The Spotted Pig, Greenwich Village, New York

On recommendation from my sister, Em, we absolutely had to try The Spotted Pig in Greenwich Village, New York.  After our first day of sightseeing in New York, we walked to The Spotted Pig and as you can’t make a reservation, hoped and prayed for a table.

Timing is everything and unfortunately the building is currently covered in scaffolding however the owner, realising the iron bars will be there for some time, hired a landscaper to cover the eye-sore with grape vine and fairy lights.  I thought it looked very pretty.

The Spotted Pig - hidden behind scaffolding covered in grape vine

The Spotted Pig – hidden behind scaffolding covered in grape vine

Walking into The Spotted Pig, I was surprised at what a tiny venue it is and it appeared more like an English pub than a restaurant.  The bar was crowded with people several feet deep standing as close to the bar as they could, talking in small groups.  The crowd was young, sophisticated and trendy and most of the people looked like they had walked in on their way home from work.

They also looked like regulars and the venue appeared like a cosy and intimate place to catch up with friends or a loved one over a drink at the bar or a meal at one of the small and cosy tables – amongst the noise – this is not a ‘can-hear-a-pin-drop’ venue.

A very dark venue

A very dark venue – a photographer’s nightmare!

The restaurant and bar was so crowded we doubted there was seating available however, we were fortunate to be shown to a table at the rear of the restaurant that was comfortable but a tight squeeze.  But having had around nine hours sleep in the previous 50 hours, I was grateful for any sign of comfort.

Once seated we had a look around the restaurant and the floors are very dark polished timber and the ceilings pressed metal but painted in a dark colour and while pretty, the dark tones are every photographer’s worst nightmare!

The crowded bar

Standing room only at the bar

We took our seats in the corner of a banquette and shared a little table.  Another couple was seated beside us with the woman next to me and so if I needed to get out I had to ask her to move; like sitting on a window seat on a plane and telling the person on the aisle you need to get out.  Bu this isn’t a plane and diners are more than accommodating and seem to understand that seating in this restaurant is at a premium and that everyone will be having a cosy dining experience.

A couple sharing a dish between two

It’s a very pretty restaurant

As we’d just had our first day in New York we felt the need to celebrate and so I ordered a glass of the pink-hued Prosecco.  The sparkling wine was a wonderful start to our holiday as we sat amongst the New Yorkers in a tightly-packed restaurant with summer views out to the sidewalk covered in fairy lights.

Prosecco - $13.00

Prosecco – $13.00

The menu is printed daily and there are only a few choices but what they do, they do well.  There was a special of the day of morel mushrooms and so we ordered that as an appetiser.  It was served on toast with lots of primavera greens like broad beans, peas, mint and a touch of lemon juice.  The appetiser was wonderful; the bread was crispy and crunchy with that toasted flavour and the mushrooms a rich earthiness.  The greens gave colour and texture to the dish as well as adding light flavours.

Morel Mushrooms with primavera vegetables

Morel Mushrooms with primavera vegetables

Compared with Australian portions, the servings were extremely generous.  The couple next to us were regulars and they shared the burger between them.  They told us that when they order a main course each, they always have leftovers and ask for these to be boxed up and on their way home they give them to the homeless.

Arabella ordered the Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese and Shoestring Fries.  We had a lot of burgers while in New York and Arabella said this was the best burger of all (it was also the most expensive!)  She loved the blue cheese flavour that ran through the burger and the meat pattie was incredibly thick and cooked wonderfully rare.  The fries were amazing as they were the thinest fries I’ve ever seen – almost as thin as a strand of pasta and there were more than a few of them.  Arabella gave this a 10 out of 10.

Burger - $21.00

Burger – $21.00

I ordered the Grilled Skirt Steak with Crispy Potatoes, Spinach and Bearnaise.  The meat was extremely tender and the cooked as I had requested it, rare, but the bearnaise was thicker than I expected and more like the consistency of an aioli.  No matter, it complimented the steak beautifully.

Grilled Skirt Steak $35.00

Grilled Skirt Steak $35.00

After such filling main courses, we didn’t need dessert but went ahead and ordered them anyway.  I ordered the lemon and lime tart.  It had a buttery light pastry and the curd had a tang that was smooth and not overpowering.

Lemon and Lime Tart - $9.00

Lemon and Lime Tart – $9.00

Arabella ordered the flourless chocolate cake and it was very bitter, rich, dark, smooth and velvety.  It was served with a quenelle of cream that cut through the richness beautifully.  After such a big burger, Arabella could only manage a few spoonfuls.

