Favorite Dishes #71:The Spotted Pig’s Gnudi


The cheeseburger at the Spotted Pig hogs so much attention, it’s tempting to overlook many of the other sensational dishes at the West Village’s premier gastropub. This is a mistake. While you can track down a sensational burger all over our fine city, good luck procuring a plate of pasta to rival the ricotta gnudi on the menu here.

Halfway between ravioli and dumplings, these delicate, moist spheres of savory sheep’s-milk cheese are jacketed by a thin membrane of semolina. An $18 plate features seven of them, bathed in a blend of parmesan cheese, butter, and pasta water. That sauce is deceptively light, delivering a warmth of flavor without any creaminess to speak of. Instead you get to focus on the salty tang of the cheeses, the pleasing chewiness of the semolina “shell,” and the garden-fresh herbal punch of a summer basil pesto, carefully spooned atop each gnudi.

As fall approaches, the house-made summer basil pesto yields to a heartier brown-butter-and-sage topping. But that optimal blend of pine nuts, basil, and parmesan reigns supreme. Don’t wait. They may look petite, but great things come in small packages, and these pasta dumplings certainly won’t leave you wanting for a burger. You won’t be missing it, either.

The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10.

Here’s our countdown up to now:
#100: Laminated Blueberry Brioche at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
#99: Egg Shop’s Golden Bucket Fried Chicken
#98: Ramen Lab’s Torigara Shoyu
#97: Cannoli at Ferdinando’s
#96: Breakfast Sandwich at Dimes
#95: Banana Royal at Eddie’s Sweet Shop
#94: Fletcher’s Burnt Ends
#93: Almayass’s Mante
#92: Empellon Taqueria’s Fish Taco
#91: El Rey’s Sardine Tostada
#90: General Tso’s Pig’s Head at the Cannibal
#89: The Vegetarian at Meat Hook Sandwich Shop
#88: The 21 Club’s Creamy Chicken Hash
#87: Deep-Fried Olives at Via Carota
#86: Pougi at Loi Estiatorio
#85: Shelsky’s Hot Pastrami Sandwich
#85: Pearl & Ash’s Smoked Bread with Chicken Butter
#84: Gluten-Free Pizza at Rossopomodoro
#83: Perry St’s Chocolate Pudding With Candied Violets
#82: Whit’s End’s ‘Fuckin’ Bluefish Dip’
#81: Morgenstern’s Salt and Pepper Pine Nut Ice Cream
#80: Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
#79: Delmar Pizzeria’s Pizza
#78: Cafe Cluny’s Avocado Toast
#77: Brooklyn Star’s Cinnamon Bun
#76: Pork Belly Cotton Candy at Carnem
#75: Ippudo’s Pork Buns
#74: Mission Chinese Food’s Oil-Cured Anchovies
#73: Johnnycakes at LoLo’s Seafood Shack
#72: The Starving Artists Steak at Belle Reve