"" What's She Eating Now?: New Love, Northern Spy Food Co.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Love, Northern Spy Food Co.

I went on a first date with a restaurant last night. When we were set up I checked the place out online, Northern Spy Food Co: local, sustainable food at reasonable prices. It seemed too good to be true. Either it was going to be packed, or ugly, or have bad food, or my least favorite wart, nasty service. Maybe I am not ready to try new places again I thought.

But I put my coat on and went, and am really glad. I know its early but I may even be in love. I tried not to stare but I couldn't help notice that the place was really cute. Its not all about looks I reminded myself, as my friend Katie arrived. A restaurant has to have more than that to offer.

We shared the kale salad to start. Frilly chopped pieces of delicate yet flavorful kale piled fluffully with cubes of cooked squash, clothbound cheddar, and almond pieces. It was slightly heavy on the almonds but the elements combined liked they were meant to be together and the textures yielded some fun chewing which unlocked gradually changing taste experiences with each bite. You make a good first impression Northern Spy Food Co.

Next, Katie had the squid and mussels entree and I had a special of pork meatballs in red sauce. I reached across the table and tried Katie's food. The squid and mussels were light but the navy beans in the dish gave it a little heft and the subtle breadcrumbs lent it a hint of decadence. And the meatballs? A nice balance on the sweet to spicy and dense to squishy scales with a lovely porky flavor. The red sauce, as it should, tasted like tomato and had a good acid level. Often tomato sauce can be like an assault rifle on my esophagus but this was just right. Could you be for real Northern Spy Co?

We skipped dessert to spend a little time browsing the shop of artisanal food products in the back. Brooklyn Brine pickles. Anarchy-in-a-Jar jams. Mother-in-law's Kimchi. Consider Bardwell Cheese. And then there is the sin section, a bevy of little homemade confections by the register. I was wooed by the beer pretzel caramel and the chocolate covered graham cracker. How you sweet talk me Northern Spy Food Co.

So where is the catch? Is it the service? Not at all. It was homey and genuine and sweet. Was it the price? Not that either. $33 each for the above plus two house-made seltzers, two drinks (one wine and one beer from a good selection of local craft offerings), and a 20+% tip. The little treats we got on the way out were $1 a piece. I'll keep my guard up because this is a tough town, but I can't wait to go out with you again, Northern Spy Food Co.

Northern Spy Food Co.
511 East 12th Street, between A&B
(212) 228-5100
Open 11am – 11pm (’til Midnight Friday and Saturday)
Brunch Sat & Sun 11am – 4pm
Sit down or take away. Menu.

Dine for Haiti

No comments:

Post a Comment