UPPER WEST SIDE — It's a brine of the times.
Neighborhood restaurants are going crazy for all things pickled and fermented, putting a focus on strong, sour flavors in items ranging from eggs to lamb.
They're right on trend, as pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha have grown in popularity with the link scientists have made between fermentation and a healthy microbiome (or gut).
Arguably the king of pickling on the Upper West Side, Jacob's Pickles, is opening a second pickle-focused restaurant this December. Maison Pickle will open in the space formerly occupied by the upscale restaurant Ouest and serve up French dip sandwiches, cocktails and of course, pickles.
Here are some of the local restaurants where you can get your fermented food fix:
428 Amsterdam Ave. between West 80th and 81st streets
This sustainable seafood restaurant opened last December and is known for its oyster happy hours. Late last month, Crave Fishbar started offering brunch, where you can order waffles with kimchi butter. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made with fermented cabbage and chili peppers.
Fried Fish & Waffles: Belgian waffle, fried hake, kimchi butter, sweet chili sauce, $17
20 W. 72nd St. near Central Park West
Part of the Blue Ribbon chain of restaurants, The Ribbon is a large restaurant and bar with a homey menu, including burgers and rotisserie-style meat. Pickled vegetables and jalapenos make several appearances.
White bean hummus with pickled vegetables and toasted country white bread, $14.50
Deviled eggs with pickled peppers, olive oil and mayo, $7 or Deviled eggs with pickled jalapenos and fried oysters, $12
Black bean burger with avocado and pickled pepper crema, $18.50
349 Amsterdam Ave. near West 77th Street
This upscale New American restaurant, which opened in the spring of 2014, has jumped on the pickled jalapeno bandwagon.
Cauliflower Frito Misto: madras curry, turmeric, Moroccan chermula, yogurt, pickled jalapeno and a garlic chip, $14
This restaurant/butcher shop isn't officially opening for dinner until next week, but it's currently serving breakfast and lunch as well as selling meat and meat pies. Once dinner service gets up and running, different pickled items will be in heavy rotation, said chef de cuisine Robert Flaherty.
One of its centerpieces is the chopped cheese, a traditional bodega sandwich, which comes with pickled jalapenos. There will also be fermented hot sauce available for the breakfast sandwiches.
Chopped Cheese with pickled jalapeño and cucumber (price TBD)
Hot dog with kimchi and mayo (price TBD)
2315 Broadway, opening December 2016
The restaurant will serve plenty of pickles and pickled vegetables, as well as dishes like a pickle-brined pigs-head confit.
487 Amsterdam Ave. near West 83rd Street
This Mediterranean restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner and emphasizes its enormous oven, known as a taboon. The restaurant serves several sandwiches for brunch that come with a pickled mango sauce, including the kebab pita.
Kebab pita: lamb kebab, tahini, tomato cucumber salad, zhoug (chili sauce) and pickled mango sauce, $18
Pickles crop up elsewhere on the menu as well:
Burekas breakfast: two eggs any style with burekas (stuffed pastry), Israeli salad and pickles, $18
462 Amsterdam Ave. near West 82nd Street
Like many Japanese restaurants, Jin Ramen has lots of fermented items on its menu, from tofu to kimchee to pickled ginger.
Kimchee Ramen with chicken broth: jin noodle, ground chicken or pork belly, tofu, enoki mushrooms, scallion, sesame seeds, poached egg, kimchee and bean sprouts, $14