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GUILDHALL

Guildhall's Malted Milk Tres Leches cake ($10)

FEATURES

Spring Fling

By Julie Chernoff

Convito photo by Rob Warner | Found kitchen photo by Huge Galdones | Guildhall photo by Matthew Rodgers | Prairie Grass photo by Grant Kessler

03.29.17

Celebrate the light, fresh tastes of the season with these five new dishes by some of our favorite chefs.

GUILDHALL
Chef Matthew Rodgers goes big with his Malted Milk Tres Leches cake ($10). The traditional Mexican sponge cake is baked in cast iron, then soaked in three milks: malted, coconut and sweetened condensed milk. The dish is finished with freshly whipped cream, and bestrewn with toasted coconut and both fresh and dehydrated strawberries. 694 Vernon Ave., Glencoe

FOUND KITCHEN
Fresh from Found’s fabulous wood-burning oven comes chef Nicole Pederson’s Italian-inspired wood oven-roasted Catalpa Grove pork chop with verdant asparagus and fiddleheads, dressed with lemony tonnato sauce ($30). It’s a clever mélange of Midwest ingredients and Tuscan flavors. 1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston 

PRAIRIE GRASS CAFE

Prairie Grass Cafe's spring pea crostini with mint ($9)

PRAIRIE GRASS CAFE
Textures abound in chef Sarah Stegner’s spring pea crostini with mint ($9). Creamy fresh peas and Three Sisters pea shoot puree are topped with delicate microgreens, mint leaves, whole peas and a shaving of Parmesan for that mellow hit of salt, all atop a crunchy baguette crouton. 601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook

ROKA AKOR
This inventive Japanese steak and sushi house translates warmer days into colder food with its cured hamachi crudo with pickled turnips and a yuzu-charred pear puree, topped with seasonal microgreens for an herbaceous finish ($18). This light dish still packs in plenty of flavor. 4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie 

CONVITO CAFÉ & MARKET

Convito Cafe & Market's asparagus gratin appetizer ($12)

CONVITO CAFÉ & MARKET
Asparagus is the true harbinger of spring, and Convito’s new executive chef, Eric Hammond, knows that a simple preparation will let that grassy flavor shine through. His asparagus gratin appetizer with thin roasted spears of asparagus, melted Parmigiano Reggiano, a shower of hard-boiled egg yolks and the finest extra-virgin olive oil ($12), accomplishes just that. 1515 Sheridan Road, Wilmette