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The Spotted Pig - review


Restaurants & Bars 5

The Spotted Pig - review

jacinthe | Feb 6, 2005 07:29 PM

And finally, my last meal in NY. A friend and I headed over to The Spotted Pig, because we’d been wanting to try it for ages. I hate going to places without reservations, but this time decided to suck it up. We got there around 7:30, which we thought was early for NY dining. After all, we’d gone to ‘Inoteca once at that time had not had to wait more than 15 minutes. HAH! We were told we had an hour and a half wait. After some dithering, we decided to stick it out since this restaurant had been on our list for ages.

Décor is cute. Lots of pigs (obviously). It’s a super-crowded place, though, and accordingly very loud. There is no good waiting space – we were crowded by the bar, and eventually were able to get stools, which made the waiting easier. We ordered glasses of wine, and mused over whether we could eat at the bar or not. However, the bartender didn’t offer, so we just figured we couldn’t. We were rather annoyed to find out an hour later (still at the bar, waiting for a table), that we could have. I feel as though the bartender should have given us this option, as we definitely would’ve taken it, as well as asking if we wanted another glass of wine when we finished our first ones. I understand that it was crowded and hectic, and that she was the only bartender in the place – but there was many a time when she just stood there, not doing anything, looking sullen.

Our wait was closer to one hour and 45 minutes, but finally we were seated. Finally. It didn’t take us very long to figure out what we wanted – 2 orders of the gnudi, which we’d heard was just amazing, an order of shoestring fries, a polenta appetizer, and the roast pumpkin and arugula salad. The gnudi came out first – and it really was as good as anticipated. Andrea Strong, on her eponymous website, does a fantastic job at describing this dish, so I won’t even try. Unfortunately, the rest of the meal paled in comparison. Shoestring fries were tasty – fried with rosemary and garlic – but I always find this cut of fry ultimately unsatisfying, because they’re so skinny and not meaty enough. Polenta was good – but anything with lots of butter and such can’t be messed up. The salad was also good, but not really memorable. It was the gnudi. We almost ordered another dish of them, but held off.

I think we had the crème caramel for dessert, but I can’t really remember. Obviously, it did not make very much of an impression.

Service was perfunctory. I’ve already described the bartender. The hostess was friendly enough, but did come over to talk to us while picking her teeth with a toothpick, at which I cringed. The waiter never came to ask us how our meal was. I grant you, the place was more than busy, but at the same time..

The bill came to around $40/person before tip for the 4 appetizers, 1 dessert and 1 glass of wine (two glasses had been purchased separately at the bar). I’m glad we went, and I’d go again off-hours just for the gnudi. But otherwise, I felt as though it didn’t live up to the hype.

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