The Spotted Pig

314 West 11th Street

New York, NY

(Originally posted… Tuesday, June 7, 2007 with editorial revisions July 2, 2008.)

This is not a large establishment. It does have large plate glass windows which let in a lot of light. In that quiet time, between services, it’s a pleasant place to have a beer and a snack. There are hardly any people at the tables or at the bar. Chefs, line cooks and staff shuttled between the kitchen, the staff-stations and the cellar. The cooks could be identified by the knife bags slung over their shoulders. Food that had been prepped for the evening was being carried down to the cold box. The bartender sliced the lemons and limes and got the fruit juices ready for evening service.

There were a number of beers by the bottles served. There were also two cask conditioned beers on hand-pumps; one was ale and one was a porter. Being that it was a warm day I chose the porter.

The “Bar Menu” was simple and offered traditional flavor combinations. The hard boiled quails eggs with stout were smooth and luscious.

The oysters were fresh enough to react to a drop of fresh lemon juice. The porter was an ideal counterpoint to the plump mollusks in their briny essence.

The elegant, though small portions of cheese were served at proper temperature. It was served with a side serving of warm toasted fruit/whole-wheat bread, stacked to keep the bottom pieces warm. The warm toasted bread affected the taste impression of the cheese by warming it further, adding texture and fruit sweet flavor to contrast lactic sour tart flavors of the cheeses.