Jacob's Pickle helped the Upper West Side shed its sleepy restaurant reputation by offering gastropub fare we could get behind, so, naturally, we invited it to hold court at Time Out Market New York. We tasted its food, reviewed the restaurant and had no hesitation in recommending Jacob's Pickle for a spot at the market. Here’s why:
You'll find that the bar's 25 taps offer uptown brew geeks plenty to get excited about. The all-domestic lineup is broken down by state, with a stable of Northeast breweries (Pretty Things, Allagash) complemented by cross-country favorites: the silky Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale ($7) from Cigar City in Tampa, plus Stone's Cali-Belgique ($8)—a hoppy Californian IPA brewed with Belgian yeast. The cocktail program, heavy on infused spirits and pickle juice, is too spasmodic, meddling with the Manhattan (made here with sage-infused Four Roses bourbon and apple-cinnamon bitters; $13) while also offering $12 mason jars of spicy brine margaritas. If it's booze you're after, stick with a Dickel Back ($12)—a double shot of George Dickel No. 12 chased with a glug of house brine.
Upper West Siders looking for a respite from fratty bars and faux-Irish pubs. With table service and a huge back room, Jacob's is spacious and adaptable enough to bring a mixed crowd.
A sizable menu swings among predictable comfort foods (a dish called "the obligatory mac and cheese" is a little too on the nose), Southern-fried staples (house-made biscuits, creamy grits) and nods to the neighborhood (matzo ball soup for the Jews, grilled-salmon salad for the Real Housewives). The namesake pickles don't disappoint, especially the meaty, fried Kirby cukes ($9). The crumbly biscuits don't hold up well in sandwiches ($14--$16), but we liked them smothered in sausage-and-mushroom gravy ($9). Portions are reminiscent of the Cheesecake Factory, so sharing is advisable—on the way out, you can augment your doggie bag with jars of pickles, preserves, growlers and bags of biscuits from the refrigerators up front.