The Spotted Pig
Considering it is one of the less obvious places to eat in New York, the enthusiasm with which residents have embraced this gastro-pub, nestled far into the sleepy West Village, has been astonishing. Perhaps it’s the Anglophile nature of your average Manhattan sophisticate; maybe it’s just that the now-legendary sheep’s ricotta gnudi with brown butter and sage renders diners powerless. Whatever the reason, its chef, April Bloomfield, and designer, Ken Friedman (both co-owners), have raised “bar food” to epic proportions, and the nightly lines follow suit. Insiders know that lunch is the way to savour the space properly, or perhaps late-late night (the kitchen closes at 2am nightly).There is, mercifully, a second dining floor that doubles occasionally as a party space, so on average, at any time, a hundred or so diners are chuckling, sharing plates, and claiming they discovered the place before anyone else. Regardless, whether you’re packed in or have it all to yourself, devouring a Rocquefort cheese-bedecked burger with a cold glass of stout beneath the pressed tin ceiling is haute, relaxed gastronomic sublimity.