Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Spotted Pig

Tonight was my friend Niu Niu's birthday, and a few of us decided to take her to dinner at the Spotted Pig located on the intersection of west 11th and Greenwich streets. The chef/owner April Bloomfield was a judge on Top Chef, is buddies with Mario Batali, and has 2 Michelin stars (one for the Spotted Pig). The restaurant (like Chef Bloomfield) has gotten tons of positive press, and I've been wanting to go for a long time (somehow it was always hard to make motivate myself to trek all the way to the west side during school).

Let's just say that the food didn't disappoint. For appetizers we got the devils on horseback (prunes stuffed with pear and wrapped in bacon):

These were much yummier than they sound. I'm usually not a fan of prunes. I know that old people like them for the beneficial effects they have on facilitating bowel movements, but I'm not at that stage of life yet. However, the sweet and salty combination worked well together, and the textures did as well. Cooked prunes can be soft and -dare I say it- mushy, but the firmer bacon wrapped around them did a good job of distracting from this.

The other appetizers included the marinated olives (I didn't bother including a picture of this because we all know what olives look like right?) and chicken liver toast:

The chicken liver toast was fresh toasted brown bread slathered with a chicken liver paste that had a texture similar to hummus but wonderfully seasoned and -like the devils on horseback- was a combination of sweet and salty. I don't eat liver often, but this dish was AMAZING. I don't even know how to do it justice. Sorry guys - guess you're going to have to go try it for yourselves.

For my entree I got the roasted beet salad with walnuts and young goat's cheese:

I opted for the salad because my post-graduation celebration encompassed nearly 5 days of over-indulging on rich foods with visiting family and friends, and I don't have a desire to start work looking like a giant butterball (note the pun - I'm Asian and therefore yellow, as is butter. Get it? Haha...?). The salad was almost entirely beets, with a few sprigs of green, a tiny sprinkling of walnuts, and some goat cheese. Although the goat cheese was a good pairing for the sweet beets, there's a limit to how much beet I can tolerate before I get tired of it. The salad was good, but halfway through I was regretting my choice.

My friends John and Liz ordered the chargrilled burgers with roquefort cheese, but I wasn't able to get good photos due to terrible lighting. I hate using flash and actually would rather sacrifice a photo than post an ugly one that has been washed-out by the flash. Niu Niu ordered the buffalo burrata (a type of cheese usually made from mozzarella and cream) that was accompanied by rainbow chard bruschetta on toast, drizzled with olive oil.

Although watching John and Liz chow down on their juicy burgers while I was delegated to eating a healthy salad was one of the most painful things that I've done in a while, I was overall very impressed with the Spotted Pig. I would definitely go back - even for the chicken liver alone.

Overall rating: 8.5/10

314 West 11th Street 
New York, NY 10014

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