Hibiscus, Crawfish and More! Put Some Spring in Your Step with New Seasonal Menus from These Foodie Faves

Hibiscus, Crawfish and More! Put Some Spring in Your Step with New Seasonal Menus from These Foodie Faves

Neula at MARCH (photo by Zach Horst)

OUT WITH THE old, in with the new. Spring has sprung, and so have local seasonal ingredients and our taste for something fresh and light. Here are some of the best spring flavors to savor!


Little's Oyster Bar

Crawfish croquette at Little's

Chef Jason Ryczek’s new spring menu at this happening seafood go-to showcases seasonal Gulf Coast-forward specialties. Dressed Oysters come with hibiscus ponzu, smoked trout roe, and green oil, while luxe Wild Mussel Escabeche is smoked and chilled. A tad more decadent, Crawfish Croquettes are gently fried and served with rouille — a rich French sauce spiced with saffron — fresh spring peas, and tendrils. Its new PGDA Rib Eye is the same cut served at sister restaurant Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Ryczek adds a Japanese spin with wild mushroom tare (an intense broth/glaze) and fresh wasabi. Add on Curried Cauliflower with spiced chickpeas, or marinated Morel Mushrooms and Soft Poached Heritage Egg, and that’s an innovative steak dinner!

Lead bartender Oliver Brooks is also celebrating the season with fresh cocktails including Rose Colored Glasses starring raspberry-infused Luxardo bitter bianco, guava, and sparkling wine. Or Some Like it Hot made with overproof blanco tequila, Fresno chile, cucumber and lime. Rather have dessert? Don’t miss the fresh new Corona Farm strawberries with shortcake and chocolate gelato.

MARCH

Escudella de Hortalissa at MARCH (photo by Zach Horst)

Dreaming of getting away but can’t? Book a Resy at this Montrose award-winner for an extraordinary dining experience. The newest Mediterranean menu celebrates the cuisines and culture of the Catalan-speaking areas including Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, an archipelago encompassing Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, France's historical province of Roussillon, Valencia, and more. Its Països Catalans menu reflects the two distinctive styles that set Catalan cuisine apart – mar i muntanya, which marries elements of the sea and the mountains and dolç i salat, a blend of sweet and savory, all in one pot or dish. Familiar sauces rooted in Catalan cuisine include aioli, Romesco and sofrito.

A few highlights on the 6 or 9-course tasting menu include Fricandó, a take on the traditional Catalan beef stew with an apolonia-spiced wagyu short rib topped with picada, a traditional condiment of herbs and nuts, alongside chestnut pureé. Ànec Confita is duck pressed with cherries, white asparagus, pickled grapes and candied lavender almond, while Paella Valenciana is crafted with lamb chorizo, sweetbreads, fava beans, and saffron socarrat tuile. Choose the optional cocktail or wine pairing for a

Brasserie 19

Brasserie 19's Veal Papparedelle

A favorite watering hole and meet-and-greet in River Oaks has rolled out new cocktails and dishes to usher in spring. Veal Pappardelle is a lovely and colorful choice with slow cooked veal, fava bean, English peas, and gremolata swirled among wide pappardelle pasta. More rib-sticking dishes include Sakura pork chop with braised greens and yellow grits, and the Braised Lamb Shank with roasted sunchoke and local mushrooms garnished with arugula-horseradish purée. Several new cocktails are on tap this season, like the Palabra Final: Montelobos mezcal, boomsma, fresh lime, and simple syrup. Bring Fido along to enjoy the spring weather — the restaurant will be redoing its patio beginning in June.

Aya Sushi

Nigiri at Aya Sushi (photo by Jenn Duncan)

With plenty of crudo, sashimi and nigiri selections, it’s easy to load up on omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamins while eating light this spring and enjoying the patio. Aya’s Spring Omakase has launched, with delicacies including Hatsu Gatsuo: first catch of Skipjack, part of the tuna family, which has much leaner meat but carries buttery, mouth-melting characteristics. Also, Sashimi Zuwaigani: raw snow crab flown fresh, not frozen, paired with house-made kani su (a vinegar-based sauce), and more. The Bellaire sushi spot is also now offering wine flights!

Mutiny Wine Room

Spread out on the spacious and dog-friendly patio with wine and friends at this wine café and take in the great weather. Mutiny Wine Room's mission is to bring the Napa Valley wine-tasting experience to the vibrant Heights neighborhood, while enjoying chef Eduardo’s global menu, mixing California sensibilities with a Texas twist. Steamed mussels with green coconut curry broth, Jasmine rice and charred lemon; Gulf snapper ceviche with leche de tigremarinade; and fresh East Coast Oysters Thai Set-Up are a few seasonal favorites this time of year. Happy Hour is offered Tuesday-Friday from 4-6pm and Saturday-Sunday from 2-5pm. Check out the website for ongoing Paella Sundays, Steak Flight Nights and special wine dinners.

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