West Village, the Spotted Pig claims the title of New York City's first gastro English pub. Stepping into the dark exposed brick walls and wood pillars, a crowded mess of patrons brewed behind two hostesses that noted, "Hour and a half wait." On a Tuesday night. Where no reservations are taken. We found a section between the bar and the skittering servers to sip on Ombra Prosecco. Waiting for turnover at the bar seemed to be the best option (after an hour of standing and being told it would be at least another 1.5 hours).
Eventually, a woman stumbled out of her barstool, (capturing the attention of the angry-faced bartender, with pouty red lipstick to match her blouse). After shamelessly lunging for the seats, we selected a few things from the menu. The catalyst in the Spotted Pig venture was the Chargrilled Burger. The massive patty (that the chef prefers not to cook over medium) is a buttery smooth piece of meat oozing with Roquefort. Contained in a grilled-marked bun and accompanied by crispy rosemary shoestring fries, it's difficult to let your focus wander. Tip: add a bit of the house spicy English mustard.
In addition to the burger, we shared the Devils on Horseback: prunes wrapped in crispy bacon. The Devils come in a stack with toothpicks. The curious texture feels like something that you'd enjoy squeezing in your fingers. They are a well-matched set of savory and sticky sweet flavors. Perhaps my favorite plate during this little path of pleasures was the Beau Soleil Oysters with Mignonette. Served open-faced on a soupy mess of ice, we squeezed a half-lemon over them and dropped a bit of the house vinegar with finely chopped onions. Absurdly fresh and appropriately briney, the oysters sealed my affection for the Spotted Pig.
Images: New York magazine, NYC GO, wine & dined.