Aside from more enjoyable, warmer weather and open, sprawling patios, spring in DC means something else for restaurants: a whole new crop of fresh produce to work with. And one tell-tale sign that spring is here is the abundance of ramps in local dishes.
A member of the onion family, ramps are milder, but pack a garlicky punch. Fanned out on display or for purchase at farmer's markets, they might look like scallions at first glance. But upon closer inspection, fatter green leaves are more obvious along with an occasional purple tint on the stalks.
On menus across the city, ramps are being pickled, grilled whole, sautéed and turned into sauces to top meats and fishes. Note that most restaurants will only have ramps on their menus for a short period of time, usually April through Mid-May, and many of the dishes are subject to a limited supply — it might not hurt to call ahead. Here are 21 restaurants in DC that are serving ramps right now.