There’s this great myth that when spring arrives, a bounty of ingredients comes with it. In actuality, spring ingredients find their way onto menus at a slow trickle. Outside of asparagus, peas, ramps, and other leafy greens, one spring arrival that packs amazing flavor and texture is the morel mushroom. A favorite of foragers, morel mushrooms taste downright meaty and will turn even hardcore carnivores into fans. It’s so popular that there are websites devoted solely to celebrating the sponge mushroom. Lovely with pasta and risotto or paired with almost any protein, mushrooms are an antioxidant and a good source of vitamins B2, B3, D, as well as copper, selenium, and potassium. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this fun fungi in recent restaurant reviews.
* Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton, Maryland: “Dinner there was excellent. The fresh morels and truffles were a delight.”
* Bistro du Midi, Boston, Massachusetts: “For dinner, we enjoyed a special of housemade tagliatelle with morels, trumpet mushrooms, asparagus, fava beans, peas, and sun-dried tomatoes. Divine!”
* Bluegrass Tavern, Baltimore, Maryland: “The food was terrific, and I would classify ourselves as foodies and picky. I had the morel and fava pot pie. It was silky and really punched the flavor on the morels.”
* Bouchon at The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nevada: “Amazing food! And the specials really are special! The morel mushroom and asparagus tagliatelle in lemon butter sauce was so good, I could have had three.”
* Crush, Seattle, Washington: “Lummi Nation halibut was outstanding in a preparation of morels/nettle sauce.”
* Golden Pheasant Inn, Erwina, Pennsylvania: “We shared a delicious kale salad with locally foraged morel mushrooms, and for entrees we had the shrimp and salmon. The food was exquisite, perfectly seasoned and prepared.”