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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Seasonal Dish: Where to Savor Spring Asparagus

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge Pizzetta 211's seasonal asparagus dish captures the freshness of early spring. - ANASTASIA CROSSON
  • Anastasia Crosson
  • Pizzetta 211's seasonal asparagus dish captures the freshness of early spring.

The San Francisco dining scene can be described as trend-setting or status-quo, traditional or modern, yet there is one inarguable common thread in the city's go-to favorite restaurants and hidden gems: seasonality. It's time for bright spring flavors to call our palates out of hibernation. Let's take a look at the Seasonal Dish from restaurants who are getting it right.

The first seasonal dish to savor? Dark Horse Inn's seasonal menu starter, asparagus with burrata and house-made pickled shallots ($7). With a locally-sourced, house made whenever possible, and seasonal approach to food, Dark Horse Inn is a go-to neighborhood favorite in the Excelsior -- and it's easy to see why with this aparagus dish, which captures the freshness of the early shoots just coming into season.

click to enlarge Dark Horse Inn's asparagus with burrata and shallots. - ANASTASIA CROSSON
  • Anastasia Crosson
  • Dark Horse Inn's asparagus with burrata and shallots.

Charred asparagus mingling with warmed burrata turns simply-dressed produce into something rich and decadent. A simple peppered olive oil dressing with a tangy bite from the house-made shallot pickles creates a depth of contrasting flavors. Pair this starter with FiftyFifty Farmhouse Ale ($6, 10 oz.), just one of many craft brews Dark Horse Inn rotates on tap. This farmhouse ale has a dry, slight acidity which plays well with the astringent and sweet qualities of asparagus.

Over in the outer Richmond, Pizzetta 211's simple asparagus spring menu starter ($10.50) is also worth a seasonal mention. Asparagus lightly dressed in a blend of parsley, chive, mint, lemon zest, boiled egg with a peppercress garnish and toasted almonds. The light dressing adds a citrus flavor and complementing garnishes lend a not-at-all overpowering peppery bite and a bit of texture. This spring at Pizetta 211, expect seasonal pizzas featuring flavor combinations like asparagus, pea tendrils, Fontina and almond picada ($15.50).

For a sweet seasonal finish, Bi-Rite Creamery's brought back the must-have Meyer Lemon Ice Cream ($3.50, single scoop). Only once a year can you count on this sweeter variety of lemon to brighten a frozen concoction. Try it ice cream sandwich-style with the salted lavender cookies for a sticky, sweet-sour-salty combo.

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About The Author

Anastasia Crosson

Anastasia has been writing freelance since 2010, and is a 2012 alum of SJSU, B.S. Journalism and Mass Communications. She also tweets @westandwander for her blog, Her foodie obsessions include farm-to-table dining, micro producers, and keeping backyard chickens.


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