BUCKHANNON – The smell of spring is in the air, along with the smell of ramps.
On March 24, Fish Hawk Acres will celebrate the distinctive flavor of the wild onion at its Fancy Ramp Dinner: Celebrating Spring Tonics. Dale Hawkins, a co-owner of Fish Hawk Acres, said ramp dinners are a part of traditional Appalachian culture.
“It’s one of our most popular dinners,” Hawkins said. “It’s part of that old Appalachian spring cleanse.”
The dinner has three seatings — at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. — and customers must make a reservation in advance. Manager Debbie Huber said the $35 ticket is non-refundable, but if something comes up the ticket can be given to someone else.
The Fish Hawk ramp dinner is a fancy four-course feast.
The menu begins with ramp fritters topped with Crème Fraiche and sweet bacon jam, as well as spring pea and ramp soup shots. Then move on ‘My Mom’s Batter Bread’ with roasted garlic and ramp butter or ‘Ms. Teresa’s Biscuits’ with Smoke Camp Craft’s ramp jam.
The salad is spring asparagus and Swiss chard dressed with a grilled ramp vinaigrette. It’s served with a mini grilled cheese and truffle sandwich. Also on the menu is pan roasted skirt steak and crab cake with rosti potato, baby carrots and English peas, in a chive, garlic and ramp butter sauce.
The dessert will be rhubarb and lemon tart with wild berry sorbet and micro mint.
“If you want something different than a normal ramp feed and you’re looking to elevate your palate, give us a try,” Huber said.
Hawkins is also preparing the 25th Annual Gourmet Ramp Fest for the Upshur County Public Library.
“We started that dinner when I was with Main Street Café 25 years ago,” Hawkins recalled. “I did it for about 15 years and then I moved away, but they asked me to come back for the 25th anniversary.”
The Upshur County Public Library ramp dinner will take place April 26 from 5 to 8 p.m. Advanced reservations are required and tickets cost $25.
The library ramp dinner will have fresh artisan greens tossed with charred ramp and champagne or house vinaigrette, carved roasted pork cutlet with ramp chimichurri and demi (no ramps), oven roasted vegetables (with and without ramps), potato and ramp soup, bacon mac and cheese (with and without ramps), buttermilk bacon and ramp biscuits and dinner rolls with ramp herb butter. Finish the meal with rustic apple pie with freshly whipped cream and strawberry and rhubarb crisp.
All proceeds from the April dinner will benefit the Upshur County Public Library. To make a reservation, call 304-473-4219.