A number of restaurants in the city are getting a jump on the ramp madness that overtakes New York each year. Not to contribute to the mania, but we’re happy to report that at least one of these early ramp dishes has made its way into our belly.
The scene: a warm, springlike Monday afternoon. The meal: the two-week-old $29.95 lunch special at Ciano. The dish: gnocchi with ramps, speck, onion, and fennel pollen. The dumplings were of a perfectly pierceable texture, not gummy or chewy, but rather fluffy. A hint of herbaceousness permeated the dish, which managed to be creamy and light, accented by shavings of sharp Italian cheese — Asiago, perhaps. Would we have known the sweet garlic note was ramps had we not read the menu? Probably not. But there’s nothing wrong with getting a little swept up with the excitement of the season.
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