Day 3 in New York City with The Sasquatch and it is abundantly clear to me now that staying in a hotel right by the Empire State Building is nothing short of a disaster. This is now the 4th time I have to coax Sassy down from the side of the building, each time with him rambling on about something something “honoring his Great grandfather…” something something “marking his territory…”. With his Fancy Actress Lady off fancying it up in Bangkok he has frankly been out of control for the most part. The only things that seem to subdue him are some pints and some good food. The bar has been set incredibly high in both of those respects during our first two nights in town and I’ve got nothing booked for Saturday night so it’s not like I can just waltz into a kick ass restaurant and get a table so what the hell am I going to do?
Luckily for us there is what can only be described as the sexiest pub in all of NYC; The Spotted Pig. Located in Greenwich Village in a low key, residential corner of the city this tiny pub is always packed to the rafters but they don’t take reservations and they stay open late so this should work out just fine. I ask Sassy if this works for him and he bellows “BRING ME PIG!!” No, no the pig doesn’t come to us, we have to go it, I say. WHACK! I eat a meaty backhand and when I come to we are at the entrance of the pub. I check my phone at it’s 18h46. The place is fuller than a pair of Kardashian booty shorts. We’re looking at a two hour wait and Sassy looks antsy. He needs beer. White Horse Tavern is right around the corner and I guess since it is freezing and not peak tourist season we actually score a table there. It takes about a half pint and Sassy has simmered down and we begin to talk about what we’re gonna order for dinner.
We’ve both been here before so we know that the burger they serve is one of the best in the city. Obviously that would be a great conclusion to the trip. So we haven’t even gotten there yet nor looked at the menu and we both seem to have already settled on the burger. At least there are still the starters to figure out, although it’s a sure bet that as long as the ricotta gnudi is on the menu that we’ll be sticking our faces into a bowl of that addictive dish. We’ve still got 30 minutes until our table is ready so we order a 3rd pint and then my phone rings. Our table is ready early. Dang, ok we’ll be there in 5 I tell them. There ain’t no way I am wasting a pint at NYC prices so tops down! We suck back the pint and scramble over to The Pig.
We are shown a table upstairs and I’m excited! I’ve never seen the second floor yet! Well, it seems just as crazy as the first floor. Wall to wall people, great tunes playing and while a bit cramped, it still manages to feel warm and cozy. We’ve got something of a corner spot so we might actually be able to just kick back and relax. Our first two days in town we’ve had some mind blowing cocktails, top notch champagne, and some killer wine so today I really just want to have some great pints. There isn’t much better than Old Speckled Hen on tap so I am sticking with that all night. It’s now time for my usual agonizing over the menu. I change my mind 48 times and naturally neither of us orders the burger. It’s been almost Montreal level cold here this weekend and I just can’t seem to get warm so I figure I’ll start with the smoked mackerel chowder with homemade crackers. Sassy seems to have known all along that he was getting the ricotta gnudi in browned butter with crispy sage.
The chowder is hearty with a fantastic smokiness to it with a surprising spicy kick that allows this dish to stand out from a standard chowder. The homemade crackers are addictive as all hell. I ask Sassy how the ricotta gnudi is and he screams “Don’t talk to me now!!” and keeps eating. The Ukrainian in me was tempted to get the skirt steak with roasted beets and creamy horseradish sauce but since Sassy was getting that I decided to switch it up to maximize how many plates we could taste. I went with a pork belly and liver faggot served with swiss chard and mashed potatoes, the perfect winter dish. For those wondering, a faggot is something similar to a giant meatball. Everything is spot on as always when I eat here and as usual I feel like I am going to explode so once again I forego dessert.
Sassy and I marvel at how this place is everything the standard Michelin starred restaurant is not. Crazy loud? Yep. Super packed and tough to get around in? Yep. Dresscode? Hahahaha, I’m not even sure you need to wear pants in this place. And while the staff may have 42 piercings and be covered in tattoos don’t think for a second that they don’t know what they’re doing. They got an expert knowledge in the drink list and the food, are incredibly friendly, and remarkably efficient especially considering just how hard it is to even walk over to the washrooms. Chef April Bloomfield busts out sexy, succulent food here and has created a fantastic party vibe. I’ll take that over the stuffiness of a number of other Michelin ranked places any day.
I’m quite full now and feeling tipsy and fine. At that moment Sassy asks me if I’d like to be a groomsman in his wedding party. AWWWWW! The perfect romantic ending to a great weekend. I, of course, tell him I’d be honoured but I can’t help but ask if Fancy Actress Lady considers me fancy enough? Well no he says but she thinks you’re alright as far as crazy Ukies go. Naturally we hug it out and he forgets his own strength again. When I come to it is Sunday morning and we are on our way home to Montreal. Sadness follows.