Spring is here. I know this because I have a calendar and consider myself a somewhat functioning adult. However, from the view off my back porch, it is very much winter. Snow still lies in shaded areas and piles up on the sides of streets and sidewalks. Visions of violets, daffodils, and green grass are still about a month away. Such is life.
Spring is in the air and winter is over but there’s still a ways to go before peas, and asparagus, and ramps, oh my! Root cellars are dwindling, our stockpile or pickles and preserves are becoming more scarce, and we have nearly exhausted every imaginable way to prepare squash. For chefs dedicated to local, seasonally available ingredients, this is one of the most challenging times of the year to uphold culinary ethics while still keeping guest’s tastebuds tantalized.
Overcoming great challenges brings a great sense of accomplishment. That being said, Gracie’s culinary team is extremely proud of our current late Winter / early Spring menu.
Local vegetables come and go with the changing of the seasons. However, the delicious pork raised by Ann Marie Bouthillette of Blackbird Farm is available all year round. Her heritage breed Berkshire pigs spend their days running and playing with their piggy brothers and sisters. These happy pigs are allowed to forage and root as they would in the wild. They have plenty of room to run around and be pigs. Happy pigs make happy pork.
Our current menu features a juicy Blackbird Farm pork chop served with roasted apples, hazelnuts, caramelized rutabaga, endives, and a maple cider pork jus. These already juicy and flavorful pork chops are brined overnight to add extra flavor and tenderness. After their flavor bath, they are smoked for about an hour; just enough to make them smoky but not too smoky. Finally, they are seared, roasted, then galzed with maple cider pork jus. It’s heaven on a plate.
King oyster mushrooms cooked in smoked beef fat then glazed with reduced duck stock. Are you paying attention now? Our current ribeye set features these awesome flavor packed fungi. The ribeye is dry aged for 28 days. This concentrates the flavor, tenderizes the meat, and makes the steak all around better. We sear our steaks to order then allow them to rest in a bed of butter and thyme. Once rested, the steaks are then roasted to their desired doneness then rested again to allow the juices to settle. The steak is served with local pickled greens, and fried potato mille-feuille.
What’s a potato mille-feuille, you ask? Potatoes are sliced thin then layered and brushed with parmesan and cream. Ours is about 15 to 20 layers of potatoes, cream, and cheese. The whole thing is baked, cooled, sliced into bite sized cubes, then those cubes are deep fried until crispy. If this isn’t exciting you, you might be dead.
Our eggs are from Zephyr Farms in Cranston. Our lobster is from Point Judith. We use flours and grains from Maine Grains. The salad greens are grown in North Kingston. Even in this challenging season, we are supporting local farms and serving food filled with the flavors of New England.