More than a year in the making, Larder: A Curated Delicatessen and Bakery, opened April 25 in the Ohio City Firehouse that also houses Rising Star Coffee Roasters and Urban Orchid.
Jeremy Umansky, Allie LaValle-Umansky, and partner Kenny Scott are the culinary superheroes going where no deli has gone before. It has everything you would expect of a neighborhood corner deli— a chalkboard menu, a display case of colorful salads and sides, and seating that encourages interaction and conversation. Upon closer inspection Larder, an Eastern European deli and bakery, dares to venture a little out of the ordinary.
For a time, Jeremy was known primarily as resident forager for Jonathan Sawyer’s restaurants; quickly becoming the go-to expert on locating and harvesting unfamiliar edibles and incorporating them into the restaurant’s tasting menu. At Larder, Jeremy melds his personal interests and areas of expertise—foraging, fermenting and curing—with traditional menu items befitting a delicatessen. Jeremy’s penchant for all things wild is complemented by Kenny’s fine-dining background and Allie’s expertise as a pastry chef and baker.
Larder has a comfortable, old school feel with many familiar, traditional deli offerings like pastrami on rye, sauerkraut, potato chips, rugelach, and black and white cookies. However, upon closer look, the food has been remade and refashioned using techniques and recipes that Jeremy and the team have perfected over the past year. Pastrami is koji-cured with Rising Star Coffee and cocoa powder. Seasoned potato chips are satisfyingly savory with the umami of toasted yeast, and the ideal vessel for scooping a dollop of foraged onion and garlic dip with a crumbly topping of bottarga. Pickled black radish and shredded turnip with caraway accompany noshable boards of sliced meats, cheeses and bread served on metal trays and white butcher paper. Items are fresh, seasonal and sourced locally as much as possible.
“We work hard to support local farmers, producers, artisans, fishermen and women, craftspeople, and charities by keeping our money in our community where it belongs,” said Jeremy.
Given that Jeremy’s interests in gastronomy fall right into the crossroads of molecular science, biology and food anthropology, Larder’s changing offerings are likely to surprise diners time and time again. You’ll find staples like gefilte fish, pickled smelts, terrine, latkes and even the requisite chocolate phosphate but chances are good that you haven’t had them quite like this. Nothing about the preparation is a secret he says, but “if you want to know how we make something, please ask.”
“There are times when our menu might change daily. We’re going to focus on producing a few things really well before we jump down the rabbit hole. Our offerings will reflect the season and we’ll look for foods that are at their peak natural ripeness,” Jeremy said.
Larder: A Curated Delicatessen and Bakery opens Tuesday, April 22 in the Ohio City Firehouse at 1455 West 29th Street in the Hingetown neighborhood.