Even though it may not seem that way — especially after Stella wreaked havoc on our city last week — spring is technically here. The snow may still crunch under our feet, but the intoxicating smell of French fries and gravy will soon be in the air as Le Petit Poutine starts the engines of its food trucks at the end of the month. You can follow its route on Facebook or Twitter (@lepetitpoutine).
We tend to eat heavier in the wintertime; comfort foods stick to your ribs and enable you to sink further into the couch while you Netflix your way through the cold. When the weather gets warmer and springtime produce becomes available, menu items tend to lighten up and embrace the season's ingredients. CITY pulled together some dishes from area restaurants that embrace the "Think Spring" mentality.
Springtime is prime asparagus season and you'll find that ingredient highlighted in the Specked Scallops ($30) at Nosh (47 Russell Street; noshroc.com). The dish pairs jumbo scallops with asparagus risotto, smoked prosciutto, brown butter, and charred lemon.
Beets are at their peak in the spring and summer months, and Good Luck (50 Anderson Avenue; restaurantgoodluck.com) is celebrating the ingredient with the Salad of Beets 3 Ways ($15). Roasted, raw, and pickled beets are combined with frisèe, citrus, and candied cashews, and served with a melted camembert crostini. Orbs (758 South Avenue; orbsrestaurant.com) has a Rockin Beet salad ($7) on the menu that highlights the beet by salt roasting it, and pairing it First Light chèvre cheese, market greens, pecans, balsamic, and maple hibiscus purèe.
Roux's (688 Park Avenue; rouxparkave.com) Pan Seared Halibut ($29) pairs the buttery, delicate fish with spring ingredients, like leeks, potatoes, greens, and a saffron veloutè. And Han Noodle Bar (687 Monroe Avenue; hannoodlebar.com) sautés seasonal greens with garlic ($8.50).
April and May is the time to find wild mushrooms and Fiorella (5 Rochester Public Market; restaurantfiorella.com) uses fungi from Smugtown Mushrooms to top its pizza. Try adding mushrooms to the Marinara pizza ($12), topped with plum tomato sauce, garlic, basil, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil.
What's your favorite Rochester dish to eat in the springtime? Let us know in the comments below this article.
Zamir Gotta, known for trekking the globe with his partner-in-crime, Anthony Bourdain, will be appearing at Pittsford Wine and Spirits (3 Schoen Place) to promote the vodka that bears his name, Zamir Vodka, on Thursday, March 23, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gotta collaborated with Honeoye Falls Distillery in creating the spirit.
Black Button Distilling is opening a tasting room in Buffalo at 149 Swan Street. The tasting room, set to open in June, will offer the entire Black Button product line in addition to other New York State products, like Rohrbach Brewing Company beers and Steampunk Cider from Leonard Oakes. The tasting room will have tapas-style small plates on the menu and a patio and roof deck for private events. blackbuttondistilling.com.
Speaking of Roux (688 Park Avenue), on March 30, the restaurant will host a Rosé Pairing Dinner featuring a four-course, fixe prix menu. The restaurant is taking reservations for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. Call Roux, 461-2960, after you purchase your ticket to make a reservation.
Flight West (836 Long Pond Road) will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Wednesday, March 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with samples of its wine and whiskey selections in addition to light fare.
Open Face (651 South Avenue) has closed. Relish Catering and Event Planning will be opening in the space and expanding to include a lunch and drink menu.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.