Pickle Plates Make For Appetizers

Start your meal with a pickle sampling

We love cheese, but we disapprove of it as an appetizer.

Snacking on a spoonful of La Tur or Rush Creek Reserve is a surefire way to spoil your appetite for the meal ahead.

Next time you're planning a party spread, skip the cheese (or save it for later) and take a cue from restaurants around the country that have perfected the pickle plate.

One of the first to propagate the platter of vinegary vegetables was David Chang, who has kept his pickle plate as an anchor of Momofuku Ssäm's rotating menu in New York. Innovative bases like tomatillo and Asian pear are ideal foils for the meat-heavy menu.

In Chicago, Paul Fehribach's Big Jones offers a plate that pairs pickled seasonal produce, such as green strawberries or fiddlehead ferns, with honey butter. And nearby, Longman & Eagle salves hungry drinkers with a fried pickle plate that includes green beans and corn.

And at State Bird Provisions, San Francisco's arbiter of food trends, pastrami-cured beef tongue is buried beneath a heap of pickled cauliflower, potatoes and onions.