Love Letter: The Spotted Pig
In August 2006, I moved to New York City from a small Scandinavian enclave in North Seattle called Ballard. It was late and mild on the night I arrived. I took the train to Williamsburg, dropped off my stuff and headed to the West Village. My boyfriend at the time knew a food runner at a restaurant called The Spotted Pig. We arrived after 11 to a packed, cozy, loud and beautiful restaurant. This place would become my home away from home over the next few years. Nowhere else in the entire city would I spend as much time, have as much fun or go through just as much.
I started working for The Spotted Pig soon after. I learned about food and wine and waited on everyone who was anyone over the years. I learned about my mom’s passing on a Sunday, mid-shift and was taken care of by the people who grew to be my family. I watched the sunrise after an all-nighter, sitting on a stoop in the west village. We drank beer and did pushups on the sidewalk. This dawn patrol repeated (with minor variations in beverage and activity) for the next 8 weeks straight.
I fell in love with The Pig and at The Pig.
There is something special about a boy who will sit at your bar, drink a few glasses of wine and wait for you until the sun is coming up.
Mornings, as tired as we were, we were always awake enough to watch the rosy pink light of summer flicker off the city. We took the train over the bridge into Brooklyn as everyone else was coming in to work. Eventually, I left The Pig to open the Breslin. There, I was forced to take my job seriously, accept responsibility and build something important in the restaurant industry. There aren’t a lot of people who get to be a part of opening a restaurant that goes on to earn a Michelin Star. I loved the long days that stretched into nights, the constant shifts, changes, tweaks and stresses that come along with a new high profile restaurant. In the end, it didn’t always have the heart and soul The Spotted Pig did. Where The Pig was family, The Breslin was a good friend.
Today, I sit at a desk on the opposite side of the country, but everyday, I use the skills I learned waiting tables. I know how to talk to people. I know how to prioritize. I know how to learn and adapt and to suck it up. I can say that the rest of my life truly began that first night at The Spotted Pig. I’ll always remember leaving drunk and full of good food and happy and in love. And to this day, that’s all I could ask from the world.