Imagine a french fry with a built-in garnish of malt vinegar. Or a potato with a hint of fried pickle flavor. If either description sounds appealing, it's time to head to Flight Wine Bar and sample their fermented potatoes.
The dish appears on the menu as part of the restaurant's "fish" and chips basket, which combines the potatoes with fried clams and sardines ($11). They're also served with the pulled duck sandwich ($16). Customers can also go off-menu and request the dish as a side ($6). Eater asked chef Bradley Curtis how he pulls off the addictive menu item.
According to Curtis, the fermented french fries start off as raw potatoes, which are washed and cut, rinsed and chilled. He also makes a standard salt brine with some added aromatics and spices. He boils and chills the brine. The potatoes are submerged in the brine for two to three days at a 55 degree temperature. "During this time the good bacteria lactobacillus is allowed to flourish and bring the necessary acid to the pickle party," he says.
After the brine, the fries are put in the walk-in fridge to keep any more lactic acid from forming. Then they can be fried to order. The "fish" and chips basket is one of many New England-influenced items on the wine bar's menu, along with such dishes as tomato soup cake and a Boston baked dinner with bacon-spiked beans and half smokes.
· Flight Wine Bar Menu [Official Site]
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Fermented potatoes with pulled duck sandwich [Photo: Missy Frederick/Eater.com]