Rites of Spring: Baricelli Inn, Melange roll out new menus

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It’s spring, that time of year when chefs traditionally freshen up their pantries with peas, asparagus, strawberries, and early greens. Among the spots giving their menus a seasonal twist, count Paul Minnillo’s Baricelli Inn, Niki Gillota’s Gypsy Beans & Baking Co., and Melange, where chef Adam Schmith’s new menu debuted last week. ... Here are some mouthwatering highlights: At Little Italy’s award-winning Baricelli Inn (2203 Cornell Rd., 216-791-6500), Chef Minnillo’s new menu maintains his commitment to sophisticated entrees and rustic pastas pegged at less than jaw-dropping prices. Consider, for instance, the golden trout with dandelion greens, pecans, and bacon ($23); spring risotto, with asparagus and fresh peas ($12 for a half portion/$22 for a whole); or the ravioli gnudi (literally, “nude ravioli”) with morel mushrooms and ramps ($12/$22). Click here to view the entire spring menu. And about that gnudi, which is basically the ravioli filling served without its pasta wrapper: Although the dish has been sweeping NYC for at least a year, Minnillo is one of the first local chefs to serve it. To learn more about the dainty little morsels, click here. Meantime, at Gypsy Beans (6425 Detroit Ave., 216-939-9009), Gillotta and chef Mike Dunlap have designed an extensive new menu for spring and summer, including a pork tenderloin plate ($7.95), served with quinoa and a compote of blueberries and red onions; and a smoked salmon salad ($10.95), drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. The team also brought back the popular chicken salad croissant ($8.95) and the California Salad ($9.95), with chicken breast or smoked tofu, strawberries, mandarin oranges, spiced pecans, and a strawberry-lemon vinaigrette. And finally, at Melange (2101 Richmond Rd., in La Place; 216-378-9755), Chef Schmith’s new menu is a concise, well-organized lineup of contemporary comfort fare, with offerings that range from chicken pot pie ($15) and macaroni and cheese ($18) to a grilled pork chop with cilantro rice ($22) and pan-roasted halibut with fennel, gigande beans, and corn salad ($26). --- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at clevescene.com.

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