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The Spotted Pig


Jinmyo
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Bourdain:

Next Batali move: The imminent opening of the Spotted Pig.

Huh? Whuzza?

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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As reported in this week's New York Observer,Batali, in partnership with British chef April Bloomfield (River Cafe, London, Kensington Place, Chez Panisse)concert promoter Ken Friedman, Joe Bastianich and --reportedly, U-2 dude, Bono,will open The Spotted Pig, a Brit-style "gastro-pub" which will seat 50 in the site of the former Le Zoo on West 11th Street. Brit/Italo style stews, ragouts, roasts are promised. And I'm guessing some skillfully prepared guts.

abourdain

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I'm ready for it. And a lot of my pals are, too. Aren't you? I'm planning to sustain myself there as much as I can. April rocks.

Better than anything was T's defense of Laurent Manrique -- I recall a mid-90's call of the Batterberry's demise. Long live the Batterberry's!!! How in the hell did that article get in there? I'm in awe.

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After reading the UK board, I'm not sure we're ready for a gastro-pub. :shock:

I'm still a little mad at Jason for "NO, NO, NO OFFAL" when we went to Babbo. I want guts!!! :biggrin:

And I agree with basque on AB's great Food Arts piece; at least to me it was even better than Melissa Kelly and her leaves. Well, almost (hey, just basil envy).

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I'm still a little mad at Jason for "NO, NO, NO OFFAL" when we went to Babbo. I want guts!!! :biggrin:

Blood and guts here. No trip to France is entirely successful without a good andouillette and a good boudin noir.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Amazing! Is this the place Hesser profiled in NYT a month or so ago?

Shit I love offal. Plus it makes me feel so...unwasteful; so much so that even the vegan, sentient-being advocates at Vassar (my alma mata) might support my eating there.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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Ahhh, right. I saw Jason's mention of St. John and got over-excited.

Batali is expanding his empire at an alarming rate.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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  • 1 month later...

Isn't this opening soon? This weekend? I'm looking forward to hearing some reports about it - especially if the St. John influence is as strong as has been suggested.

If The Spotted Pig really does turn out to be the US version of St. John, a flight to New York might be in order (actually, I need to visit anyway...but this would be some extra incentive).

Edited by VeryApe77 (log)
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The restaurant feature article in this weekend's edition of Financial Times is an interview with Batali and April Bloomfield/semi-description of The Spotted Pig. I have no clue how to post links and don't even know if the article is available on-line. Sorry.

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  • 2 weeks later...

went on opening night and enjoyed it very much. I am sorry to say there there was no offal...i think the menu is starting small and will increase with time. It loses none of the small room charm it had as le zoo and only made it more with the new decoration and interior...

The house ale was great , just the right amount of bitter finish.

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went on opening night and enjoyed it very much. I am sorry to say there there was no offal...i think the menu is starting small and will increase with time. It loses none of the small room charm it had as le zoo and only made it more with the new decoration and interior...

The house ale was great , just the right amount of bitter finish.

Welcome to the NY forum, kinichiwa!

So, what did you eat? :smile:

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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we were 4 at the table ... apps "gnudi" w/goat cheese filling, panzotti with some sort of sweet squash filling (there could have been a little more), chicken liver parfait, oysters and the smoked haddock chowder. entrees; veal blanquette with smashed turnips, pork sausage with wet polenta, wild striped bass roasted and skate wing on the bone roasted.

i liked the food and know that it will always be a flavorful and reliable place to eat.

here's my thought:

i read all the e-mail about the opening and all the expections every one has about mario and another b&b opening. the impresion i got is that this is a restaurant that is based on the chef and front of house owner Ken. Mario Battali seems to be a guide through the rough waters that is the restaurant business in New York. I know he advised on the menu but the great ability mario has is to recognize great

chef talent. Example...andy nuzzer(sp?) david pasternak, the chef at luppa and otto and his prep chef at babbo elisa sarno.

i just thought we should give him credit for that not just as the "offal" king of new york

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just went to the Spotted Pig tonight with a few friends. I'll just make this short and simple. For the type of restaurant, I don't mind the simpleness, but the portions for the sides need to drastically increase. The house beer was really nice and appropriate for the restaurant. Thank goodness for Brooklyn Brewery. Not a bad outing, but the food could use some perking up.

