At last, mushrooms in their myriad forms are getting the respect they deserve as the meaty fungi they are. Of course, if you’re watching HBO’s The Last of Us, mushrooms might be the last thing you’re craving, but, everyone else—let’s rejoice.
Mushrooms will always have a place on pizza, and who doesn’t love a stuffed mushroom hors d’oeuvre. Chefs today, however, are building dishes around mushrooms that let their earthiness shine and allow their textures to reach their potential. In some cases, the mushrooms being used are locally-grown by companies like Ellijay Mushrooms or supplied by foragers.
The possibilities seem endless, from a pulled mushroom sandwich to a mushroom “steak.” Here are 10 mushroom dishes to try.
Pulled mushroom sandwich
At the Upper Westside location of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is a vegan pulled mushroom sandwich. The Fox brothers have vegan family members that they wanted to include at their restaurant, so they came up with a smoky, vinegary sandwich of oyster mushrooms topped with a vinegar-based coleslaw and served on a vegan bun.
Roasted king trumpet “scallop”
Foundation Social Eatery, which recently reopened in downtown Alpharetta, is no stranger to the ways of mushrooms. Their mushroom ravioli in a port wine sauce have long captured the attention of FSE diners—and you’ll find that dish the new iteration of the restaurant. But they also have a new mushroom dish worth trying—a roasted king trumpet mushroom that’s been sliced into scallop-sized bites and served alongside a sunchoke sauce, leeks, and hazelnuts.
Bistec de Palomilla
Bistec de palomilla (butterflied steak) is a Cuban staple, and it was important to chef-owner Reid Trapani of La Semilla to nail a vegan version. He did so with lion’s mane mushrooms by pressing them before cooking to achieve a firmer texture. They’re pan-seared in vegan butter and placed over yuca-cauli mash with La Semilla’s house-made mojo sauce and caramelized onions, creating a tangy yet earthy dish.
Palo Santo offers a paella-like take on mushrooms. It’s served with flair in a cast iron pan with a variety of mushrooms adorning the top of the calasparra rice along with caramelized onion puree and dollops of morita mayo.
Tagliolini with mushrooms
Mushrooms can be used in all sorts of inventive ways, but paired with pasta, as seen at La Tavola, will always be a classic. The Virginia-Highland restaurant makes a mushroom ragu and tosses it with tagliolini, truffle oil, and pecorino romano.
Coca con seta
In a restaurant known for its charcuterie offerings and bacon-infused old fashioned, it’s hard to resist the mushroom flatbread at the Iberian Pig. The mushrooms are roasted and top the flatbread along with black truffle, pickled red onions, and shiitake crema, as well as mozzarella and provolone. Enjoy it with that bacon cocktail.
The recently opened Humble Pie has a mushroom pizza that goes above and beyond the single-topping staple. This fancier version, with wild mushrooms and fresh mozzarella, is served with a truffle butter dip. There’s also a simple mushroom side dish, if you prefer: maitake mushroom florets (hen of the wood) are wood-fired and served with a soy-ginger dressing.
At Tio Lucho’s in Poncey-Highland, chef Arnaldo Castillo has a vegan take on ceviche in addition to his seafood-forward versions. This one has locally-grown shiitake mushrooms, fried beech mushrooms, corn nuts, Sea Island red peas, sweet potatoes, and a rocoto pepper and mushroom leche de tigre.
Power Up Philly
Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna is known for their killer sandwiches, and the Power Up Philly is no exception. Five types of mushrooms are roasted and stuffed into a hoagie roll along with sweet onions, pickled jalapeno, house-made aioli, and topped with melted Swiss cheese.
Wild mushroom agnolotti
On the fancier end of the mushroom spectrum is Lazy Betty’s mushroom agnolotti. Served as part of the restaurant’s tasting menu, the delicate agnolotti are stuffed with wild mushrooms and topped with a “forest froth” (essentially, an umami broth that’s reinforced with aromatics and mushrooms).