In season: Strawberries

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From the May 31, 2012 edition

Strawberries say shorts, swimming pools and picnics. So long, endless bananas, pears and petrified apples. Welcome, seedy little red orbs.

Strawberries have been spotted all over menus in Columbus. But, boy, do they move fast. Local-loving restaurants feature strawberries when they have them — but don’t be surprised to find the supply temporarily depleted and your brunch heart broken. Lesson learned: Seize the strawberry!

Desserts

Crust magician A.J. Perry of Sassafras Bakery says she’ll have two kinds of strawberry-rhubarb pie at the Worthington Farmers Market this weekend. One is a lattice top, and the other is crowned with walnut crumble streusel. She’ll also have fresh strawberry pie and, maybe, if you’re very good and lucky, some other treats. Beware — the market hours are 9 a.m.-noon, but vendors can start selling at 8 a.m., and Sassafras loyalists are early risers.

The Pistachio-Strawberry Dacquoise at Pistacia Vera is a four-part harmony of nuts, cream, fruit and mousse. Layer by layer, bite through pistachio meringue, pistachio buttercream and strawberry-elderflower jam made at the bakery. The strawberry flavor is subtle, but it’s a perfect partner to toasty pistachio; they’re better together.

Ice cream

Vienna Ice Cafe serves both a strawberry champagne ice cream and Strawberry Roulade — imagine sponge cake, strawberry ice cream, strawberry preserves and buttercream doing somersaults.

At Jeni’s, they roast strawberries to maximize flavor before blending them into Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk ice cream. No bits, just berry flavor.

And at Johnson’s Real Ice Cream, you can enjoy strawberry flavor four ways — in ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet or sorbet. Been good all day? Ice cream. Indulged at lunch? Sorbet.

Drinks

Get to Till for a Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub, a delicately effervescent drink made with berry-infused sweet-tangy drinking vinegar. Enjoy with or without booze.

Harvest Moon Cafe in Canal Winchester is serving a Waterloo Straw-Cumber, a potion of muddled cucumber and strawberry, lime juice, Hendricks gin and a little simple syrup.

At M at Miranova, Cris Dehlavi is infusing Mount Gay rum with strawberries and finishing the concoction with mint simple syrup, fresh lime and Moet Nectar champagne.

We also found a couple of good options at The Rossi, where the J Shots Juice cocktail is based on vodka infused with blackberries, oranges, strawberries, limes and pineapple. And the Pimm’s Cup is a heady blend of Pimm’s No. 1, cucumber, strawberry, mint, Hendrick’s gin and ginger beer.