200 W 84th St, New York, NY | Directions 1002440.786490 -73.976474
Neighborhoods: Upper West Side, Midtown
do yourself a favor – beautiful food, beautiful setting, absolutely love it (when I can get a table)
Spiga - July 17, 2010 – Capesante con Purea di Asparagi e Aceto Balsamico
In Italy, many vegetable purees are used as sauces for the meat or fish; yet, asparagus puree as the bed for seared scallops was new to me. The searing of the scallops was on the well-done side, which I actually do not mind at all. However, I was slightly troubled by the bitterness of the asparagus puree.
Once someone told me that the problem with the produce in the United States is that the farmers got paid by weight, not by quality per se. Therefore, the heavier the produce, the higher price it would fetch. And, how do you make them heavy? You grow them big and full of water. Naturally, in the case of asparagus, the result is that per gram of asparagus, there will be more water and less asparagus. While this unfortunate trend of watery, gigantic vegetables and fruits is not always the case, it may be applicable to the asparagus used in this puree.
Ravioli de Carciofi con Ragu di Salsicce di Pollo e Ricotta Stagionata
I cut off a corner of one big raviolo and scooped some of the chicken sausage ragu and the tomato and the shaved ricotta stagionata (a.k.a. ricotta salata): Fresh artichokes, lovingly enclosed in a perfectly al dente ravioli dough, happily shone through to mingle with the chicken sausage ragu in my mouth. The delicacy of the artichoke plus the boldness of the ragu, along with a few accents, hm...it was a beautiful dish.
Trancio di Baccala con Purea di Cipolle e Porri Fritti
I have to be honest: This must be one of the best cods (or the very best cod since I cannot remember a better cod; but I just do not want to give up without a thorough search in the deepest corner of my mind - come on, there must have been one in Portugal). The cod was nestled between pureed sweet onion and fried leeks so that two types of onions played against each other on the cod. It was a happy time: Take a bit of cod with the onion puree, take another bite with the leeks, so on and so forth, until, wait, what happened to my cod?
BAIT AND SWITCH – Spiga has a wine list that begins with what would be considered "an expensive range" for wines that would normally be considered table wines. When we asked the waiter about the difference between two wines on their wine list, the waiter said that the two wines were essentially the same. Why then have two identical wines at different prices? He then went on to offer us a more expensive "special" wine. Of course, the special was also more expensive. Speaking quickly, he tried to push this on us. Spiga's wine list isn't just expensive, it's over-priced.
Sad decline of a great restaurant – Very disappointing dinner at what used to be a favorite. Zucchini timbales, which were once bright and fresh, are now blanketed in a thick layer of green-can grated parmesan. A mushroom lasagne came drowned in what I swear was a can of Campbell?s Cream of Mushroom soup. When we asked where the second scallop was in the special soup ?with two grilled scallops?, the waiter told us it may have sank in the soup (it hadn?t). Gone are the days of cocoa gnocchi and ?mushrooms three ways? ? this new owner has soiled Spiga.
Tradition with a twist – There is a welcome change to the typical Italian fare found through out NYC. For those of us lucky enough to have dined at Spiga, we know of what I type! We have imported friends from across the country to enjoy the maltagliati with monk fish and the gnocchi and the veal with the onion jam -- simply to die for. The gelato is heaven sent as is the panna cotta. The menu changes seasonally, so there is always something new and worth exploring. David and Luigi and Matthew as well as the entire staff at the restaurant are welcoming and well informed. We have never had better service and are continually welcomed backed and encouraged to try new things. As for those two freakishly similar reviews identical in verbiage ("UGH WAY TOO RICH") but far apart in date, they must be construed as the same person who is out simply to trash a great place to eat and eat and eat!
Hospitality? – Was looking forward to our dinner - heard good things about the restaurant. Made a reservation for 8:30 - showed up at 8:30. The owner told us our table would be ready in a minute or two. Twenty minutes later we asked if our table was ready (he had not come to check on us) - we were assured that it would be just a few more minutes. After another ten minutes we informed the owner that we were leaving and I told him I was disappointed in the restaurnats reservation system. He did not appologize and told me he could not keep a table open if someone was waiting to be seated!
Creative and delicious! – Spiga makes the perfect place to have a date, meet friends, or being parents/relitaves from out of town. It's the coziest spot I've found in a long time. The food is incrediable and creative. Lot of mixes of sweet and salty. It's definetely NOT a restaurant for everyone. Theres no classic old fashioned Italian. Trying something is a little of an adventure that you feel you've tried before but definetely not the same. I highly encourage it. My favorite dish is this pasta, like a penne but not, with fra guas (I can't spell sorry), broccoli, and potatoes in a sauce that is out of this world. The wine is fabulous as well as the cheese plates.
Special short-stay rates! – Just had a very surprising experience during an initial visit to Spiga. It turns out that the cost for a 2-hour roll at this neighborhood hot-spot is about $400. Our party of 5 arrived at 6:40 pm and had just been served dessert around 8:45 pm when our waiter unexpectedly appeared bearing the check and proffering a slightly confused soliloquy. Before we could ask any questions, he explained that a large party was waiting for our table and then perplexingly told us to stay "as long as you want to". Displaying a well-developed instinct for gratuity preservation, he subsequently let us order coffees and even a glass of desert wine without adding them to the bill. However, shortly after these arrived, the pompadour-toting would-be adult functioning as maitre d' arrived to tell us that we had to leave immediately because he had a party of 8 that needed our table. When someone in my group asked him what VIP was waiting to be seated, he explained that each party is allowed 2 hours to order, eat-up, and clear out at Spiga. The food that wasn't overcooked was very interesting ... but at $200 per hour, it better be. Never before been forced to vacate a table in NYC ... other than one attached to a bowling alley at the Port Authority Lanes. Caveat emptor.
A delicious discovery – My husband and I , were invited at a friend birthday party last week. The service was smooth, attentive, and the food was teriffic. We returned last night , just the two of us for a romantic dinner. And once again it was absolutely amazing. Beautiful spot. The atmosphere is cozy, charming and rustic and the wine list is very extensive. We will go back many many times!
Great food in jewel box – I'm not so sure that mr dnewmann was at spiga with his girlfriend. The food there is AMAZING. I went a number of times and it was never disappointing. I really think that there is nothing like Spiga in the UWS for quality and creativity. Great food isn't cheap my friend! Maybe you should opt for a chinese take out next time
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