Getting a table at The Spotted Pig in New York’s West Village isn’t the easiest – maybe because it’s Kanye West’s favourite restaurant or maybe because it’s bloomin’ good. Either way, it’s no reservations so turn up early and hope for the best.
It’s a pub, which is rather strange for NYC, but it’s co-owned by British chef April Bloomfield which might explain it. It also recently lost its Michelin star which seems a shame. Inside you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a country boozer – it’s all wooden panelled walls dotted with decorative plates and bar stools aplenty.
To start, a simple plate of stracciatella with wild mushrooms on toast ($18) is a lovely thing. The stracciatella, a type of Italian buffalo milk cheese like a stringy burrata, is of top notch quality.
Another starter of sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi with brown butter and crispy sage ($20), a signature dish, is astoundingly good. The gnocchi like dumplings are full to the brim with sharp ricotta – the perfect companion for all that butter.
Another signature dish is their chargrilled burger topped with Roquefort cheese ($25) served with a mountain of shoestring fries. By now we’ve wised up to America’s huge portions so we share all three dishes; the perfect amount of food. The burger comes rare, just how I like it, with a really juicy centre and the blue cheese is a strong but pleasant bedfellow. The fries are incredible.
The food at The Spotted Pig is fuss free and big on flavour. The novelty of sitting in an English pub in the middle of New York City, along with a fun and lively atmosphere and super friendly service, makes this one a must for your list.
Would we go back? Yes.