By Rob Corliss
October 16, 2020
Signature main features anchor a menu and provide operators with a point of differentiation. Look to strategic uses of fermented flavors as a way to help dial up that differentiation. It’s certainly a good time to explore the world of fermented ingredients as their different attributes resonate with diners today—from wellness and function to food with a great flavor story to quality housemade offerings.
Creatively execute this via the simple yet well-placed touch of fermented ingredients as key component in builds, including vinegars, pickles and preserves, as well as the judicious use of manufactured products.
Here’s a look at how restaurants nationwide are incorporating fermentation across savory menu features.
Menu Sightings: HANDHELDS
- The Classic Combo: (famous latke press sandwiches) Honeycrisp apple, caramelized onion, sherry vinegar, thyme, spinach and Brie
Schmaltzy’s Delicatessen, Seattle
- #1 Pan Pizza in the World Quack Attack: Our signature 5-day fermented dough topped with pan-seared duck breast, roasted garlic butter sauce, wild mushroom ragù, tomatoes, baby arugula, Fontinella, Parmesan and truffle-garlic oil
Caliente Pizza & Draft House, Pittsburgh, Penn.
- Reuben: Smoked corned beef, kimchi, kraut, Havarti cheese, special sauce, rye
Little Goat Diner, Chicago
- Noble Grilled Cheese: Sharp cheddar, cultured butter, sourdough country
High Street on Market, Philadelphia
- The Fermenter Burger: Smoked onion shio-koji glaze, millet-lentil tempeh burger, dill pickle slices, miso sauce, Grano Bakery stecca roll, lettuce/tomato/onion
Fermenter, Portland, Ore.
Menu Sightings: KNIFE/FORK
- Savory: Red fife rigatoni, pork sausage, koji tomato sauce
Emmer & Rye, Austin, Texas
- “CK Teow” Char Kway Teow: Flat noodle, shrimp, calamari, Sriracha, smoky soy, Chinese sausage, bean sprouts, egg, chives, served with sambal belacan (shrimp paste sambal)
Phat Eatery, Katy, Texas
- Lobster Pot Pie: Poblano pepper, corn, peas, lime-crème fraiche
Bludorn Restaurant, Houston, Texas
- Ancient Vegan Bowl: Plant-based, protein-rich vegan bowl with jollof rice (rice cooked in spiced tomato broth), efo riro (kale, okra, dawadawa fermented locust bean, red palm fruit oil stew)
Terranga, Harlem, N.Y.
GET THE RECIPE FOR PORK GALBI