11:30 am and there’s already a queue for chef April Bloomfield’s The Spotted Pig in the West Village. There’s hip hop playing the background, the space is kitschy, fuchsia walls, ceramic pigs and plates hanging on the walls, potted plants by the windows, and the staff are in jeans and baseball caps. Our table, away from the traffic and overlooking someone’s manicured backyard, is perfect.
Chicken Liver Toast. There is so much seasoning (port-madeira reduction, parsley, shallots) that you barely discern any of the liver. That’s a good thing.
Roasted Heirloom Beets. Charred and caramelized to bits. Tasty. Health-feeling if not necessarily healthy.
Seared Mackerel with Crème Fraîche and Mint Vinaigrette. A special of the day. The fish isn’t much, but it all comes together with the mint and crème fraîche.
The Roquefort Burger and Shoestring Fries. It turns out that Roquefort is not only a blue cheese, but blue cheese made from sheep’s milk, thus combing two of my least favourite tastes in the world into one: products from members of the bovidae family and strong cheese. I take one bite and set the monster aside. Leo’s palette enjoys it far better than I do, but we both agree that the cheese is overwhelming and inhibits the natural flavours of the beef far too much. An American burger it isn’t.
The Spotted Pig
314 W. 11th Street, Manhattan | Website