Spargelzeit ist vorbei

I must express my sadness that the season of Spargelzeit — the availability and enjoyment of white asparagus, that creamy, delectable and rare vegetable treat — is over for 2023. But there’s 2024 to look forward to, especially at my favorite Lower East Side watering hole, Cafe Katja, where I merrily waste away a few hours on most Friday afternoons.

Cafe Katja’s chef and co-owner Erwin Schröttner, whom I am happy to say is a good friend of mine, is the Spargelkönig of New York for a few months every year, and just recently Insider Business featured him in the below video that traces the journey of white asparagus from farm to table — not to mention the role of the European migrant crisis and the Russo-Ukrainian War in some of its recent seasons. I can attest to the fact that Erwin’s spargel menu constitutes a highlight of my culinary year (though I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the unique and delicious spargel ice cream that had a brief run on Koloman‘s menu a few months ago thanks to Erwin’s pal Markus Glocker). Enjoy the below, but beware: You won’t be able to sate your spargel appetite until next spring. (You shouldn’t wait to visit Cafe Katja, though: The rest of the menu is just as excellent.)