Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Sheer Delight of the Gastro Pub

I left work early on Friday for some light release. It was 90 degrees in New York and humidity seemed close to 95%. I needed a cold beer, good company, good food, and a good dose of informality. So it was down to The Spotted Pig. The Pig is a great gastro pub opened by English expatriate, April Bloomfield, and is the spearhead of British style gastro pubs in New York. There are no reservations and only one room with its windows opened to the street. It’s in the Meat Packing District so there is lots of hustle and bustle. I can tell you that the Ricotta Gnudi is the best you can taste outside Italy, and I had faggots (the waitress was careful to call them bangers so as to avoid politically incorrect dramas in the US). I haven’t had faggots for about a decade, and boy were they the real thing. The chicken livers on toast with a cold, local Pilsner also hit the spot. High quality, beautifully prepared, non-pretentious pub grub. Heaven.

The experience reminded me of The Drunken Duck, which is a similar approach in vastly difference circumstances. It’s a pub near my place in Grasmere, and again, serves exquisite pub food with great local beers. It also has an unpretentious wine list with some pretty good French Bordeaux hidden amongst the new world stuff. My eldest daughter Nikki was there on Sunday night giving it a whirl. Her report? The Morecambe Bay Shrimps with Jalapeno and spices are a must, along with the locally baked Granary Bread. If you are up that way you should also go The Punch Bowl in the Lythe Valley. Another great experience.