The Spotted Pig is a NYC hot spot that has been drawing crowds since opening its doors in 2004. Regarded as being NYCs first gastro pub, the Spotted Pig serves seasonal Italian and British dishes while striving to make use of local ingredients as often as possible.
Located in West Village in a three story building with enough seating to accommodate 100 hungry guests, it features a rustic décor with a cozy feel. The first floor is quite small with a bar and enough seating for about 20-30 people, the remaining seating is on the second floor, while the third floor is reserved for private dining events for very special guests, such as Anthony Bordain, as seen on his TV show – No Reservations.
The Spotted Pig does not accept reservations; therefore you can expect to wait a while for a table, especially since they’re constantly busy. In my case, we arrived 5 minutes after they opened and we waited about 50 minutes for a table.
The menu changes often and features items ranging in size from small plates to full size entrees. We were in a group of five, which worked to our advantage since it allowed us to get a broader taste/sample of the menu. Here is a look at some of the items we ordered:
Rolled Mops – Pickled Herring rolled and filled with crème fraiche. This dish did a great job balancing the acidity of the pickled herring with the fraiche.
Devils on horseback – Dates stuffed with pears, wrapped in bacon then broiled until crisp. This was an interesting dish, the sugar in the date caramelized almost fusing with the bacon and pear, resulting in a mix of gooey sweetness with crispy, smoky and salty flavor from the bacon. An excellent dish.
Marinated olives – Olives served in olive oil for a very simple dish and very tasty for those who like Olives.
Deviled Eggs – This is your typical deviled egg recipe.
Pigs ear – one deep fried pig’s ear. If I had to describe it I would say it tastes very similar to pork rinds, but slightly more chewy due to the cartilage.
Veal fat potatoes – potatoes halves, deep fried in veal fat and lightly seasoned. I was expecting the potatoes to be cut into smaller pieces, but even in larger pieces they were thoroughly cooked, soft in the center and crispy on the outside. The added richness from the Veal fat made it unique and absolutely delicious.
Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries – while the burger was simple and excellent, the Roquefort has a very strong flavor that sometimes can overpower all other flavors in the burger, I would not recommend it for anyone who does not like strong flavored cheeses. The fries were served with thinly sliced garlic and rosemary.
The Spotted Pig was a must-visit in my list of places to visit during my recent trip to NYC. My expectations were high given its reputation and I must say that I was impressed. My favorite items were the Chargrilled Burger, Veal fat potatoes and Devils on Horseback. I will certainly visit the Spotted Pig next time I am in NYC.