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The Spotted Pig
Posted by Responsible Restaurateurs on 01/16/2008
The Spotted Pig should never let the guests wait too long for a table. It only gives you time to consider the horribly old fashioned decor, more like a collection of unsellable items from the nearly defunct Chelsea flea market than the charming British disorder they must have aspired to. But the old timey atmosphere is only the first hint. Next, you get struck by the unbelievably rude waiters, also only an approximation, this time of the classic rude waiter, the type who hisses, "I'm really an actor." The rudness at the Spotted Pig, like the decor, never reaches for the stars. Instead it is mired in the gutter. It leaves you as gobsmacked as the decor. "Can we order drinks," a neighboring table asked politely. "That's a biiiig category," responded snide waiter who could not differentiate between wit and the banality of evil. When I ordered a bottle of fizzy water, my water drawled cooly, "The whoooole bottle?" With, of course, elongated "whole" but cutting off "bottle" abruptly. To be rude and informed would have sufficed, but these guys couldn't even explain the food. Which was the biggest disappointed, the most old timey part of the evening. Its not so much the prices, but what is delivered to the table. Corn fed beef,shipped in on a truck from the Midwest and chopped into a hamburger for $17? I pay half that for a burger from a pastured cow slaughtered at the peak of the summer. And then Chicken Liver - yes, the discard that many chefs take home for their cats - also at $17. And the most bereft salad of uninspired greens with a Jerusalem artichoke puree - a thimbal sized knock out for $17. We're not only foodies, but restaurateurs. We live in a rural community, work with sustainable farms, and grow our own produce... including that "tres tres cher" Jerusalem artichoke, which is actually a weed. We eat humanely, we care about our farmers, and we provide good solid pub food with a lot of flavor. We hang out with servers and cooks and farmers, who know their food. So we expected a Michelin star to mean something. In the city, we almost always go to restaurants where a woman runs the kitchen. We expected a sense of a food community. What we got was an Outback Steakhouse mascarading as a unique and contemporary experience. It was tired and old timey.
Posted by Anonymous on 12/25/2007
I really don't understand why this place is such a hit, and always has long waits. The food is very bland, and the price makes it a complete ripoff. The most frustrating part of my experience here is the fact that the kitchen is so inflexible. They refuse to substitute anything, even if the restaurant is empty. According to the waiter, "substituting takes away from the chef's vision." All in all, I would not suggest going here when there are clearly better options in the neighborhood.
Posted by theresax on 12/12/2007
I don't know. it wasn't horrible but I thought the food was way too salty, and the waitress forgot to give us our deviled eggs. The devils on horseback was not bad, my 1st time ive ever tried prunes... The gnudi was pretty good but nothing special. Waited a Long time for the burger to come out and it was very salty, yes yes I know Roquefort is salty but dayam, definitely not worth $17. oh well, maybe we came on an off night? got there about 6ish so there wasn't much of a wait but by the time we left the place was packed. Don't think I'll come back.
Posted by Anonymous on 10/09/2007
poor service, over-salted food. after a long wait (1.5 hrs), we finally sat down. had a mediocre meal and then were promptly asked to leave after barely finishing our last bite. the hostess said that this policy was 'typical.' never heading back...
Posted by Disappointed on 09/15/2007
We've been going to the Spotted Pig since it opened. We went again last night and were told there would be a 30 minute wait. After 45 minutes we asked about our table, at which point the host claimed to have told us originally the wait was two and a half hours. Ridiculous. The customer at the Spotted Pig is apparently always wrong. The food here in the past was always pretty good, even if sometimes a bit too salty, but never worth a two hour wait and the bad attitude of the staff.
Posted by Lorrie S on 08/31/2007
...I probably will not be going back to The Spotted Pig. It's definitely a "young" scene -- the average age when we were there last night was 25 at most. And the owners apparently intend for it to be that way, if the small stools at the tables upstairs (undoubtedly there to save room in what is a relatively small space, but not exactly accommodating to spreading fannies and aching backs) are any indication. That said, the food -- which I had been mildly dreading, given various reviews -- was surprisingly good. The signature gnudi, which I had thought were open-faced ravioli due to one review, were actually adorable little round ravioli -- a generous serving -- nestled in a brown butter; they looked like a nest of pretty eggs, and tasted wonderful. The roasted carrots with cumin and avocado was also tasty. Surprisingly, after all the kudos for the Spotted Pig burger, it was nowhere to be found on the dinner menu.
Posted by Anonymous on 08/24/2007
I had dinner last night at the spotted pig. After a 1.5 hour wait I attempted to eat an ok meal! The ricotta appetizer was great but the burger was very salty. The atmosphere was fun enough the long wait was almost tolerable.