HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Skip The Spotted Pig

I really can't believe people flock to this place. The first bad sign was that the menu was small and there wasn't much I wanted to eat on it. I had the liver, which I could not eat, and my dh had a mediocre burger. Can someone please explain the allure of this place?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What didn't you like about the liver? I've never had it. I remember the gnudi being exceptional and the burger to be very good. It is difficult to get into and very loud but I've always enjoyed the food. Sorry you had a bad experience.

    1. You had the liver toasts?

      1. Like JeremyEG I have always enjoyed my food at the Spotted Pig. I'm not sure if I've tried the lvier or not but I do like that burger, love the gnudi, and am espeically partial to the crispy pigs ear.

        1. I LOVE the devils on horseback. The menu is small - the gastropub approach. The food has always been good when we've gone - and a great vibe. Maybe just an off day when you were there?

          1. I think the liver dish there is really wonderful. Sorry you didn't enjoy it. I'm not into restaurants that are all about hype, but I think The Spotted Pig deserves it. I find that in general if a restaurant has a smaller menu, they are more apt to prepare things well as opposed to a place that tries to cover everything under the sun. And I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I don't think it's really quite fair to judge an entire restaurant based on a couple of items that you ate on the menu.

            1. I second that notion, VAfoodie. I was once a fan...devils on horseback, pot of pickles, roquefort burger and of course, banofee pie. To me it was worth the hour, two hour waits, but after a recent visit, the food (never mind the rushed service) was atrocious. Completely over salted; I didn't taste any other ingredient except salt. Waiting 2 hours for a table only to taste a box of kosher salt is not what I would call a good dining experience.

              2 Replies
              1. re: arbrown

                oversalting, rude hostesses, and excessive hype are the hallmarks of every Batali restaurant...

                1. re: arbrown

                  I can totally understand the confluence of waiting, hungry and being in a rushed restaurant can add insult to injury when your food is not prepared properly. But I know that if I were given sub par food at any restaurant I would send it back, it is the only way to get what you want and sometimes they will throw you a bone.

                2. Spotted Pig waiting is part of the experience. You tend to talk to some very interesting people and informed people. As for the food, I have always loved the liver, the burger, the fries and the chololate cake. A problem is after standing for an hour you sit on an a stool and don't have much room. If you are positive you call it character. If you are negative it is paying a lot of money while miserably uncomfortable.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: steve from bklyn

                    i must admit, I would not wait 2 hours for anything.. That is my personality.. So, whenever I have gone to the Spotted Pig, I have arrived 10 minutes before they opened and was the first person to be seated,.

                  2. i like to sit at the bar around 2-2:30 p.m. and grab a burger and beer. the food is good, not great, the barstool is merely ok. i keep going back.

                    1. Used to love this place as a great neighborhood hang. but its all tourists and jersey now. and they treat the locals like tourists now. so rushed. and average. and the worst wine list in the city.

                      1. Have to agree w/ you on this. It's a nice-looking place and certainly good enough as a neighborhood spot. I like the burger OK and the gnudi are good, but why people will wait around for decent but not specatcular pub food escapes me. I think April Bloomfield has done better food at the John Dory, personally.

                        A lot of the Pig's popularity, as seems to be an issue with a lot of W. Village spots, seems to derive from the celebrity clientele.

                        1. I couldn't agree more. Man cannot live on gnudi alone. The Pig is ultimately about the "hang" and seeing stars, if you're from out of town and that matters to you. I went to the soft opening and it seemed promising, because it was low impact and fun. Then it became the home to Jay-Z and Beyonce and numerous other people who were given preference for tables over those in line, and the fun kind of went out of it. I much prefer going to the Tavern On Jane, ( though it's more neighborhood and nowhere near as much of a scene). The food at the Pig is awfully rich. Even the brussel sprouts come lathered with what appears to be pork grease. I kid with friends about it being the ultimate case of The Emperor's New Clothes; getting NY'ers to wait in line and pay those prices for British food. I would drink there if they had one decent lager on tap, but the offerings are Speckled Hen and other ales and stouts.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: sing me a bar

                            But to be fair you hate all Batali restaurants, right?

                            1. re: KTinNYC

                              FWIW, *I* don't hate all Batali restaurants. In fact, I love several of them. ... Though thankfully there isn't a thread about the "B&B Ristorante" in Vegas...has to be the worst Batali spot in the country.

                              1. re: jonasblank

                                I can't argue with B&B Ristorante being the worst Batali spot in the country.

                              2. re: KTinNYC

                                I enjoy Lupa, except for how chaotic and loud it is. I had a bangin' Matriciana there. Mario is a consultant and participant at the Pig, but you can ask Ken, ( who runs it), and he'll confirm it is not a Mario venue in the purest sense. I DO hate Babbo, due to its pretense and scale. Even if I DID hate all Batali venures, I'd still be able to give a fair appraisal of the experience at the Pig. Thanks for being "fair"!

                                1. re: sing me a bar

                                  I just recall you saying you hate everything Mario has done so I thought it would be fair to put that up front.

                            2. Most of the criticism seems to stem from the menu choices and long waits. I go there expecting that, I think it's kind of par for the course. For the most part I avoid places like that, long waits and a crowd but it can be fun at times too. E.g. If I want a simple burger I would go to Corner Bistro but if I were on a date (or whatever thats called now) I might take her there for a different experience.