Pickled In New York

New York is a town packed with culinary delights and, believe me, I delighted in many of them while I was there. I didn’t really anticipate that I'd be blogging about pickles as I remembered my trip back east, but they played such an important part in a number of the meals I had, I thought it worth a mention.

On our first night there we dined at a French restaurant called Benoit owned by renowned chef Alain Ducasse. Walking through the door, we were taken from a grungy New York sidewalk, into a noisy, vibrant brasserie that could have been anywhere in Paris. As we were seated, we heard most of the staff and many of the clientele around us were speaking French and we knew that this was going to be good.

The highlight of the meal for me was a pate en croute that was shared as an appetizer. The thick slice of pate arrived at our table, swaddled in a thin layer of aspic and an outer layer of flaky, pale pastry. The piece de resistance for me, however, was a huge crock of cornichons and pickled onions that was set on the table next to the pate. The contrast between the tiny, tart, briny pickles with the rich, mouth coating pate was perfection. The seemingly bottomless crock allowed me to repeatedly grab the delicate, wooden tongs and dig in to my heart’s content, and dig in I did, all through the meal.

Another great pickle experience came during lunch one day while dining at Momofuku Ssam Bar, one of four restaurants owned by David Chang, the hot chef of the moment in NY. Among the numerous dishes we ordered I, not surprisingly, insisted upon ordering the seasonal pickles.

They arrived on a large plate, in a bright rainbow of colors and featured 11 different types of pickles, each with their own distinctive flavors. There were simple, lightly brined slices of pickled cucumber, earthy, zesty pickled shiitake mushrooms, and deep, red pickled beets flavored with a hint of clove. There were also some amazing tart, puckery tomatillos scented with cumin and vinegar, crunchy jerusalem artichokes and crisp, green papaya pickles. Pickled carrots, turnips and green chard were also unique and fantastic! The final two pickles, a daikon radish kimchi and an extra spicy cabbage kimchi, showcased Chang’s flair for incorporating foods from his Korean background. The pickles were each interesting and delicious on their own, but provided an extra element of depth when eaten along with the other dishes that we ordered for lunch.

My final pickle experience came about on the lower east side at the Jewish deli Katz’s. Housed in the same spot since 1888, this fast paced, old school deli does everything as it has since it opened. Upon being seated, a waiter abruptly came to our table and slapped down a small plate loaded with pucker inducing sour pickles, crispy, mild, half sour pickles and, my favorite, pickled green tomatoes. Nothing beats a bowl of pickles for cutting through the rich, fatty texture of a pastrami on rye and nothing beats a pastrami on rye from Katz's!

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid