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.
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).
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).
Jowl at The Purple Pig ($11)
Served on toast, grilled asparagus is topped with oyster mushrooms, pesto aioli, crispy jowl, and a perfectly fried hen egg (if you missed it, we love eggs just as much as asparagus). The jowl has been on the menu for as long I can remember, but this iteration leaves me craving for more.
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Galette at Floriole Bakery ($5)
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?
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.
Spring Asparagus Soup at West Town Tavern ($8)
Vibrant, flavorful, and light, this asparagus soup screams springtime. Simple and not overdone, asparagus is clearly the star of the show; however, the crispy bits of country ham are a welcome addition, adding a little salty punch one spoonful at a time.