Pig Bleecker is an offshot of Pig Beach, a mediocre barbecue spot in Gawanus. It's in the same Greenwich Village space (at the corner of Bleecker and Thompson) that until recently housed the Manhattan branch of Bark Hot Dogs: the place where Brooklyn meat spots go to die. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be terrific.
Now understand what I mean when I call a restaurant "terrific". I usually mean that it's vaguely disreputable in some way, certainly not at the top in any way, but totally enjoyable. Here, for example, is a place that is both more ambitious and better realized than you'd have any right to expect.
It's hard to say what the concept is. I guess it would be fairly imaginative meat-centered dishes. The name, I think, is going to prove to be a hindrance.
Anyway, I started with something called "Rhode Island Style Cod Cheeks" (not meat, strictly speaking: I know) with crispy country ham (aha!) and vinegared peppers. Someone from Rhode Island will have to tell me if there's such a thing as "Rhode Island Style Cod Cheeks". If there is, it's news to me -- but I hardly set myself up as an expert on Rhode Island Culinary Culture. As you'd probably guess, these were fried, expertly so. The ham and the peppers speak for themselves, and you don't have to be Curnonsky to see how good that would all taste together.
Then, the brisket ravioli in a Barolo sauce with black truffle butter. This was on the gloppy side, so not great -- but good enough.
Cocktails, as you'd expect, are good (albeit not great). (It's nice that we can now take house cocktails this good for granted.) As you'd also expect, the wine program is decent -- but you wish it were better, as this is really wine food.
Prices are gentle -- a real selling point for a place that I, at least, am mainly going to use to grab dinner after shows at LPR across the street.
I wasn't expecting this place to be this ambitious. And I wasn't expecting those ambitions, once I saw the menu, to be so well realized. So while I wouldn't call this a "must visit", I do heartily recommend it to anyone who likes their food on the hearty side and is looking for a pleasant surprise.
COMP DISCLOSURE: An after-dinner whiskey.