Bouquets are nice and all, but edible flowers have their merits. Seeing as May is all about floral rejuvenation, edible and potable flowers are blossoming on menus all over Chicago.
Bread & Wine (3732 W. Irving Park Rd.)
Fiddlehead ferns are one of springtime's most popular forms of flora. The spirally greens lend a pop of color and flavor to any dish, including the spring-tastic nettle pappardelle carbonara on the menu at Bread & Wine. Interspersed amidst the pasta, the ferns provide a pleasant pop of freshness along with pearl onions, pancetta, and Parmesan.
Pizza Rustica (3908 N. Sheridan Rd.)
When it comes to Italian cuisine and edible flowers, zucchini blossoms are quintessential. Upping the ante on the traditional fried zucchini blossom template, Pizza Rustica's Stefano Roman fills his flowers with Burrata. So basically it's fried Burrata, which sounds like the greatest thing ever.
Magnolia Bakery (108 N. State St.)
OK so the flower cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery may not be actual flowers, but they sure look the part. And that's what matters. Classic chocolate or vanilla cupcakes decorated with floral designs make for the perfect springtime snack.
Mercadito (108 W. Kinzie St.)
Hibiscus flowers lend a splash of floral essence to Mercadito's Misty's Sleeve cocktail. The crafty Mexican restaurant and bar blends the rosy, aromatic flower with Eltesoro Platinum, ginger, orange, Yuzateco, and hibiscus salt.
Acadia (1639 S. Wabash Ave.)
Edible flowers don't get any ritzier than the lustrous preparations at Acadia. Watercress blooms, borage flowers, and bachelor buttons are among the ingredients on chef/owner Ryan McCaskey's current roster. The watercress blooms enliven a plate of Elysian Fields lamb, while the borage can be found on all sorts of sweet and savory dishes and the bachelor buttons are served alongside prawns.
Atwood (1 W. Washington St.)
In other floral cocktail news, Atwood is shaking up a cocktail so flowery it should perhaps be served as a tabletop centerpiece. The Seven Miles From The Sun cocktail is as vibrant and bright as it sounds, infused with housemade hibiscus syrup, Lillet, and an edible hibiscus flower garnish. Oh and there's also tequila and lemon juice.
Photos: Bread & Wine, Pizza Rustica, Magnolia Bakery, Mercadito, Atwood