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The Early Word At East 12th St.'s Northern Spy Food Co.

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Krieger, 11/3/09

Just over two weeks ago, a pair of San Fransisco expats hailing from A16 and Myth opened Northern Spy Food Company, a high-potential neighborhood restaurant on a sleepy stretch of 12th Street. Since then, bloggers, locals and the foodie set have stopped by the the former Old Devil Moon spot to sample the restaurant's no hassle, seasonally driven fare. Onto the good, the not so good and the coveted Nate Appleman Endorsement:

The Insanely Positive Appleman Endorsement News: @nappleman files a rave of a tweet: "Just had the best meal of 2009 @northernspyfood co. On 12th btwn Ave A and B. Just the way I like it. Simple, tasty and no B.S." [Twitter]

The Not So Good News: A Yelper has a different take on the place, citing a twice ordered dry chicken dish as a major issue: "I've been watching them build the place for what seems like a year so I guess I had very high expectations. The chicken is $13 and although they tell you it is half a chicken it is not. I was starving after I ate it and it was dry - both times I ordered it. The kale salad is good, but the escarole salad is soupy and soggy and the chicken sandwich with an egg is bland. The cheese plate is good but why in the world would you serve it with a pinky sized amount of honey? All in all each time I've been there I've left hungry and felt like I ate dinner at hipster school." [Yelp]

The Brief, But Good News: A Metromix commenter seems to love everything about the place: "Fabulous food, wonderful ambiance. Audacious menu but reasonably priced, with an emphasis on locally grown ingredients. Terrific addition to the neighborhood and the city." [MM]

The Fantastic News: Two Menupages users chime in, each adding some positive comments into the mix, noting the great chicken: "I had the squid and the leeks and everything was perfect. I was really impressed by how together they were considering they had just opened. Tried my friend's chicken and kale and they were also excellent. Overall this is a hard kind of food to find. Light, delicious and healthy feeling and at an incredible reasonable price. I'll definitely go back," and "Went for lunch yesterday and had the mushroom and potato sandwich which was delicious and the kale salad which was surprisingly good, I'd never had raw kale before. My boyfriend had the chicken and poached egg sandwich and loved it, I don't eat chicken so I couldn't try it but it looked tasty." [Menupages]

The Great News: Another Yelper chimes and, despite an unfortunate closing line, offers up decidedly positive remarks: "I'm so happy here that I may never leave. Which must have been obvious judging by the fact that 1/3 of my time there oggling the menu, 1/3 eating it, and 1/3 talking about it with the staff (who are friendly, thoughtful and informed). Seasonal ingredients that are prepared with care, unbeatable baked goods, and wonderful small gourmet food retail section. They offer the types of dishes that I would make for myself upon returning from a particularly good day at the Farmer's Market. Their kale salad was inspiring. I spy a gem in my 'hood!" [Yelp]

More Good News: An Eater commenter has another rave: "sustainable, healthy DELICIOUS food. i've been twice now and it's exceeded my expectations. a lot of thought has gone into the menu. for example the poached egg is not runny, purposely so that when you bite into it yolk doesn't ooz down your hands." [Eater Comments]
—Matt Duckor

511 East 12th St., New York, NY 10009

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