Trending on Restaurant Reviews: Green Garlic

Green-GarlicGreen garlic isn’t really wholly green, just its stalk. Thus, a more accurate name might be baby garlic — because that’s just what it is. Garlic is sown in the fall and mature heads are harvested in early summer. If you pick it prematurely — right about now in New York, for example — you’ll wind up with young garlic, or green garlic, as it is most commonly known. Its flavor is far more mild than its older counterpart, and it is a popular substitute for leeks, onions, or scallions. Creative chefs, however, are taking this ingenue of an aromatic and making it the headliner. Look for it in everything from consomme and creamy soup to flan and risotto. Find out what diners are raving about in recent restaurant reviews — and don’t miss your chance to sample this short-season savory star. 

Angèle Restaurant & Bar, Napa, California: “We had a wonderful meal at Angele. The highlight was my green garlic risotto, which was fabulous.”

BayWolf, Oakland, California: “Such very pleasant ambiance, service, and an interesting menu. The green garlic flan starter melted in one’s mouth.”

Bocanova, Oakland, California: “Loved the roasted beets with goat cheese, green garlic, and hazelnuts.”

* Cafe Juanita, Seattle, Washington: “The green garlic flan was a great duck accompaniment. We will definitely be going back for more.”

Chez Panisse Cafe, Berkeley, California: “I had four exquisite meals at Chez Panisse. One dish, as an example, that I’ll never forget: slivers of baby artichoke and sunchoke, green garlic, olive oil, a hint of lemon, and truffles. So understated, but my dining companion and I stopped talking in order to assimilate and admire the simple genius of this dish.”

Fish Story, Napa, California: “Beautiful location, great looking menu. The seafood was fresh, and the chilled green garlic soup was very fresh and tasty.”

* Fruition Restaurant, Denver, Colorado: “I started with the green garlic consomme and was blown away by the complex flavors and the little surprises in the dish. I’m not going to go into great detail here because I want you to try it. This was the star of the night for me.”

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Trendspotting: Awful Offal; Fish Goes Green; Forkage Fees Make Author See Red; Restaurant Diners to See Fewer Tomatoes, and More

* It’s the awful side of offal as Rocky Mountain oysters show up on more menus. Blech. [The Atlantic]

* Move over green eggs and ham: Fish is getting in on the action as well. [Chicago Tribune]

* A restaurant asked Cake Bible author Rose Levy Beranbaum to fork over cash for a “forkage” fee for a — you guessed it — cake. [Chowhound]

* Some restaurants have secret menus that anyone can order so long as you know the secret names. Trust me when I say you’ll probably be better off if you don’t indulge in any of these things. [Coupon Spy]

* Cold weather has killed a lot of tomatoes and they’re in short supply at restaurants. [CNM]

* Restaurants in Dallas are going green. [Dallas Morning News]

* Restaurants in Chicago are serving pretzel bread. [FortWayne.com]

* It’s patio season in Beantown. [Grub Street Boston]

* Garlic goes green — literally. It’s already a vegetable, so it’s not like it’s not “green,” but some varieties are also actually green. [Los Angeles Times]

* Want to find sustainable fish? There’s an app for that. [Miller-McCune]

* More restaurants in New York are going green with rooftop gardens. [New York Magazine]

* It’s tough to keep kosher in Connecticut. [The New York Times]

* Restaurants have better house wines. [The Reporter-Vacaville]

* You can take a nap in Napa after you dine on first-rate cuisine, thanks to top-notch inns with equally impressive restaurants. [San Francisco Chronicle]

* Bars and booze are bringing more business in to restaurants. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

* The Star Tribune has had a food section for four decades and in that time, they’ve, admittedly, endorsed some pretty silly trends. [Star Tribune]

* Taiwan restaurants take sustainability a step further. [Trendspotter]

* Our diners up north have the skinny on what’s going to be trendy in food in the future, which has already arrived, apparently. [Vancouver Sun]

* A DC restaurant goes dark but not in the bad way. [Washington Post]