FIRST-TIME VISITORS TO ALICE cannot miss the wall-sized cabinet stocked with jars of fermenting ingredients, from miso pastes made with sweet peas, chickpeas or sesame, to vinegars involving crabapple flowers, Thai basil and spruce tips. Such fermentations have been at the core of Briana Kim’s tasting menus since the day she opened her tiny, rarefied vegetable-focused restaurant in 2019 on a Little Italy side street. The unique pantry allows her to create elaborate seasonal dishes like charcoal-grilled maitake mushrooms and sunchokes served with tomato-and-fermented-green-strawberry salsa with a sweet pea– miso dipping sauce. Such intriguing flavours and deep savouriness regularly leave diners dazzled. Fermentation-driven beverages include such novelties as rye and sea buckthorn kvass and red-pepper amazake. Unsurprisingly, wines are strictly low-intervention. Kim’s steady influx of kitchen interns from abroad and her regular participation at top-level fermentation workshops at industry-leading places, from Noma to Eleven Madison Park, keep the local thinking fresh.
Chef Briana Kim’s plant-based tasting menu is as cutting-edge as it is tasty”
Photography by: Miv Photography