Northern Spy Food Co., an East Village restaurant, comes up often in conversation among fans of farmers’-market-driven, seasonal New American cuisine: Cooks there make their own terrines, there’s a large selection of local beers and wines, and the prices are relatively modest for the East Village.

But is it worth the trip? Even though some hounds rave about the gnocchi—sam1 reports that “they sear the outsides”—and the charcuterie and a kale salad get high marks, rose water had a disappointing experience: “since I cook at home a lot, get amazing produce through a CSA, and have learned a ton from Sunday Suppers at Lucques and the Zuni cookbook, the bland bread salad made with the most bland bread imaginable and the underflavored squash soup really paled in comparison to comparable things I make.”

Yeouch! Nothing sounds worse than a bland bread salad. Did this hound simply order wrong, or do others agree? Is Northern worth the money? If so, what should one order?

Northern Spy Food Co. [East Village]
511 E. 12th Street, Manhattan

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