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Best places to eat and buy ramps (MSP)

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kersie Apr 18, 2009 02:35 PM

We had a great meal at Trattoria Tosca last night that was ramp-filled. I know we are a little early fo ramp season here (theirs came from West Virginia), but once we are into the full of it in a couple of weeks, where are the best places to buy ramps (for home use) and what are te best restaurants to eat them at? I'm almost ready to join the Harmony Valley Farms CSA just for the ramps, but that seems a little bit excessive.

  1. q
    Quince Apr 18, 2009 06:49 PM

    You can get ramps at Mississippi Market in St Paul when they are in season, and probably at some of the other co-ops as well. I am pretty sure Harmony Valley Farms supplies produce to the Wedge and Mississippi Market.

    1. AnneInMpls Apr 19, 2009 08:58 PM

      Ramps are on the menu at Heartland this week - they're in at least in one dish (smoked fish and celeriac soup with ramps). I almost ordered it, but was lured away by the gnocchi with morels and fiddlehead ferns - another sign of spring in the Midwest.

      Anne

      3 Replies
      1. re: AnneInMpls
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        Enso Apr 20, 2009 03:06 AM

        I've always been curious about what fiddlehead ferns taste like and haven't yet had a chance to try them. Are they describable?

        1. re: Enso
          The Dairy Queen Apr 20, 2009 04:28 AM

          Fiddlehead ferns remind me of asparagus in texture and in taste, though, a little earthier. You use them in the same dishes as you would asparagus, too.

          They had them at Mississippi Market last year--I assume they will have them this year, too.

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen
            AnneInMpls Apr 20, 2009 10:58 AM

            Good description, TDQ! I'd never had fiddlehead ferns before last night. I thought they tasted exactly like the ferns in my yard smell, with the crunch of a very thin asparagus spear. I liked them very much!

            Anne

      2. k
        kersie Apr 21, 2009 09:43 AM

        Thanks for the suggestions. I went to the Wedge on Saturday with the hopes that they'd have some spring stuff out only to be reminded that it is just too early. (After living in New York for 7 years, I am used to some of the earlier spring stuff being out by now.) So I will keep looking!

        I have never been as into fiddlehead ferns as ramps, although my husband loves them. They're also a little more fussy to cook because they taste a lot better if they are blanched before being sauteed. But I am excited about having more morel options!

        I think I also noticed a ramp dish at Heidi's last week, but I may be wrong.

        1. s
          ShinyCake Apr 21, 2009 08:03 PM

          Just got back from Mississippi Market (Selby & Dale), and they had both ramps and fiddlehead ferns. The ramps were in a pretty sorry state, though - very wilted - and they only had three small bunches.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ShinyCake
            g
            green56 Apr 24, 2009 04:32 PM

            I bought one of the four bunches, leaving three. I'd never had ramps before, only heard of them, and could NOT pass them up. Brought my bunch home and crispped it up in the 'fridge in cold water. Maybe not knowing any better, they were just perfect to me. I fell in love with them.

            Missed the ferns. Will see what's up tomorrow at MM at Selby/Dale.

          2. BigSal Apr 23, 2009 02:47 AM

            Ramps were served with my scallops last night at Barbette. They were combined with roasted tomatoes and a mango curry sauce.

            1. k
              kersie May 3, 2009 05:07 AM

              They had some beautiful looking ramps at the Wedge yesterday. I am fairly certain they were from Harmony Valley farms. I used a bunch to make our favorite risotto recipe with them and they were a little light on the distinctive rampy flavor (it may be too early in the season) but still delicious.

              1. cheeseguysgirl May 3, 2009 06:05 AM

                Best places to eat them? I would add Cafe Levain to Tosca. We had a delicious spring soup garnished with pickled ramps last week there.

                Turns out the chef from Levain (Adam Vickerman) has moved to Tosca, and he is a real locavore and ramp-lover. I would imagine the two restaurants will have similar spirits to their menus.

                1. l
                  LizzieB_MSP May 3, 2009 07:23 AM

                  I found them at Mississippi Market on Wednesday of this week, but yesterday (Saturday) it appeared that they were out.

                  1. The Dairy Queen May 13, 2009 06:46 AM

                    Saw some lovely ramps at Seward Coop recently. I don't know if they are local, but they looked crisp and fresh.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. s
                      steve_in_stpaul May 16, 2009 09:46 AM

                      Whole Foods at Fairview & Grand had a bunch -- well, a bunch of bunches, in good shape. From Wisconsin (and Michigan, IIRC). I bought a couple bunches, probably will use one for dinner tonight. Miss Market frequently has them; don't know about this weekend, though.

