Photo Credit: Anna Malskaya
Northern Spy Food Co. Location: East Village. 12th and Ave. A. Scene: Easy Going. Sceney without the Sass. Food: Local Food. Chicken Liver Mousse. Cheese Board. Squid Salad. Strawberry Salad. Smoked Rainbow Trout. Roasted Chicken.
- Kale Salad: Cheddar, Sweet Potatoes, Almonds, Pecorino (1st pic)
- Smoked Bluefish Rillettes and Garlic Toast (2nd pic)
- North Fork Asparagus Salad: Arugula, Horseradish, Breadcrumb, Soft Egg (3rd pic)
- Scallop Special of the Day
I visited Northern Spy Food Company for brunch two summers ago and was blown away by their fluffy buttermilk biscuits that could feed a family of 5 as well as their kale salad that tasted like it came straight from a farm, because well, it did. Several restaurants toot their horns saying they serve “local” or “organic” ingredients, but ya know most of the time can you even tell? Here you 100% can tell and the fact that the menu changes seasonally and regularly shows it. During the wintertime I had the special Scallops that night and it came with turnip puree, mushrooms and some sort of duck preparation. It is so fresh and so light and the quality of the ingredients really make a difference. The menu online even highlights the farms where they get their products from. The Smoked Bluefish Rillettes seem to be a regular on the menu as well as the Kale Salad. The Bluefish is super smokey and flavorful and not too creamy. The garlic buttered toast points are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside giving it a little crunch and enough cushion for the fish on top. I love this appetizer. Definitely share the Kale Salad with the table. It’s light and the sweet potatoes and cheese make for a good combo. The veggies here steel the show on each dish. All of the salads are fantastic and not like your regular mixed greens or beets with goat cheese. The shaved brussels sprouts salad in the winter or asparagus salad with a soft egg and bread crumbs. An egg on a salad might seem strange or foreign to you, but once you taste the soft and creamy texture, it serves more like a dressing. Get your plate dirty and mix that yolk all up in there. The scallop special I got one night was unbelievable. While most places around here have learned how to master the cooking skill of this seafood the sauce and pairings are what can make it stand out even more. The dish I had was mixed with a type of duck that was circular and tender- almost pulled. The turnip puree and vegetables that danced around the scallops were stupendous and almost alarming the taste was unique. While the starters are all amazing and could act as your meal, don’t miss the mains. This is where the real magic happens. Northern Spy Food Co. makes you feel youthful, healthy and warm inside after you eat here. There’s nothing too heavy to weigh you down (except the brunch biscuits and maybe the pork sticky rolls). The cute blue benches and white brick walls create a look that is cool enough and fun for a date or casual enough for a quick, weeknight dinner.
Don’t be fooled that it’s on the edge of Alphabet City and the East Village with a small amount of seating and no renown chef. This restaurant is doing incredible things and you do not want to miss out. You’ll have some of the best, simple and fresh food of your life in this cute little spot. Make Northern Spy Food Co. your new habit.