I had Northern Spy Food Co in the East Village on my restaurant hit list for some months, long before it was featured in Food & Wine. It had been recommended by long-time foodie and friend, Dave Wyman. Dave has an impeccable palate, so I implicitly trust his recos. Northern Spy did not disappoint. Yes, it’s your now standard “farm-to-table,” seasonal, local joint, but it has the distinction of superior execution.
With sister-in-law Rebecca and her husband in tow, we had enough people at the table to justify sampling almost every dish on the menu. Some highlights included the Fried Green Tomatoes with crabmeat on top, the Kale Salad, corn side dish (a bit of a surprise since local corn season is over, and an interesting entree of Smoked Carrots with Freekeh. Between the tomatoes and corn, the menu was still suspiciously full of summer favorites. But everything was so yummy, all doubts of freshness and ingredient origin disappeared.
Like the corn dish above, the chef takes a heavy hand with cheeses of all kinds. The Kale Salad was also particularly tasty and likely due to the generous helping of Pecorino cheese on top. Rebecca’s carrot entree, however, had flavors of a totally different kind. The carrots tasted like they were marinated in barbecue sauce – most unexpected
The french fries fried in duck fat were also a hit. Yes, I admit, I tried them, despite my no meat stance. I rationalized that it was for research purposes only. Fortunately, did not feel sick afterwards despite this transgression.
And with that, I ceased my picture taking. My dining companions rightfully chided me and reminded me to get back to the real purpose of the evening – enjoying our meal and the company.
Next post: tomorrow’s CSA pick-up and back to the pots and pans.
Epilogue: The name of the restaurant is taken from a local NY state heirloom variety. We tried to pick some this weekend, but no dice.