Flourless Chocolate Cake - $9.00

Flourless Chocolate Cake – $9.00

Then it was time to find the restrooms.  These are like a ‘cupboard under the stairs’.  You cautiously open a door (so you don’t knock out anyone standing on the other side of it) and enter a space the size of a matchbox.  Adding to the space crisis is the fact the ceiling is incredibly low.  There are signs on the walls asking you to be mindful of not opening any door with force as the two unisex bathroom doors open outwards and if opened with force, would put the person standing at the basin in a long-term coma.  Best to tread carefully if using the restroom.

Cabernet Sauvignon from California - $16.00

Cabernet Sauvignon from California – $16.00

We had a really lovely evening and found this to be a relaxed, cosy and friendly dining experience in the tradition of an old English pub that came across as ‘everyone’s favourite local’.  It’s not however, cheap; the prices are quite startling and this was the most expensive meal we had during our time in New York.

Any night of the week, this restaurant is buzzing

Any night of the week, this restaurant is buzzing

Verdict:  A genuine New York experience with the feel of an English pub.

The Spotted Pig:  314 W. 11th St.New YorkNY 10014

Ph:  212-620-0393

The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig

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  1. I’d love a place like that. I gravitate toward the quirky. The meals do look delicious.

  2. love the fairy lights and the English pub vibe – and pleased you found a better burgers (and food generally) than the broadway place. That chocolate cake sounds divine – dessert for dinner please 🙂

  3. Mmmmmmmm yum!

  4. How creative to cover the scaffolding with vines and lights.

    The burger does look good, and I don’t even eat burgers. But I do love blue cheese.

  5. This looks and sounds like a great meal in a great place. Love the decor on that scaffolding!

  6. The prices were probably about average for that area. I wasn’t surprised by what you said they were. Especially for the portion sizes! That burger was huge and the amount of fries! You could feed a small army with those! 😉 Looks like a great place to eat! Glad you got to go… xo

  7. An A+…yay! Everything looked so delicious. I love those cozy little restaurants. They always seem to have the most impressive menus. And how clever to cover the scaffolding with vines and lights!

  8. Great meals … big prices, indeed. It would be a bit claustrophobic for my taste though.

  9. The food does look good, but the prices do sting a bit! What a great idea to cover the scaffolding like that, very nice indeed! It all sounds cosy- but the bathrooms sound like they cross the line into claustrophobic! 🙂 x

  10. That burger looks fantastic! Just wondering, did Arabella have any problem ordering alcohol in the US seeing as she is not yet 21?

  11. ” … we didn’t need dessert but went ahead and ordered them anyway … ” Atta girl, Charlie! You’re on vacation. If a dessert catches your eye, order it and enjoy. We did — and stopped for a gelato on the way home. 🙂

  12. . . . . just wondering why? With NY admittedly behind foodie experiences compared to Tokyo, Dubai and say Paris, just wondering why these food place choices? I would not dream of ordering a ‘burger’ in any of these wondrous foodie areas . . . was it just a ‘family thing’ . . .?

    • Hi Eha, while we were in the US we just wanted to try an American burger. It did seem that no matter where you went whether it was a diner or a 5-star establishment, there was always a burger on the menu!

  13. What a cute and cosy place! And yes it’s different on a plane getting up and I think people are in a much better mood in a restaurant.

  14. Reading your NYC stories is making me so homesick! I think I’m about due for a visit.

  15. I love restaurants that are a bit unique and that have a definite “atmosphere”. The food looks great but the desserts definitely caught my eye … yum!

  16. that all looks pretty yummy but yes a bit expensive. then again it IS new york:)

  17. What a gorgeous place – definitely character filled, even if the bathroom situation sounds a tad dangerous! Your meals look very generous in size and that is one impressive burger – I’ve never seen such thin fries that still look like they’re proper potato-based chips (vs. the McDonalds variety which no longer resembles real food).

  18. I’m not even hungry, but I want in, I want in on ALL the yummies in this post. Dig the name of the restaurant too. 🙂

  19. I wanted to reach in and grab a handful of those fries. They look delicious! Love what they did to cover the scaffolding too.

  20. Apart from the expensive prices, what a lovely place – glad you enjoyed a glass of bubbly too.
    Have a super day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  21. One of my English teachers had mentioned that place ages ago! Definitely would enjoy hanging out there with a good glass of wine as you did Charlie.

  22. I haven’t been to the Spotted Pig in years and years! In fact I had totally forgotten about the place. I’ll be in NYC later this year — should add it to my list of places to eat (although I already have such a long list I know I’ll never get to them all).

  23. Oh wow, even I have heard of the Spotted Pig! Added to my list of places to visit in the world 😛

    Choc Chip Uru

  24. I know about the place, but have never been. Now I think I must next time I’m in NYC.

  25. G’day! Your post served to remind me just HOW BIG portions are in New York and there are so many quirky and unusual food places to experience!
    Glad you enjoyed!
    Cheers! Joanne

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