Spring has sprung in St. Louis and one of the first delicacies to herald its arrival is the morel mushroom. Its woodsy, nutty, steak-like flavor makes it highly coveted among discerning diners and mushroom hunters alike.
The harvesting season is short and St. Louis chefs have already been busy creating off-the-menu specials before they are all gone. A frequent pairing is with another vernal crop – the ramp, a wild onion with an equally short-lived growing season that imparts an unmistakable brightness and freshness to a dish. We’ve rounded up three restaurants offering morel dishes until the season is over, likely around the end of April or early May.
6679 Delmar Boulevard, The Loop
The Latin-inspired restaurant on Delmar offers a "Spring Beef Cheek Taco" featuring braised Root + Holler beef cheek with morels and charred spring onion salsa and whipped crema.
5100 Daggett Avenue, the Hill
This acclaimed restaurant in the city's Italian neighborhood promises a goose egg omelet with morels. The dish features goose eggs mixed with “Barely Buzzed” cheese from the Beehive Cheese Company – an espresso and lavender hand-rubbed cow's milk cheese – topped with ramps and sautéed morels.
Five Bistro is also promising a gnocchi with morels and ramps: Black pepper and baked potato gnocchi with morels and sautéed ramp bottoms in a white wine herbed butter sauce, topped with green ramp tops.
7624 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton
Bar Les Freres
7637 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton
The final two morel options come from genius restaurateur Zoe Robinson. At her Italian spot, I Fratellini, Robinson is serving grilled ramps with speck and Parmigiano-Reggiano. She's also offering morels with pappardelle pasta, shallots and garlic.
At Bar Les Freres, Robinson's romantic French boite, she's serving a gnocchi with morels, shallots and garlic. Délicieux!
Both restaurants are featuring a special filet mignon with sauteed morels.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story wrongly listed the "spring beef cheek taco" as coming from Mike Randolph's restaurant Randolfi's. It's actually being served at his other restaurant, Público. We regret the error.
Follow Sara Graham on Instagram and Twitter at @engagetaste. E-mail the author at [email protected].