When the winter snows melt and the temperatures warm, a variety of foods become seasonable, and with that, an array of options open up for a restaurant spring menu. Utilise in-season fruits and vegetables in salads, entrées and desserts. Also, keep in mind there may be customers who are observing Lent, so offer seafood selections.
In March and April, the vegetables that have been missing in the winter become available for some delicious meals. Vegetables such as asparagus, beets, corn, green beans, peas and peppers come into season in March, with the addition of artichokes, fava beans, and fiddlehead ferns in April, and kohlrabi and spinach in May. You can add salads with peppers, corn and beets to the menu. For an appetizer, consider roasted red pepper or spinach artichoke dip. Entrées can include stir-fry with snap peas, corn and green beans, or pasta with a roasted pepper sauce.
Fresh fruits are very popular in the spring months. Bananas, berries, figs, kiwi, mangoes and pineapple become seasonable in March. In April, nectarines, peaches and plums are added to that list, and in May, apricots, cherries and melons are fresh. Your patrons will enjoy desserts that include fruits, such as cheesecake with fresh toppings; pies and cobblers; and ice cream. You can also utilise fruits in salads and fruit salsas, or make glazes for chicken and ham.
Pacific Coast clams and oysters become seasonable in the spring months. You can serve oyster or clam appetizers, as well as clam chowder. Spring is also the beginning of crab season, so you can add crab-stuffed mushrooms to your menu, or crab salads and crab legs. Fish is also a popular menu item because people who observe Lent often give up meat other than fish. Try adding a Friday fish fry or fish sandwiches to your menu.