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Saturday night at nine o'clock, the place was full and there was a two hour wait. We were only prepared to stay at the bar for no longer than one hour on an empty stomach. I can't offer more of a report than that it looked as if it had been there forever. It looked like a well worn local bar with food. At least I know they got that part right.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Ms. Bloomfield's menu is ever-changing. The gnudi are often absent, but she may offer other pastas as appetizers, like orecchiette...in an exceptional sauce of crumbled spicy sausage, tomato and broccoli rabe. Dishes appear and then disappear, like ricotta-stuffed tortelloni..., intricately twisted like Sichuan dumplings and served in a lemony cream sauce with pine nuts, or a beautiful combination of sautéed sweetbreads, bitter greens and pancetta..., or squid stew with a sharp aioli....

The Spotted Pig (Eric Asimov) (from this week's NYTimes DIGEST update. You may have to scroll down for the appropriate link.)

Chef April Bloomfield, formerly of River Cafe and Chez Panisse, offers New Yorkers a post-modern revision of a British style gastropub and largely succeeds, according to the review.

Note that Bono, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich are investors in the restaurant whilst Ken Friedman is the principal owner.

What have your experiences been like?

Soba

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  • 4 months later...

Tiny, noisy, crowded – well, you’d hardly expect a pub, gastro or otherwise, to be spacious and sedate, although the miniscule dimensions of the Spotted Pig tend to heighten the sense of crush. And the place sure is popular – at 5:30PM (when most New Yorkers are just finishing their lunch), we were one of three couples being seated, and by the time we left two hours later the wait for a table was over an hour and a half (they don’t take reservations), and the bar and sidewalk were packed with people willing to do just that.

I don’t know that I’d be one of them, although the food is very good. Chef April Bloomfield comes from London’s renowned River Café by way of Chez Panisse, and with Batali and Bastianich as backers, the menu not surprisingly skews heavily Italian with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Ergo the octopus salad that I started with last night, lightly dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and cilantro. My limited experience with octopus has usually been grilled, so sautéed was a new one on me. I found the texture rubbery and chewy, but I enjoyed it, and the flavors were beautifully balanced. My companion started with pork tonnato with capers, very nicely done. He followed this with the chanterelle risotto – an awfully small portion, to my mind, but perfectly cooked and flavored: sumptious, but still summer-light. The recent dog days of summer have made me unusually carnivorous, so I couldn’t pass up the Spotted Pig’s much touted Rocquefort burger. And it really is a thing of beauty: the perfect bun, a briochy number just the right height and texture, barely toasted. The magazine-cover-ready burger is so juicy it looks like it was glazed with extra fat before plating, a perfectly formed 1/3 – ½ lb. patty grilled to perfection. The fine Rocquefort provides a great bite, but tends to overwhelm the beef, and I’m more of a Cheddar/Gruyere guy myself. The enormous tangle of beautifully fried shoestring potatoes are delicious and a real visual spectacle, if kind of a pain to eat – they tend to scatter all over the table and the floor. Condiments are provided on request. We split the Chocolate Decadence, an intense flourless chocolate mousse cake, moist and pudding-like with a dab of crème fraîche to offset it.

Being a pub, the focus is naturally on beers and ales, but since neither of us are partisans we stuck to the wines by the glass, of which the Spotted Pig offers four whites, four reds and two rosés. My cabernet was as big and juicy as my burger. I didn’t get to sample my companion’s sauvignon blanc, but he was very happy with it.

Servicewas charming but, even early on, leisurely – it was a good twenty minutes in between courses. This may be more the fault of the kitchen, whose operations appear to be split between a pocket-sized cooking space in the back of the restaurant and prep areas in the basement accessible only via the street, or so it seemed by the constant procession through the bar crowd of prep chefs lugging vats of stocks and containers of produce. And it was a little disconcerting to see Chef Bloomfield make her exit in civilian garb at 6, leading us to speculate whether her departure from the Pig is imminent. (Yeah, I know, almost no chef actually cooks in their kitchen any more – with the exception of Marc Murphy.)

An appetizer, an entrée and two glasses of wine each, plus a shared dessert, came to $58 a person, and well worth it. Certainly I wouldn’t call it a destination restaurant – Batali and Bastianich’s involvement is confined solely to financial backing and consultation on the wine list. But if you’re in the area and don’t mind a boisterous and squashed atmosphere, the food’s worth it.

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

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