Flavor of the Month: Morel Mushrooms
Plus, an update of restaurant openings.
Adored by chefs, morel mushrooms are known for their meaty, earthy flavor. They also famously come in and out of season in a matter of weeks in April, which makes them pricey—$35 per pound. But they’re hard to beat as a vehicle for buttery, flavorful sauces. Oakleys Bistro serves a morel buttermilk waffle, topped with pork cheeks, morel compound butter, and Indiana sorghum syrup. At Cerulean, you’re likely to find them sauteed and glazed with brown butter, stock, and verjus (pressed juice of unripened grapes). Thunderbird goes with tempura-fried morels, served with a sauce made of pungent cheeses, all the better to match the woodsy tones of the mushrooms. And at Libertine Liquor Bar, the morels come cooked in a sauce of butter, white wine, and garlic. In-the-know home cooks find fresh morels at Locally Grown Gardens, where owner Ron Harris sources them from foragers who follow a morel trail from southern Indiana in mid-April all the way to Alaska in June. His crib sheet: Clean them, dust with flour, and saute in butter, just until softened. Then start the countdown to next year’s harvest.
Parked – Scratchtruck is serving some of its mobile-kitchen favorites at an Irvington pop-up in the former Hummingbird Cafe, 130 S. Audubon Rd.—dinner only, Wednesday through Saturday.
Checking In – Fat Rooster Diner opened inside downtown’s Hyatt Regency, replacing One South in the hotel’s atrium lobby.
Nuevo in Town – Upscale Mexican chain Nada just moved in next to Circle Centre.