Slideshow: 8 Asparagus Dishes We Love in Chicago

Asparagus a la Plancha at Vera ($10)
Asparagus a la Plancha at Vera ($10)
The purple asparagus cooked at high heat on the plancha goes superbly well with the San Simon (a smoked Spanish cheese) fondue below. A light and crisp raw shaved asparagus and micro-green salad hit with some house-made ramp oil adds a bright freshness to the dish as well.

Vera, 1023 W Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (map); 312-243-9770; verachicago.com

Pan-Roasted Fluke at Leopold $20
Pan-Roasted Fluke at Leopold $20
You may first notice the pan-roasted fluke and the crab Meyer lemon salad, but this dish is still a celebration of asparagus. That's because sandwiched between those components are two preparations of asparagus (purée on the bottom, blanched tips on top).

Leopold, 1450 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL (map); 312-348-1028; leopoldchicago.com

Mini Lobster Roll at GT Fish & Oyster ($16)
Mini Lobster Roll at GT Fish & Oyster ($16)
There's no doubt that the folks at GT know how to make a mean lobster roll, but did you know that the lunch version is not only served with their addictive fried onions, but a ramekin of pickled asparagus, as well as other pickled vegetables? Like a pickle on a burger, the acid of the asparagus works by cutting the cholesterol-laden morsels of lobster (don't worry, that's not a complaint).

GT Fish & Oyster, 531 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL (map); 312-929-3501; gtoyster.com

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Galette at Floriole Bakery ($5)
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Galette at Floriole Bakery ($5)
This über-flaky galette is topped with medallions of goat cheese and perfectly roasted segments of green asparagus. The simplicity of this dish really lets the asparagus shine.

Floriole Bakery, 1220 W Webster Avenue, Chicago, IL (map); 312-883-1313; floriole.com

Green and White Asparagus Tarte at Sixteen ($26)
Green and White Asparagus Tarte at Sixteen ($26)
This delicate and ornate tarte features both green and white asparagus and is accompanied by luscious slivers of Serrano ham and a tender salad of spring greens tossed in a Xeres vinaigrette. This is definitely the most extravagant dish of the bunch, but hey, isn't asparagus worth it?

Sixteen, 401 N Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL (map); 312-588-8030; restaurant webiste

Shaved Asparagus at Nellcôte ($5)
Shaved Asparagus at Nellcôte ($5)
This dish is a great example of why more restaurants should serve raw shaved asparagus. From the woody-yet-fresh flavor to the al dente-like texture, it's a great vehicle for more prominent components. In this instance, black walnuts, gouda cheese, Meyer lemon, and trumpet mushrooms round out this great dish.

Nellcôte, 833 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL (map); 312-635-5268; nellcoterestaurant.com