UPPER WEST SIDE — Jacob's Pickles is hoping to lure in serious foodies with new menu offerings that are more experimental than its classic comfort food.
The Amsterdam Avenue restaurant launched a new "Lab Series" that will feature a rotating crop of new menu items that take more risks, said brand manager Michelle Lawton.
The series is kicking off this summer with new takes on pickled vegetables, including a dish featuring smoked and pickled okra with red chili flakes, scallions and liquid smoke — an ingredient that gives a strong smoky flavor that's created by bottling condensed smoke particles.
There's also Brussels sprouts pickled in a homemade brine as part of the series launch.
Next up, owner Jacob Hadjigeorgis hopes to mix his brine with beer and also create pickled cocktails and pair those with other menu items.
But the new quarterly series won't be exclusively about pickling, Lawton explained.
The Lab Series is meant to appeal to "uber foodies" and also to "keep people surprised," she added.
As part of the restaurant's menu update, Hadjigeorgis also added a "Butcher Shop" section for meat lovers.
There are "St. Louis Ribs" made with a coffee molasses barbecue sauce and a "Six-Hour Braised Oxtail" that was added because of the owner's love of the dish.
The butcher shop section also delves further into traditional comfort food territory with a "Low Country Meatloaf."
Recently, Community Board 7 approved the restaurant's application to add a basement-level bar, but the restaurant still needs the approval of the State Liquor Authority before it can serve alcohol in the space.