/thyme sorbet.