Stepping into the Spotted Pig immediately reverts me back to a conglomeration of every pub Paul and I visited last year in England, transported and perfectly placed in a corner with character in the West Village. Many restaurants in NYC share English roots, but Spotted Pig holds a special place in my heart.
On this particular weekend, we were strolling West and soaking up the warm weather, as we often do. As soon as we were close enough, I casually dropped the possibility of brunch at the Spotted Pig. We went from no agenda to walking with purpose very quickly, knowing that this was one place Paul couldn’t say no to.
We happened to arrive at 11 on the dot, which meant they were just opening their doors and we were lucky enough to avoid the standard hour+ wait. We waited for food service to be available at the quirky bar, jamming to some eclectic beats and drinking our lattes.
I don’t know if Paul was just over excited about being at the Spotted Pig, but he still claims they make “the best latte in New York.” Bold claim, I know, but he’s enough of a latte aficionado to make this statement. It was tough for us both not to order a beer, as we were surrounded by Brits all drinking English varietals before noon. We stuck with the caffeine despite our FOMO.
Paul was eager to order the chicken liver toast snack to start our palette, a rare treat when prepared well. Spotted Pig’s version is salty and flavorful, and left us excited for the meal to come. I’ll also add that this is one of the only chicken liver toasts I actually enjoy.
For mains, we ordered the dutch baby first, which was a crepe served with bacon, syrup, and powdered sugar. It was an interesting dish, playing up the thick English bacon paired with sweet flavors. We both felt that the bacon made the dish.
Second up was the grilled cheese, which was served with a mustard side which I mistakenly doused all over the top of my half. It had quite the kick but left my sinus clear, although Paul felt it was overwhelming. The buttery baked bread was one of the best elements of the dish.
Our last order was the Cubano, a special scribbled on the oversized chalkboard that had us at “prosciutto and gruyere.” Served on crunchy ciabatta with pickled jalapeño and a mustard relish, this was not your average Cubano. The tartness of the pickles and mustard overshadowed the flavor of the pork shoulder and I had to deconstruct the sandwich to appreciate the meat. After having a strong mustard flavor slathered all over my grilled cheese, it wasn’t as welcome for round two.
This spot is classic English, through and through, with charm and food that would have kept us holed up there at our tiny table all afternoon, if the beautiful weather didn’t beckon us back outside. If I had to make a recommendation to someone visiting New York for a weekend, the Spotted Pig is the first place I would send them for any meal.
The Bitches say A-. For a place full of character that serves extraordinary English fare and will make you feel like you’re celebrating something special, even for a status quo brunch.
The Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St
The Spotted Pig serves brunch every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.