Posted 19th August 2012 by Chris Chu
THE SPOTTED PIG is located in the West Village at the corner of Greenwich St. & W. 11th St. It is a rather tiny little spot that one can easily pass by not realizing that when you go there, you are going to a bar! (strangely enough the joint has an upstairs that also has seating and a bar) Yup…The Spotted Pig is a “gastropub” but not just another one of the dozens that have popped up in the city; No No…This is the original that started the craze!
The Pig is helmed by a British Chef named April Bloomfield, who can work wonders with pig (hence the name) and pretty much any fresh ingredients you can throw her way. The “refined casualness” of the place is definitely reflected in her food. The eats are all about taking simplistic but amazingly fresh ingredients and coaxing awesome flavors out of them that pop in your mouth! No gimmicks here; it’s all about having awesome cooking skills!
Cases in point, let’s look at what we ate. My wife had sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi with basil pesto as an app and crispy pork belly with vegetables & fried squash blossoms. I had sautéed squid with basil & pine nut breadcrumbs as an app and sautéed sea scallops with sweet corn pudding as the entrée. OMG!!!!
The gnudi was quite amazing! Pillowy soft goodness with a pesto that was just awesome! If I remember, the pesto was amazingly smooth and the balance between butter & basil was perfect! My wife says it’s what pesto should be, but yet never really seems to turn out this way. Really quite addictive if I must say! Her crispy pork belly looked pretty good and smelled awesome and the fried squash blossom was quite nice (how could in not be…it was fried! LOL). My sautéed squid with basil was nice but for me the scallops and corn pudding was the dish I couldn’t get enough of. The scallops were cooked perfectly! Had that nice crisp “caramelization” going on the outside while not overcooking the inside (see what happens when you high heat sear properly!) and the sweet corn pudding was to die for! Pure creamy sweet decadent corn goodness matched up nicely with the delicateness of scallops; actually surprised it didn’t overpower them.
The lovely young April can throw down food and while she might not be at the restaurant all the time (She also helms The Breslin and The John Dory Oyster Bar) her kitchen staff definitely lives up to her exacting standards and they put out good eats in her absence! Worth the visit; go check it out!