Northern Spy Food Company East Village Restaurant
Northern Spy Food Company definitely falls into the category of “restaurants to root for.” Opened about a month ago by two San Francisco transplants with solid foodie pedigrees (Myth and A16, in the City by the Bay), this cozy, cute, general-store-ish East Village restaurant is turning out terrific, greenmarket-driven dishes. The prices at Northern Spy Food Co are gentle–entrees max out at about $15–the atmosphere warm and friendly, the fresh, well-prepared food is healthy, hearty and unafraid to let its core flavors grab your attention.
Northern Spy Food Co. Menu Highlights
We’ve eaten twice now at Northern Spy Food Co, sampling six dishes from all over the evolving-daily menu, and, so far, have enjoyed every bite. The Pickled Eggs, for example, from the Snacks section, were like firm little acid bombs that somehow managed to maintain their essential egginess even while exploding with vinegar. The Northen Spy Food Co. menu also includes Turnip Greens Soup with heirloom potatoes and sharp pecorino shavings was appropriately bitter, warming and alive, the kind of dish that makes you feel like you’re getting healthier with each spoonful.
Also good was a chewy Escarole Salad, topped with a poached egg, bottomed with several thin slices of sweet country ham, the greens and a bit of roasted turnip lightly tossed with a mustardy dressing. The Polenta was a winner, reassuringly gloppy, earthy with mushrooms, brightened with kale: a well executed, non-played-to-death plate of comfort food. And the tender, generous piles of Long Island Squid were nicely paired with carrots, greens, slightly spicy pasilla peppers, and navy beans, cooked to just the right amount of bite.
Northern Spy Food Company has several baked goodies on offer for dessert… and if they’re all as good as the Pear Tart we devoured last night, with its intense buttery crust and sweet creme freche topping things off, we’re definitely not going to be skipping the sweet course on our next visit. If you’re in a rush, though, the Brooklyn-made Liddabet caramels and other candies they sell by the register to-go are pure heaven.
Northern Spy Food Company details
The Northern Spy Food Company is named after the heirloom strain of apple, though the owners admit they like the mysterious sound of it, too. The restaurant is located on East 12th Street, between Avenues A and B, and is open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., except for Fridays and Saturdays, when they sleep in a bit and open at noon. For more information and a sample menu, see the Northern Spy website, here.