You know that the world has reached some kind of “pork is awesome” point of overload when a restaurant opens in the West Village and the name of the place is simply “Swine.” That’s got to be an ominous indication that we’re all going to die soon. That or we’re just becoming a bunch of gluttonous assholes that will jump at any opportunity to eat pig parts and brag about it on Instagram. Only booty shots, kittens, and nail bling will earn likes on a photo faster than something tagged #bacon. The team who opened this restaurant seems to know that fact well.
Don’t get me wrong, we here at The Infatuation are as guilty of propagating the pork frenzy as anyone. I think the first Perfect For category we ever created for a restaurant review was “Full On Pork Indulgence.” And hell, we had this place at the very top of our Hit List before we finally made it in, even though @sweatshorts played footsie with a rodent during his dinner here a few months back (note: every restaurant in town has to deal with those furry little f*ckers, and we weren’t about to let that stand in between us and a restaurant that by name alone was daring us to come get fatter.) But when you take into account that this spot opened in the same year as a place called Pork Slope, you have to worry a little bit about the future of humanity.
Regardless of what the name of this restaurant says about the world we currently live in, we have to say that most of the food at Swine is actually pretty damn good. We have happily gorged ourselves on the pig related offerings on this menu, and it’s a cool neighborhood spot for a drink too. But we also have a hard time handing out accolades to a restaurant that makes a bunch of fatty/salty foods that taste great, but the second a vegetable comes into play, the rails come off. For instance, we love the bone marrow & brisket burger here, but no sh*t we do. It’s bone marrow on a burger with gruyere cheese. And then the plate of blackened carrots with quinoa shows up on the table and it’s terrible. I guess the moral of the story here is that Swine will give you exactly what you expect from a place that carries a name like that – salty, fatty food that pleases the palate and makes for a great photo or two. Expecting much more than that will probably lead to disappointment.
There’s something nice about a plate of pickles to chew on and cut the fat from the rest of the heavy things that are inevitably about to arrive at your table. We’d recommend an order if that sounds good to you too.
FG & J
A foie gras and jelly sandwich. This is another perfect example of something that tastes really good, because of course it does. It’s foie gras with jam on white bread. We liked this a lot, but it just kind of seems like a lay up.
You can’t really come to a place like Swine and not order pork belly. This particular version of the stuff you now see everywhere was really, really good, thanks in no small part to its sweet chili glaze. Give it an order if you’re down for some real fatty goodness.
Bone Marrow & Brisket Burger
This is a great burger. One of the better burgers we’ve had all year actually. But it will also probably kill you slowly. Enjoy, but eat infrequently.
Blackened Carrots & Quinoa
As we mentioned before, this was a disaster. I can’t really figure out why or how either – the carrots were just sort of mushy, and the temperatures of the hot carrots and sort of cold quinoa seemed to be at odds with each other. Or maybe it was the other way around. Either way, it was unsettling and lacked any sort of flavor. I guess that vegan date you brought here is going home hungry.
Your server at Swine will most definitely upsell you on some condiments to go with your food. For instance, that bone marrow burger isn’t even close to absurd enough without a side of bacon marmalade to go with it. There are a bunch of different sauces and fixin’s available to pair with your food, each at $3 a pop. We didn’t think any of them added much to our meal.
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