Not all my reviews are about the latest hotspot. Occasionally I like to write about a tried and true “winner”, that never disappoints. One such place is The Spotted Pig, at 314 W 11th St, in New York’s West Village. It just may be New York’s most famous gastropub. It was originally crafted by expat April Bloomfield, (and her partner Ken Friedman), who worked at London’s River cafe, and also did a stint at California‘s Chez Panisse. The restaurant also has Mario Batali as one of its investors. The restaurant earned a Michelin star for 10 consecutive years, from 2006-2016. Unfortunately, after the nasty allegations of owner Ken’ Friedman’s sexual transgressions, April Bloomfield and Ken have parted ways. Ken has retained this restaurant. They have lost their star but I am confident under the new Chef Ashley Merriman, formerly of Prune and the Waverly Inn, they will receive one again. The restaurant will retain its name.
The restaurant is frequented by celebrities, foodies, New Yorkers and savvy tourists. There no reservation policy makes it hard to get into, but for many it is probably one of the cities quintessential New York experiences since 2004, you will rarely see an empty seat. The place is kitschy, and quirky, chaotic, and loud, which is part of its charm, with pig posters, sculptures, pictures and pig lights. Tables are cramped in this 110 seat establishments on two floors, but there are cozy corners.
The restaurant serves one of New York’s legendary, and best burgers. A thick, rare patty topped with Roquefort cheese, and crisp garlicky shoestring potatoes. Let’s hope they will keep this on the menu. Another winner are the Devils on Horseback, a bacon-wrapped prune, filled with mango chutney, or their sheep’s milk gundi. At weekend brunch, you can still get their deviled eggs. But they also serve a fabulous Dutch pancake with bacon and maple syrup, grilled cheese, French toast with strawberries and bourbon syrup, and a lovely frittata with summer squash, basil and ricotta. Or you can just order that satisfying, awesome burger. I am sure the menu may change in the future, under the new chef, but for now it still remains, popular, and beloved. Open for lunch, brunch and dinner.
Spotted Pig is being investigated for misconduct allegations, and may have a huge impact on the business. I would go now while you can.