They Can Pickle That: 6 Picks for Restaurant Pickle Programs

Autumn is a great time of year for a foodie. But a bountiful harvest is also the first sign that winter is coming. So, how do you hold onto that bounty through the lean months? By pickling, of course! Many OpenTable restaurants have mastered the simplicity and economy that comes from making their own pickles, giving diners a range of newfound textures and flavors. Here are six picks for restaurant pickle programs that bring you harvest-time veggies all year round.

Miller Union, Atlanta, Georgia
“There are three basic ways of putting up pickles,” says chef Steven Satterfield of Atlanta’s Miller Union. “Natural fermentation, vinegar brine, and quick pickles. We do them all.”

Satterfield, author of the Root to Leaf cookbook, makes his Hilda’s Icebox Pickles based on his grandmother’s recipe using cucumbers and a cold vinegar brine. He uses a hot brine solution for sunchokes and radishes, and a full vinegar solution for pungent items like sweet Vidalia onions and shallots. [Photo by Kelly Blackmon]

Best Restaurant PIckle Programs

Jacob’s Pickles, New York, New York
In New York City, Jacob Hadjigeorgis has brought the Lower East Side pickling tradition to the Upper West Side, where chef Jason Krantz produces everything from traditional dills to Thyme Jalapeño and Candy Red Beets pickles. The restaurant is host to a seasonal “Pickle Lab Series,” which currently features pickled fall vegetables, such as pumpkin, butternut squash, and okra.

Best Restaurant Pickle Programs

Brick & Bottle, Corte Madera, California
The Michelin Bib Gourmand-recommended eatery incorporates pickles into many of its dishes, from a diced pickled cabbage and onion, used as a topping for its hamburgers, to a composed pâté plate with multiple cured and pickled components. “We do not try to reinvent the wheel,” explains general manager Brandon Parkhurst. “Many of our cured dishes are takes on classics. However, what we do in our kitchen is take high-quality ingredients and treat them with the utmost care.”

Best Restaurant Pickle Programs

Iron Gate, Washington, D.C.
In Washington, D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood, chef Anthony Chittum serves a tasting menu in their historic carriage house dining room, where the first course is a series of small tastes from the kitchen that always features something from their pickle pots. These can vary from bread and butter sunchokes, green beans and bird chilis, and zucchini, to name but a few. Many of the pickles are displayed in the dining room in jars that frame the open kitchen.[Photo by Samer Farha]

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Not Just for Kids: 15 Ice Cream Sundaes You Won’t Want to Share

The last day of school is fast approaching, and even though we’ve already graduated, we can’t help but crave an ice cream sundae at this time of year. Rather than stealing a spoonful of sweetness from the well-deserving students in our lives, we’re looking forward to ordering cool, adult-friendly desserts from restaurants across the U.S. Here are 15 ice cream sundaes you won’t want to share — including a $1,000 splurge of a sundae.

Cracker Jack Sundae, at American Cut, New York, New York
You can’t strike out with this treat. Dreamed up by pastry chef Tara Glick, this sundae will take you out to the ballgame with crunchy Cracker Jacks and popcorn ice cream.

American Cut_Crackerjack Sundae

Secret Sundae, Amis, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Shhhh! Served by special request only, the secret sundaes at Amis include strawberry rhubarb granita with vanilla semifreddo from founder and chef Marc Vetri.

Amis_Secret Sundae
Sabrina Sundae, Barton G.: The Restaurant, Miami, Florida
The sparkling sundae is served in a giant martini glass filled with housemade ice creams and outrageous toppings. You won’t have a choice but to share, as it is built to serve four-six guest with fudge brownies, scoops of Valrhona chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla spice ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, and chantilly, and is topped with shaved chocolate shards, chocolate cigarettes, dark chocolate “B’s”, and maraschino cherries.

Barton G Sabrina

Pistachio and Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae, CBD Provisions, Dallas, Texas
Pastry chef Ruben Torano is featuring fabulous sundaes on the menu all summer long in the Texas heat. The sundaes highlight local ingredients and Texas flavors, while all ice cream, gelatos, and garnishes are made in house. Don’t miss the pistachio and vanilla ice cream sundae with apricot rum syrup, toasted huckleberry cake, candied lemon, and meringue.

CBD Provisions Summer Sundae 1

Cinnamon & Pecan Bun Sundae, The Clam, New York, New York
Chef Mike Price has created a menu of classic American desserts at The Clam, such as this cinnamon and pecan bun sundae topped with housemade bourbon pecan gelato with warm chunks of cinnamon and pecan bun, and a drizzle of caramel, and finished with a dollop of whipped cream.

The Clam Cinnamon Bun Sundae

Corsair Ice Cream Sundae, Corsair, Miami
Scott Conant’s new Miami eatery offers an outrageous dessert. Created by pastry chef Michael Brock (who took this picture), it has smoked vanilla bean ice cream, blondie bites, ginger chantilly, salted caramel sauce, crystallized ginger, chocolate cookie crumbs and toasted marshmallow.

Corsair Sundae

Create-Your-Own Sundae, The Gander, New York, New York
At The Gander, chef Jesse Schenker launched its brand new sundae cart, which features a mobile ice cream station filled with housemade flavors, such as Tahitian vanilla bean and Valrhona 72% dark chocolate, with toppings including candied walnuts, rum-soaked raisins, fresh macerated berries, rhubarb jam, salted caramel sauce, and more. Bonus: Custom ice cream sandwiches are also built tableside.

The Gander Sundae_3 copy

The Victoria, Parlour at The Langham, Chicago, Illinois
The sundae to end all sundaes, the Victoria features typical ingredients, as well as over-the-top items such as 24kt Gold Leaf, 24kt Gold Dust, and Hennessy VSOP. It is served in a Wedgewood crystal bowl (Yours to keep!) with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon — all for only $1,000!Continue Reading

What Words Should Restaurant Reviewers Avoid?

cliche1Epicurious editor James Oliver Cury calls out restaurant-review and food-writing clichés this week. Among his all-time un-faves are “decadent dessert” and “yummy.” The Village Voice has an even more lengthy list of food-related terms it wishes writers would terminate altogether. Concerning the latter list, I completely disagree on “crispy.” Hearing or reading that word makes my mouth water. Crispy duck? Yes, please! Crispy fries? Affirmative! Crispy bacon? Please, sir, I want some more! I could go on and on, but you get the general idea.

What bothers me more than well-worn words are the du jour phrases that seem to creep into the dining vernacular only to be replaced by something more precious and/or trendy the following year. Housemade, anyone?