Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Spotted Pig for Lupper

The Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 620-0393

I had to visit a project in Tenafly, NJ which is pretty close to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee. Knowing that the day's work would probably be done by 2 or 3 if I went without lunch, I planned to go into the city to eat. You can't not be that close and not go.

Since my ever-present dining partner (wife) wasn't going to be with me I had to go someplace she might not be inclined to go for. Since Una Pizza Napolitana is only open Thursday - Sunday, that was not an option. I figured what better place to go then a gastropub? Great eating alone option I'd say. Since I'd never been to The Spotted Pig I figured I'd give it a try. I saw April Bloomfield on Iron Chef one time and was really impressed with her knowledge.

Since I got there about 4 o'clock they were serving a limited bar menu. In all actuality it really wasn't that limited. They serve this limited menu during the hours between lunch and dinner (3-5). I didn't much mind because I was starved and there were no crowds to fight.

So I go in and the hostess stand is right there in the front to hand you a menu. She told me to sit anywhere I wanted; so I decided to go upstairs. The decor had artwork, plates, signs, and all kinds of stuff on the walls. It's actually a very homey setting. Instead of chairs there are actually these short upholstered stools. I wasn't sure how much I was going to like them, but they were surprisingly comfortable.

Since I had to drive back to the office I couldn't really drink (unfortunatley) . As I perused the menu I noticed something called "Roll Mops". When I asked the waiter what they were, he told me that they were pickeled herring.

"Why not?", I thought.

I also decided on the Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestrings. I love Roquefort Cheese, but have never in my life put it on a hamburger.

So the Roll Mops arrive. I'm now starting to question my sense of adventure. There are two pieces of herring wrapped around pickled onions, topped with creme fraiche, with the pickled juice, olive oil, and parsley surrounding it on the plate. The herring was the first piece of non-crispy piece of skin-on fish I'd ever eaten. I have to say I was extremely surprised how good it was. For me, the pickled portion of it made the dish. So often I watch things on tv and say to myself, "How could that possibly taste good?" It was an Iron Chef moment. Not at all fishy and the flavors seemed to come together to where the individual flavors combine to make a "new" flavor. Highly recommended.Clean plate.

The cheeseburger arrives. There's so much I liked about this thing just looking at it. Very thin shoe string potatoes with pieces of sliced garlic and rosemary. I think I like a large mound of shoestrings because it's mostly air. You're not packed full of potatoes when you're done eating. Grilled bun (on both sides) looked delicious. Roquefort is dripping out the sides of this thing. Get out of my way. I'm going in.

The intense flavor of the cheese kicks this cheeseburger into the upper echelon of burgers. Nothing else required. No Heinz. No tomato. No onion. Bun, beef, and cheese, period. As for the shoestrings. Even though I thought I'd need some ketchup (I actually had them bring me some) I didn't touch the bottle. I would love to try these with some of Bar Cento's aiolis. Even without anything to dip them in the fries more than held their own.

If you're in NYC I would recommend The Spotted Pig. Though I didn't experience the crowds I have read that it can be a pain. You might consider going in the mid-afternoon (Lunch + Supper= Lupper?).Regardless of when you go, I think you'll be impressed with the menu. This is what a gastropub should be.

Spotted Pig on Urbanspoon


  1. The Roll Mops sound very interesting, I would be down to give that a try. Glad you had a good experience, I too have enjoyed the Roquefort Burger in the past, not at the Spotted Pig, but I very much like the combo. Thanks.

  2. Although many people are afraid to eat pig frequently, i must to say this meat is really delicous and don´t have any comparion because the taste is extraordinary and we can cook it in any activities or meeting. Or even in a romantic dinner, if you are thinking to prepare a dinner for your husband or boyfriend.

    buy viagra