Northern Spy Food Co.'s Kale Salad

Northern Spy Food Co.'s Kale Salad

As the photo above suggests, the good folks at Northern Spy Food Co. are serious about their roughage. Order the restaurant's kale salad and you will indeed get kale, served in an abundant enough quantity to put the salutary benefits of wheatgrass juice to hot-cheeked shame. But it's to the restaurant's credit that while their salad may be plenty wholesome, it's anything but pious.

That's owing to the shredded clothbound cheddar, toasted almonds, and nuggets of roasted winter squash that peek coyly from behind the foliage and provide the $11 salad with sweet and salty notes and enough fat to soften the raw kale's righteous edges. A lemon dressing gives everything a mellow but pleasantly insistent acidity, brightening each of the ingredients without crowding them. All told, it's an extremely satisfying way to mainline about a week's worth of antioxidants and chlorophyll.

Although it's listed separately on the menu, Northern Spy's flatbread ($4 for four generous hunks, pictured below) makes an excellent accompaniment to the salad. Embellished with strands of caramelized shallots and less reminiscent of flatbread than focaccia, it's salty, oily, and carby enough to play the devil to the salad's angel. But it's because of these mildly sinful attributes that this is bread that's best described as heaven-sent.

Northern Spy Food Co.'s Kale Salad

Northern Spy Food Co. 511 East 12th Street 212-228-5100

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