                      Can't talk about where to eat them; I don't seem to get out that much anymore :-(

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: steve_in_stpaul
                        k
                        kersie May 31, 2009 06:01 PM

                        Looks like we are done for the season. Our supplier from Mill City Market told us it got too hot and too windy. I guessed when it hit the 90s last week we had to be close to the end. Fortunately, we made some ramp butter with ours and had it today on some sourdough, plus I got to have some of the pickled ramps at Tosca again this weekend.

                      2. k
                        kersie Apr 19, 2010 07:35 AM

                        Looks like ramps are available but with limited availability. The Wedge's website says theirs are in, but my husband was unable to find any when he was there Sunday morning. We were at Craftsman yesterday afternoon having drinks and smelled the heavenly smell of ramps coming from the table next to us -- they are using them in their gnocchi and our waitress told us they will probably have them in specials for the next month or so.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: kersie
                          m
                          Ms. Fennelbulb Apr 20, 2010 07:47 AM

                          Yesterday, I happened to be near France 44 and stopped by there for a sandwich. One of their specials was wild ramp pesto. I had never had ramps before, but knew about them from this thread. I had the pesto in my sandwich and also bought some to go. It had a wonderful, fresh green herby flavor. Thank you to the contributors of this board for posting great information!

                          1. re: kersie
                            t
                            turtlebella Apr 20, 2010 12:37 PM

                            Saw ramps yesterday at Mississippi Market (Selby-Dale store)!

                            1. re: turtlebella
                              s
                              steve_in_stpaul Apr 21, 2010 05:01 PM

                              Ramps were at the West 7th Miss Market, as well. on Sunday.

                            2. re: kersie
                              s
                              scarter66 Apr 21, 2010 12:13 PM

                              Yep, was at Craftsman this past weekend and had a lovely pasta with ramps, although I would have liked more ramps. It was ramps, creme fraiche, some sort of cheese I'm forgetting, tossed with the pasta and then served with a homemade pork sauage and a pork belly.

                              A couple years ago I had a cold ramp soup at Town Talk that was fantastic, so maybe they have ramp-inspired dishes this year?

                            3. buenosds Apr 23, 2010 08:27 AM

                              I had a great goat cheese, ramps, honey and prisuitto sandwich at the st. paul cheese shop on grand yesterday..! real nice

                              1. k
                                kevin47 Apr 23, 2010 09:02 PM

                                Piccolo has them, as you might expect.

                                1. Latinpig Apr 25, 2010 11:00 AM

                                  Erte had at least two dishes with ramps last night.

                                  -----
                                  Erte
                                  323 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN

                                  1. s
                                    semanticantics Apr 26, 2010 07:34 PM

                                    Whole Foods at Grand / Fairview has them again. $4 / bunch. I counted the pieces in a couple, it was 8 or 9 per. Last year I bought some at the Mill City Farmers Market, I think I got 4 pieces for $2.50?

                                    Personally have little use for an overpriced baby onion.

                                    -----
                                    Mill City Cafe
                                    2205 California St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: semanticantics
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                                      soupkitten Apr 26, 2010 07:39 PM

                                      um. . . never mind. more for me.

                                      eastside co-op $2.69/bunch today.

                                      1. re: soupkitten
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                                        getgot211 Apr 27, 2010 06:20 PM

                                        Wedge has had them for about the same.

                                        saw one(of the very few that showed) vendor at MPLS Farmers market selling them. didn't ask the price as I already had gotten mine from the Wedge but his 'bunches' were a lot bigger.

                                    2. girl_friday Apr 27, 2010 05:44 PM

                                      Northeast Social had them last night on special: grilled ramps and asparagus risotto. The additional sliced garlic in the risotto was highly unnecessary; I think I can still taste it today.

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                                      Northeast Social
                                      359 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                                      1. k
                                        kersie Apr 15, 2011 05:34 PM

                                        The Cheese Shop @ France 44 had ramps today. $15/lb. Not sure how that compares to the pricing elsewhere. Seemed like a lot of ramps but also a lot of $. I purchased some anyway as I was excited to see them back in season. Last year, France 44 and Clancy's both sold wonderful ramp pestos.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: kersie
                                          k
                                          kevin47 Apr 15, 2011 06:33 PM

                                          Scott Pampuch is pushing them hard on Twitter. I'd hazard to guess he knows what to do with them.

                                          1. re: kevin47
                                            k
                                            kersie Apr 16, 2011 02:11 PM

                                            He does and his ramp dishes hold a special place in my heart as he made a great ramp dish especially for me the night I went into labor with my daughter last April.

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