My spouse and I enjoyed brunch at The Spotted Pig on a Sunday afternoon in late May 2016. The restaurant is located at the corner of West 11th Street and Greenwich Street in the West Village. The Spotted Pig does not accept reservations, but their website provides you with a neighborhood map and suggestions on where to have a drink while you wait for your table (such as the Rusty Knot, Perry St, and The Other Room, all of which are located within
a 3-minute walk of the Spotted Pig). The restaurant serves lunch on weekdays, brunch on weekends, and dinner daily, in addition to a late afternoon bar menu, and of course, drinks. Fortunately, we did not have to wait for a table on the afternoon that we dined, probably because it was a holiday weekend and most Manhattanites had fled the city.
The Spotted Pig is British Chef April Bloomfield’s first Manhattan restaurant; it is a gastropub that features “nose-to-tail” eating (using all parts of the animal). The Spotted Pig opened in 2004, and it has held a Michelin star for many years since that time. Chef also runs The Breslin and the John Dory Oyster Bar (both at the Ace Hotel), and Salvation Taco (at the Pod 39 Hotel), as well as a restaurant in San Francisco. "Food + Wine" magazine once named April Bloomfield as its “Best New Chef”. We have visited both The Breslin and Salvation Taco (see our reviews on TripAdvisor from November 2014 and April 2014, respectively).
The Spotted Pig is located in a corner building, and the restaurant space covers two floors that offer more than 100 seats. (When the restaurant first opened, only the street-level dining room and bar were available, but then the owner expanded the space to include the second-floor dining room and bar.) The greenery/foliage/flowers outside the restaurant are an attractive site in the neighborhood. Both floors contain a bar with barstool seating, as well as tables. Note that the tables in this restaurant are all quite low, and the seating for those low tables are short padded bar stools. For this reason, we do not feel that this restaurant is quite handicap-accessible. (A member of our family has some mobility issues, and we would not be able to dine comfortably with her at The Spotted Pig. In fact, NY Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni once suggested that the restaurant provide guests with a special Kama Sutra handout to instruct diners on the contortions necessary to get into and out of their seats! Hilarious but true!) The décor at the restaurant is quirky and kitschy and covers every available surface, with framed prints, decorative plates, mirrors, and pig memorabilia accenting the dark wood floors, wooden stools with colorful cushioned tops, pressed tin ceilings, and many windows; the resulting effect is warm, cozy, colorful, and cramped, yet bustling and fun. The second-floor restroom is unisex, yet has two stalls, so someone of the opposite sex could be utilizing the stall directly next to yours, which felt a bit strange (probably due to the extremely close quarters, the very narrow stalls, and the shared sink).
The Spotted Pig serves British and Italian-influenced food. As starters, we shared the chicken liver toast (chunky chicken liver pate spread on crusty bread) and the deviled eggs (topped with chopped chives and chervil and sprinkled with paprika). For our entrees, we ordered the pork rillettes (a jar of meat spread served alongside mustard, pickled vegetables, and sliced toasted bread) and the burger and fries (the beef was topped with Roquefort cheese and served alongside an impressive pile of impossibly thin rosemary shoestring fries). Fortunately, when the runner delivered our entrees, she instructed us to mix the rillettes thoroughly; otherwise, we might have tried to spread a bit of the fat and the shredded pork separately on the bread. After the two textures mixed, the fat softened and blended nicely with the meat to a most delicious consistency and taste! For dessert, we shared the rhubarb tart (served with crème fraiche, nuts, and caramel drizzle).
We have been trying to dine at The Spotted Pig for years, but we never wanted to wait for a table. It was fantastic that we experienced a good meal on a less-busy-than-usual weekend!