Artichokes, Straight Outta Cali

Yo artichokes -- tell 'em where you from!Photo: A.J. Wilhelm and Carmen Lopez


Agata & Valentina Ristorante draws on its sister market’s first-class produce, and right now, that means Castroville artichokes from California, the very first of the season. “They’re meatier and more tender than the ones we’ve been seeing, which all come from South America,” executive project manager Sarah Taylor tells us. “They’re bigger, and they have more flavor, too.” Tonight, in honor of these new arrivals, chef Salvatore Fraterrigo is offering a stuffed-artichokes special ($9). The veggies are crammed full of bread crumbs and garlic, per the traditional recipe, then supplemented with tangy anchovies, rich but mild caciocavallo cow’s-milk cheese, and Parmesano Reggiano, standing in for the more usual Pecorino Romano to give the dish an extra dose of class.