There’s no sign more indicative that spring has sprung than catching a glimpse of rhubarb on menus, and after the winter New York just faced, we’ve never been more amped to see it. Chefs swear by the vegetable’s chameleon-esque charm in the kitchen: Its flavor ranges from tangy and bitter to bright and sweet, and its cinnamon red markings benefit every plate it touches. Here are just five ways that chefs across town are highlighting the punchy perennial.
Crab Salad, Louro, 142 West 10th Street
On Monday, April 28, chef David Santos will be serving a crab salad with rhubarb sorbet, house-made Thai chili vinegar aioli, and confit garlic as the second course of his “Save the Ramps” dinner — an installment of the restaurant’s weekly rotating and BYO Louro Nossa Mesa dinners. Santos went with sorbet in part to balance the savory notes found in rhubarb, but also to create a citrus-forward foundation to pair with the natural sweetness of the crab.
The Swedish Cloud, Red Rooster Harlem, 310 Lenox Avenue, Harlem
Red Rooster honors the plant’s peak season with the The Swedish Cloud: a pistachio sponge cake topped with fresh rhubarb, cream cheese foam, and lemon-elderberry curd. The creation is a signature dessert from Patrik Fredriksson, executive pastry chef at Marcus Samuelsson’s Norda Bar & Grill in Goteborg, Sweden, and it will be available through the end of April as a nod to the cross-Atlantic outpost.
Berkshire Center Cut Pork Chop, Cookshop, 156 Tenth Avenue
Executive chef Marc Meyer ensures seasonality works its way into every plate at Cookshop, even when it’s unexpected (think pizza with West Virginia ramps and minestrone soup with rutabaga). His pork chop is no exception: A Berkshire center cut is served alongside spinach, tangy rhubarb mostarda and red-wine-and-cider-braised cabbage.
The Spring, Hospoda, 321 East 73rd Street
At this Upper East Side eatery, chef René Stein serves a French and German-inspired multi-course menu, whose dishes work in tandem with the finely tuned beer and wine selection for a 360 degree dining experience. The team suggests Tokaji for The Spring, a sweet and tart ode to the longest-awaited season with strawberry broth-poached rhubarb and a quenelle of asparagus sorbet.
Rhubarb Tart, DBGB Kitchen & Bar, 299 Bowery
At DBGB Kitchen & Bar, pastry chef Mymi Eberhardt calls upon her classic French training and Alsatian upbringing for her menu of updated classics, including her own personal childhood favorite — rhubarb tart. For today’s rendition, she roasts strawberries and rhubarb for a sweet, warm compote that balances a tangy yogurt cream and house-made mint ice cream.