Gastropub Is Spot-On


The Spotted Pig | 314 W. 11th Street (on Greenwich St.) | 212.620.0393 | thespottedpig.com | | | |

THERE ARE MORE THAN A few food places that I admit being long overdue to visit. And, unlike movies—where if I miss them in the theater, I can always catch them on DVD or Netflix—with popular restaurants, there is usually only a small window of that “sweet” time between when they’ve been open long enough to work out the kinks and before the main chefs move onto greener pastures or have to amend their original menu to acquiesce to the more lower common denominator tastes of a more general public.

No Broadway show is as good as when it has its original cast and they’ve had a couple of months to really gel. And so as I believe the same to be true for restaurants, I found more often than not feeling like a late-to-the-party tourist in my own city when I visit a restaurant long after it received its initial raves.

So, much like a real tourist feels an obligation to visit the Empire State Building (or eat a New York slice or hot water dog) when they’re in New York City, I feel the same obligations about being a “foodie” (my how I’m starting to hate that term!) making it mandatory to hit some of the most visited and talked about restaurants.

One such place is now seven-year old The Spotted Pig located a brief walk south from the Meatpacking District in a section of the West Village where I, native New Yorker, might as well have been a tourist! Upon entering the place, I was surrounded by tourists—many having just gotten off of the Highline—and the pedigree of hipster that has never worked any version of what many of us call a “9-to-5″.


The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig


Many dishes appealed to me on their menu…


The Spotted Pig Menu

…I, of late initiated, ordered the items that I read the most about in many food-related periodicals and online. First the appetizers of deviled eggs and chicken liver toast.


Chicken Liver Toast, Deviled Eggs | The Spotted Pig

Deviled Eggs | The Spotted Pig

Chicken Liver Toast | The Spotted Pig

Deviled Eggs | The Spotted Pig



These are not your middle America deviled eggs, and that’s a good thing. The yolk mixture is extra smooth, and boasts a tart burst of malt vinegar in each bite, rounded out by the heat of red pepper flakes and sweet herbal chives. Good choices considering that this is meant to represent British pub food (I’ve had pickled eggs in a number of pubs, i.e., public houses), where robust flavors were meant to keep the palate and mind sharp while imbibing any variety of pours (shots) and pulls (draft beer).

Which is why the chicken liver toast was a success as well. Proudly gamey liver nuanced by its own sweetness, served here creamy with slightly firm chunks, broadly seasoned into a unique richness—served admirably by the crunchy, airy, country toast—a meal perfect, I can imagine, for sipping scotch with just one ice cube.

Not that those first two dishes wouldn’t be meal enough for most people, and I could have very easily walked out of there a happy customer. But due diligence dictated that I stay for their also popular and oft-photographed burger, here served with Roquefort cheese and a side shoestring fries that could literally fit through the eyelets of my waiters Converse. When am I going to be back here in the West Village? Probably not soon. So burger me, medium rare, please.


Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestrings, The Spotted Pig

Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestrings, The Spotted Pig

Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestrings, The Spotted Pig

Shoestrings (Fries), The Spotted Pig

Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestrings, The Spotted Pig

Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestrings, The Spotted Pig


A worthy addition to the burger pantheon of this fine and finicky city, the clincher being the punchy and salty Roquefort (and my addition of some kicky mustard) wonderfully complimenting the premium ground beef’s natural sweetness. Sandwich between the halves of an herb-buttered bun only added to the heady mix. The fries being so skinny but well-fried made them seem like hot, soft-in-the-middle, gourmet potato sticks.

Although I wanted to finish the shoestrings, I couldn’t; I “too-much-of-a-good-thing” surrendered. Which is the glory and curse of New York City. To be a New Yorker literally means having too much to do and never enough time to do it all. Suffice it to say that, since I always have a slew of new restaurants to cover, I may never be able to make it back to The Spotted Pig to, at the very least, try the crispy pig’s ear salad with lemon caper dressing. (Shame to eat at a place called “The Spotted Pig” and not have anything pig-related.)

But I am very glad I made the time and effort to stop by to not just eat there for this first time, but to also smell the flowers, in abundance right outside the place. How often do I get to do that…?!


The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig


Bun Apple Tea!

.kac.


The Spotted Pig on Urbanspoon


The Spotted Pig | 314 W. 11th Street (on Greenwich St.) | 212.620.0393 | thespottedpig.com | | | |



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