What to Eat This weekend: Local Asparagus

Sample the fresh stalks at these area restaurants before its short season ends

Asparagus is perhaps the most satisfying spring vegetable—it’s meaty enough to be the centerpiece of a dish, and the crisp, flavorful stems stand up well alongside grilled meat and fish. Asparagus season is sizzling out now in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; then it’s back to the hothouse. No time to peel, trim, and blanche your own stalks this weekend? We’ve rounded up some area restaurants where you can still get your crunchy green fix.

Chef Ian Moroney revels in utilizing all the different sizes of asparagus he gets from Viereck Farms in New Jersey. Tiny stalks pop up in the baby vegetable dishes, while big ones take center stage in an asparagus appetizer. Moroney roasts the long stems with salty, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serves them with braised beech mushrooms and a Meyer lemon sauce.
Pumpkin, 1713 South Street, 215-545-4448

Noble: An American Cookery
Noble brings the farm to Center City with its airy dining room and organic vegetable roof garden. They don’t grow their asparagus on the roof (they source it from Jersey and Green Meadow farm in Lancaster) but it’s still fresh and local. Sample the meaty green stalks in an asparagus and artichoke salad with golden beets, sucrine lettuce, slow-cooked egg, and barigoule vinaigrette. Asparagus also accompanies the halibut and pan-roasted free-range chicken breast entrées.
Noble American Cookery, 2025 Sansom Street, 215-568-7000

Supper turns asparagus into haute cuisine comfort food with a salad of tender stems topped with poached egg, pecorino, and smoked walnuts.
Supper, 926 South Street, 215-592-8180

Prefer your veggies charred? Head to this NoLibs upscale BYO and tuck into the pan-roasted salmon with local grilled asparagus and a fennel and orange salad, drizzled with blood orange vinaigrette.
Sonata, 1030 North American Street, 215-238-1240

To satisfy all your veggie cravings, try the risotto at Mercato. The creamy arborio rice—studded with fresh fava beans, artichoke, spring onion, mint, parmesan and, of course, asparagus—is a study in spring. Order up some grilled asparagus on the side to overdose on vitamin A.
Mercato, 1216 Spruce Street, 215-985-2962