163 First Ave.; 212-475-7899
In these labor-intensive times of house-curing and house-smoking, house-pickling has hit its stride. Pickled ramps garnish haute martinis and Gibsons. At Telepan, the brunch burger comes with pickles made in-house. A Yale-educated pickler sells jars of artisanally brined beets and beans from his Greenmarket stand. But nowhere do pickles strike as compellingly seasonal and satisfying a chord as at Momofuku, the East Village Über–noodle bar, where the mixed pickle plate expands on the owner’s kimchee-conversant Korean heritage to encompass what he finds at the market—anything from traditional cabbage and several kinds of radish to Asian pear and cherries. Crunchy and refreshing, alternatingly sweet and spicy, the plate is a delectable palate cleanser and the perfect foil for the rich broths and fatty Berkshire pork that permeate so much of the menu.