THE SPOTTED PIG -NYC
314 W. 11th St. (at Greenwich st), New York, NY 10014
Date Dined: 1/29/12
Chef April Bloomfield’s renowned gastropub resides on a quaint West Village corner with an entrance draped in its signature vibrant greenery year-round. This is one of the coolest foodie hangouts partly because so many notable people of the food world (including Mario Batali and Ken Friedman) were involved in the creation of this cozy gem. It is one of the most casual places that still maintains sort of a see-and-be seen aura about it.
The ambiance is extremely low key with rustic wood walls covered in images of farm animals (naturally dominated by silhouettes of swine). The bar stools at both the upper and lower bars are covered in intentionally mismatching fabrics and the servers and clientele are equally eclectic making this a very entertaining place for indulging in some people watching.
A few days ago some friends and I went to the Pig for a leisurely Sunday brunch heavily lubricated by mimosas (champagne to oj ratio is right on) and bloody Marys. We enjoyed some of the Spotted Pig classics that every New Yorker (or well informed visitor) must indulge in at some point.
We started off with some oysters- East coast briney little bites, fresh and vinegary with the home made mignonette. Always a favorite brunch starter.
Next we had some deviled eggs. If I had a top 10 list for deviled eggs these would be up there on the list. The beautiful creamy filling is the perfect balance of smooth and tangy with a tiny bit of heat from the red pepper flakes that garnish for color.
I was super excited to see a Dutch baby on the menu because I had learned how to make one just the day before (thank you Food Network) and had never actually eaten one before. This version was more like a crêpe than a pancake and topped with an incredibly thick cut smoked bacon. The salty bacon and sweet maple syrup on top made this into a sort of decadent bacon candy.
Bloomfield prides herself on simple cooking with the freshest seasonal ingredients. She also happens to be pretty well known for her burger. This burger falls somewhere near the top of the lineup in my Top 10 burgers. It also also falls into the pricy category and will set you back $17 which actually seems pretty affordable in comparison to the Minetta burger. Inside of a buttery grilled bun is a perfectly shaped beef patty, expertly cooked to the right temperature (medium rare) and dressed simply with a nice melty roquefort cheese. No additional condiments needed! When it comes to simplicity it can’t get much more basic than this combination but the differentiator is the pride that Bloomfield takes in the preparation of her ingredients. It can definitely be tasted.
I am very particular when it comes to fries. I generally really don’t like shoestring fries because they get cold instantly and end up being a fancy / complicated potato chip. The Spotted Pig’s shoestrings are a completely different story. They are incredible. Cut the teensiest bit thicker they are able to retain some heat. What also makes them special is that they are fried with paper fine garlic, rosemary and some other herbs to really infuse the potatoes with the fragrant oils. If you happen to be passing by the Pig, it is worth it to stop by the bar for an espertly mixed cocktail and a shoestring snack.
There are few things that better close out a weekend than a great Sunday brunch with friends and the Spotted Pig is the perfect place to do just that.