Plenty of restaurants develop so-called programs (a coffee program, say, or a wine program) but Harbour—a new sustainable seafood restaurant on lower Hudson Street, complete with portholes—is the first we’ve heard of to tout its official pickle program.
Program is the term by which hospitality-industry pros call a well-thought-out approach to a specific food, such as bread or beer, cocktails or cheese, complete with philosophies on sourcing and serving. So when it comes to putting by, clearly Harbour is thinking big: Indeed, chef de cuisine Anthony Fusco, who worked with executive chef Joe Isidori at the Michelin-starred DJT in Las Vegas—that’s DJT as in Donald J. Trump—hopes not only to capture fruits and vegetables at their peak, but to match the sea’s brine with some of his own.
“We see something unique, scarce or rare pop up in the market,” says Fusco, who hopes to tackle ramps and radishes first, “and we buy it all up. Then from December to February, when there are scarce pickings,” he explains, as Aesop’s ant might, “we make them last throughout the cold months.”
Fusco’s pickle program goes beyond the ordinary half-sour: Yearly menu plans call for fruit preserves and jams, cured tangerines and lemons, candied grapefruit skewers, cucumber-daikon-garlic- chive kimchee, pickled mushrooms, watermelon rind pickled with pumpkin spices, sweet pickled mustard seeds, pickled pineapple with vanilla and pink peppercorns and watermelon pickle made with Japanese shiro-dashi and lime.
We’ll see you there, grasshopper.
Photo credit: Michael Harlan Turkell