The Spotted Pig in New York is so hot right now – it was recommended by chef Gary Mehigan, from Australia’s MasterChef, and by another esteemed food, wine, and beer writer in Australia. A Michelin-starred gastro pub, the couple sitting next to us at Malaparte also said it was on their list of places to go. Reading reviews, many recommended avoiding the long queues by going for lunch instead of dinner, which is what we did.
Walking in, it felt like I’d entered a little pub in the English countryside. It was small, walls adorned with eclectic artwork, mainy depicting pigs. I felt a little sorry our friendly host who seated us straight away because we weren’t overly warm and friendly ourselves. We were tired and had been bickering about shopping versus eating. Of course, I opted for eating and by eating, I meant eating at The Spotted Pig in Greenwich, which involved a 20-minute walk back to almost where we had started, our hotel. Zorba was not impressed and made it very clear that he preferred to stay in where we were in Soho to shop. It’s got to be the only time ever he would rather shop than eat. So, after our host received our frosty return greeting, we asked him what beer they served. For me given I like lager, he recommended a Samuel Smith organic lager. It was clean, crisp and went down a treat. It reminded of Fat Yak in Australia and I enjoyed it very much. For entrée, we (rather, I) decided to share the gnudi with a sage and butter sauce, which is like gnocchi but made with sheep’s milk ricotta instead of potato. The little pillows of gnudi were gorgeously soft, light and fluffy inside. The sage and butter sauce was textbook perfect. It was a delicious dish. I was wishing I didn’t have to share it.
Upon our waiter’s recommendation, and because the menu wasn’t that appealing and we were finding it difficult to decide on a main, we choose the Cubano sandwich with a side of shoestring fries.
The serve of fries was ridiculously large, the potato thinly cut, well seasoned and crunchy. I enjoyed them.
The Cubano sandwich was okay. I won’t say it blew my socks off. A ciabata with melted cheese tender meat and pickle. I think the Cubano is something New Yorkers love – just like they love bagels and pastrami – and I don’t get it. It wasn’t unenjoyable, but the flavour combination wasn’t to my palate. However, the use of quality ingredients was evident.
Zorba on the other hand was quite cross that a sandwich and a beer cost us US$96. That wasn’t the case as such; we had the gnudi, fries, beers and sparkling water.
Verdict: A good meal but didn’t quite live up the hype. Perhaps we ordered badly, perhaps the dinner menu is better, or perhaps our expectations were too high. In any case, 8/10.
The Spotted Pig
314 W. 11th St, Greenwich Village, New York
Tel: +1 212-620-0393
I totally agree. We had lunch there last year after another blogging friend raved about it and I had the same reaction as you. The gnudi and the fries were the winners for me. The burger I had was too much meat, not enough blue cheese and no salad – I was also very underwhelmed. However I loved the atmosphere and the fit out.