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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pickles for a Bitter Heart

Posted By on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 9:56 AM

click to enlarge Heart's pickle plate includes beets and Brussels sprouts. - CARINA OST
  • Carina Ost
  • Heart's pickle plate includes beets and Brussels sprouts.

For a straight woman, dating can be quite difficult in San Francisco ― a girl's likely to end up so bitter all she wants to do is go to a bar and indulge in a pickle plate and a sour drink. Bar Agricole's whiskey and traditional sours meet the second part of that need beautifully, but the pickle plate is simply not up to par. Comstock's "barkeep's whimsy" ― with parameters of citrus and bitters ― is fantastic, and the pickle plate (which kicks all other local pickle plates' assess) is now off the menu, but you can probably talk the kitchen into plating one up if you deploy a little sweet talk.

A recent trip to Heart, though, turned out to be exactly what our bitter heart needed. House pickles with beets, Brussels sprouts, and cucumber spears ($4), paired with a glass of 2007 Fremont Brut Cider Par Nature Les Greniers ($9), hit the spot. The cider, which Heart describes as smelling like a "horse farm" and tasting "like (funky) perfection," was the most complex cider we've ever tasted, with a bitter aftertaste that found its match in our heart.

With Heart's communal tables and virtual fireplace cozily projected on a wall, maybe we can find another kind of match there someday. Until that happens, pickles and sour alcohol will have to get the job done.

Read more from Carina Ost at CarinaOst.com. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

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Carina Ost

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