Northern Spy Food Co.

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Critics' pick
Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Northern Spy Food Co

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Northern Spy Food Co

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Northern Spy Food Co

East Village

Part of the problem with eating well—healthfully, deliciously and environmentally correctly—is that it’s expensive. Enter Northern Spy Food Co., a restaurant that serves locally sourced meals at reasonable prices (no dish costs more than $15). Chef Nathan Foot’s frequently changing menu is based almost entirely on what’s in season (Northern Spy is an apple indigenous to the Northeast). Rounding out the farm-to-table experience is a general store filled with locavore staples—grass-fed milk, McClure’s pickles, salted caramels. Though the urban-rustic conceit is reaching critical mass—the clapboard walls and beat-up school chairs are by-the-books at this point—value sets Northern Spy apart. The food isn’t fancy, but it satisfies. A “chicken and egg” sandwich memorably combines pan-crisped dark meat, zingy chimichurri, arugula and a poached egg on Sullivan Street bread. A runny egg also graced a hearty salad of escarole, country ham and roasted turnips in a mustard vinaigrette. Toothsome pastured pork loin shared the plate with rich pork jus and a “green saut” of leeks, green cabbage and brussels-sprout leaves. Less successful was the Montauk squid, an ill-defined mass of bland calamari, navy beans, carrots, more cabbage and tough-to-detect pasilla peppers. Red quinoa, meanwhile, found a bitter mate in radishes in an unpalatable side. As for drinks and dessert, we felt obligated to try a glass of dry, tart Northern Spy hard cider—offered along with other wines and local beers—plus a so-so wedge of Northern Spy apple pie, packed with slices of dry, al dente fruit. We preferred the bread pudding—eggy bites topped with whiskey-laced whipped cream. If this is eating well, we’ll take seconds.—TONY

Venue name: Northern Spy Food Co.
Address: 511 E 12th St
New York

Cross street: between Aves A and B
Opening hours: Mon - Wed 10am - 4pm, 5:30pm - 10pm; Thu 10am - 4pm, 5:30pm - 10pm; Fri 10am - 4pm, 5:30pm - 11pm; Sat 10am - 3:30pm, 5:30pm - 11pm; Sun 10am - 3:30pm, 5:30pm - 10pm
Transport: Subway: L to First Ave
Price: Average main course: $12. AmEx, MC, V

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening
Rachel A

The average main course was more like $25-30....everything looked wonderful but we went based on the information on this site and were quite embarrassed to leave the restaurant when we saw the prices on the menu.