A Spring Cut

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Veal finds its way onto the seasonal palate

vealAn expensive and often controversial meat, veal comes from dairy-breed calves and differs from beef with a lighter color, finer texture, smoother taste and an more tender nature. From Milanese to schnitzel to chops, the meat makes for a fresh spring entrée and is a unique alternative to lamb.

Here are four local preparations of this delicate cut.

Wiener Schnitzel

Plattduetsche Park

1132 Hempstead Tpke.
Franklin Square
516-354-3131 •  www.parkrestaurant.com

This traditionally Austrian dish pops up at the decidedly German Plattduetsche Park in New Hyde Park where it is breaded, fried and served with lingonberries and lemon. Wiener schnitzel is simplistic in preparation, with the basic necessities being veal cutlets, flour, eggs, a meat mallet and plenty of molten fat for frying. Plattduetsche’s schnitzel is fork tender and fry-crisp, the lingonberries add brightness, while the lemon contributes some necessary zest.

Veal Saltimbocca

Poppy’s Place Restaurant

12 Verbena Ave.
Floral Park
516-358-2705 • www.poppysplacerestaurant.com

Another pounded-thin veal dish worth seeking out is veal saltimbocca, which translated from Italian means “jumps in the mouth.” This dish, Roman in origin, sees sautéed veal cutlets layered with prosciutto and fresh sage served swimming in a buttery, lemony pan sauce. This is a rich dish filled with robust ingredients that in the wrong hands can overwhelm the delicate veal. But done right, it’s a tangy and layered composition that elevates the protein.

Veal Marsala

Nick’s

272 Sunrise Hwy.
Rockville Centre
516-763-3278 • www.nicksrvc.com

Veal is sometimes relegated to the role of mere stand-in for chicken in dishes like parmigiana, Francaise and Marsala. While this is true at Nick’s, veal takes ownership of the restaurant’s Marsala dish by bringing a dimension of flavor that beats chicken at pairing with earthy mushrooms and the caramelized Marsala sauce. The silky mushroom sauce and the muted beefiness of the veal taste and feel like they were meant to coalesce in the same pan.

Roast Veal Fried Rice

Wing Wan Kosher Restaurant

248 Hempstead Ave.
West Hempstead
516-292-9309 • www.wingwankosherrestaurant.com

Your basic fried rice is as simplistic as it gets: wok fried on high heat, assorted vegetables join eggs and various meats for a dish that sits comfortably beside classic Chinese food orders. Wing Wan takes the dish to kosher heights by adding roast veal to the mix. By no means the only veal arrangement on the menu (there are no less than 18 dishes at the eatery with the cut), the veal fried rice is a welcomed twist on the classic dish.

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