Here’s a question you may never have thought you’d hear: When was the last time you swooned over cauliflower? And the answer would be the date of your last visit to Bar La Grassa, where the gnocchi with cauliflower and orange will make a believer out of anyone who doubts the merits of broccoli’s paler cousin.
Picture it: Bar La Grassa’s sleek dining room. The antipasti plates have been cleared. The basket of focaccia has been sampled. And the server places a perfect portion of tiny gnocchi down in front of you. The pillowy dumplings shine with the caramelization from the skillet, with baby bites of tender, fragrant cauliflower nestled among them. Orange zest floats over the entire bowl, adding a burst of freshness to an otherwise earthy dish.
You can appreciate the richness of the cream sauce because the chef shows restraint when mixing it in with the gnocchi, making each taste smoothly satisfying without feeling heavy. Separately, each ingredient is flavorful, but together they elevate the entire dish to a level worthy of applause. Go ahead, stand up and clap. The surrounding noise in the restaurant will drown out your salute, but your tablemates will get a kick of out it.
Available for $8 as a small plate and $16 for a large, the gnocchi and cauliflower will gently lead your palate into autumn, when cooler temperatures demand comfort food. But the orange will add the warmth of an Indian summer, reminding you of the sunny days that just passed. Swoonworthy, indeed.