The Pickled Pig first made a name for itself six years ago at farmers’ markets, where its owners, husband and wife Gary Leybman and Libby Power, sold their smoked meats and fermented veggies to locals. Over time, they expanded to selling their goods at breweries (one of their regular spots being West Side Brewing on Monday nights).
It’s been a long time coming, but the couple is now four weeks into the opening of their new restaurant, where they’ve finally been able to lay brick-and-mortar roots for their farmers’ market ingredients, connections, and sense of community.
The deli-style restaurant uses local produce in its dishes, a benefit from getting to know other vendors from their years selling at farmers’ markets. They’re serving up the bold and tasty smoked meats and fermented veggies they’ve become known for, as well as soups and salads, a pork burger with kimchi and Urban Stead gouda cheese, a smoked turkey sandwich, and a vegetarian roast veggie baba ghanoush sandwich. They also offer occasional specials made from whatever happens to be on the grill that day.
The restaurant site, on the corner of East McMillan Street in Walnut Hills, used to be a dentist office before becoming the rustic-chic home of The Pickled Pig. “It took us two years to get the funding we needed to start building,” says Leybman. “I had a sign in the window that said ‘coming soon’ for years.”
It was an ideal location for Leybman and his family in a central part of the up-and-coming neighborhood. Across the street is café and bar Landlocked Social House, which Leybman says he could see as a promising pairing of brews and meats.
The co-owners are gearing up for warmer weather, when more seasonal fruits and veggies will be available. “I’ll definitely be adding to the menu when more local produce comes out,” says Leybman. “Salads, greens, everything.” They’ll also open their backyard patio, which has an overlooking the city view—perfect for summer cookouts.
While Leybman and Power love their new permanent spot, they still get back out to what started it all—at local farmers’ markets—every week. Stop by The Pickled Pig for delicacies made with care by local ingredients.
The Pickled Pig, 645 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, (513) 748-7114, smokedandpickled.com