Simplicity and Subtlety at Northern Spy

Northern Spy Food Co. has slipped in without attracting much Chowhound notice, but skordalia says its simple, subtle American cooking deserves much better. A recent pork terrine with pistachios and asparagus shows what this kitchen is about. "I could not imagine a more delicate, palate-stimulating pork preparation. It's light years away from the lard-drenched, bacon-studded, pork belly-napped dishes that slam you with fat and salt," says skordalia, who sums up the approach as "light but not too light, flavorful but not overpowering, and creative yet comforting at the same time."

Opened in November by alumni of San Francisco's A16, Northern Spy champions local, sustainable foods on its frequently changing menu and in a small grocery section. egit reports a winning chicken entrée and a surprisingly nice wheat-berry side. "I'm not sure why it doesn't get more attention," he says. "Maybe it's not flashy or terribly 'inventive' cuisine, but it's really solid."

iFat likens the place to Westville, "but with more of a country market vibe. Good low-key spot in the neighborhood with better food than the price point would suggest."

Northern Spy Food Co. [East Village]
511 E. 12th Street (between Avenues A and B), Manhattan
212-228-5100

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