The Spotted Pig: When Metaphors for Fat Men are Totally Disgusting, Part 1
With the first and last journalistic feather I will ever earn proudly jammed into my skull (I don’t wear caps) after a tipster from East Coast Grill got in touch with me, I can sit back and muse at what an awesome Brunami this week’s Dining Section was.
Between hawking pickles at unknowing Bostonians and elbowing his way to tables at the Spotted Pig, Frank has done a lot of waiting this week, and my, has it paid off! Frank’s “My Week as a Waiter” is the Times’ most e-mailed story right now, and while it wasn’t exactly revelatory—apparently these “restaurants” have secret “code numbers” for every table!—it was cheeky, risqué, and tarte flambee all at the same time. J’adore.
But let’s not let all this incognito pickle-hurling (reminds me of sophomore year!) distract us from what was actually very enlightening: “Stuffed Pork,” Frank’s visit to the white-hot Spotted Pig.
He starts out playing dumb: “In just one example of my lidless optimism and bottomless foolishness, I recently visited the Spotted Pig on a Friday night at about 7:30, not exactly an off hour.”
Bottomless foolishness happens to the best of us, Frank!
Facing a 2-hour wait that night, “I took a pass, because I had this thing called hunger gnawing at me, and vowed to be cleverer about my next Pigward journey.”
At least it wasn’t "this thing called 'badger'" gnawing at you.
I'm just trying to look on the bright side here.
And while in a few pargraphs, Frank will praise the distinctive and fresh English-Italian fare, his scant one star boils down to this: “The Spotted Pig may well be Manhattan's most unforgiving, uncomfortable trough, the gastropub as gastromelee.”
It’s a classic story, really— the place is too hot for its own good, like the cheerleader who’s so hot, she’s pregnant. Being cool can back fire, and cause that particular hate-nausea you can’t help feeling for, say, innocent thrillers about evil papal sects, or convenient little shearling after-surf booties.
I don't often say this about myself, but this image makes me "gun-hungry."
“So the Pig” – Frank’s on a species-name basis with the place—“inevitably, has porked up.” If you thought the Spotted Pig’s recent addition of an upstairs, doubling its capacity from 50 stupid twats to 110 stupid twats, would ease the wait time, you’re wrong: “the waits at dinnertime are as long, and the crowds as dense, as ever.”
Avril Lavigne waited for a table for about 200 years.
The Count has a saucy suggestion: “The Pig should give you more than a menu. It should hand out a special Kama Sutra on the contortions necessary to get to and from your seat.”
Like a child from the liquor cabinet, I should be kept vigilantly away from imaging programs.
"April Bloomfield, the chef and a principal owner, favors smoked things, cured things, rich things and salty things."
In other words, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is really her ideal entree.
The shaved white truffles are a nice addition.
More revelations: how did the Pig get its name?
"[Part-owner Ken Friedman] said he liked the sound of the Spotted Pig and considered it an allusion to one of his advisers and investors, Mario Batali."
"'He's got freckles,' Mr. Friedman said. 'That's on the record.'"
Interesting? Yes. NAST? for sure. Whereas you may have previously thought of the Spotted Pig as a charming little Briticism, like “spotty dick” or “marmite,” you can now sleep in a cold layer of sweat knowing it refers to the extensive, dappled tarp of pallor covering Mario Batali’s body. Nightmare on West 11th Street, roll credits.
So Bruni's conclusion? Aside from the famous gnudi and a good burger, the food cedes center stage repeatedly to the overwhelming hassle of trying to basically exist at the Pig.
“If you're intent on going at a normal dinner hour, do a searing personal inventory of the sturdiness of various body parts.”
Uh, how personal? Like 'Hey Karen, didja bring your huuuge vagina tonight, we're gonna be waiting around a lot'?
Well, actually, pretty personal...
The count asks, “Bladder strong? The line for the small unisex bathroom downstairs can be long. But it can also be interesting.”
How so? Old people makin' doodies en route?
“Two young, pretty women entered the bathroom together. And stayed for a bit.
While they were in there, a server and I exchanged amused glances, and my weariness with so much standing and waiting went away.”
There’s nothing like the warm, mirthful glance exchanged by server and diner over hot chicks doing blow in the bathroom. Am I wrong here? Or were they lezzies?
"With its festive spirit and with the best of its food, the Pig can make that happen.”
Make what happen? Marching powder or impromptu mid-meal sapphic breakdowns? Well, I'm not into coke but if you've got anti-naked-image-of-freckly-mario-on-a-platter-with-an-apple-in-his-mouth pills, I'll take a generous handful.