The Spotted Pig is synonymous with having the best burger and sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi in New York City and for some of you, the great date spot in the West Village that Jay-Z helped fund. The restaurant by Chef April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman (also of The Breslin’s infamous lamb burger) is decked out with pig memorabilia and great cozy bar and love seats on both floors of the restaurant. While there are no reservations, this summer they offered some in honor of the restaurant’s tenth anniversary, so I obviously wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity to get a free ride in. The seating may be a bit uncomfortable at small wobbly tables or love seats that you are basically sitting on top of each other with your counter part, but the vibe, low lighting and eclectic decor prevent you from focusing on this distraction. The Spotted Pig is a cool institution because you can feel trendy while also not having to impress.
Devils on Horseback
The seasonal British and Italian menu offers bar snacks such as: Roasted Almonds, Marinated Olives, Deviled Eggs and Devils on Horseback. “The” burger is definitely a must order but don’t overlook the other dishes. The fish entrees are always fantastic and cooked perfectly so that it’s light and flavorful without too much sauce. It tastes the way fish should always taste. The Chargrilled Burger tastes like it’s almost made with filet mignon chuck. It’s tender, thick and cooked as medium rare as it could be with reddish pink throughout the center that it almost falls apart in your mouth. The buttery bun is crisp on the outside and soft enough on the inside to soak up the burger juices for a complete ideal bite. I have to pass on the Roquefort Cheese because I think it masks too much of the beef flavor preventing you from getting all you can get out of it. All you need is the meat and the bun to call it a day. The shoe string fries look like those from Houston’s or Hillstone but are less potato stick like crunchy and have a crunch with soft spots calling it a successful combo with the burger. We were also lucky enough to enjoy some Soft Shell Crabs at the beginning summer season.
Soft Shell Crab
The Roasted Carrots with Thyme might as well be dessert. You think carrots and you think healthy, but not here. These are soaked in either butter or oil (maybe both) and are most fun to eat with your hands like Bugs Bunny. They taste almost like sweet potato fries and round out this fly meal. Oh, they also have mint plants on some of the window sill. Feel free to pick your own and throw it in your cocktail (with my permission, of course).
The Spotted Pig is a classic, feel-good winner for all parties involved. Snag your date and catch up at the bar over a cocktail while you wait for your table or bring your parents for an early dinner for a look inside to New York dining that really sticks.