Restaurant Review: SpoonFed New York Country

Details: Located at 331 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019. The official site is http://www.spoonfednyc.com/

I have a weakness for southern food. I love it despite how unhealthy and heavy it is. But what I love about SpoonFed NYC is that they take southern comfort food and they put just a little twist on it, not enough to change the core of the food but enough so you feel like your eating something a little new and different.

I came here on a Friday night to a mostly empty restaurant. I had no idea why until we heard another table talk about how the store was apparently closed on its Yelp page. This was a lucky break for us because I’m sure the place would be packed otherwise. It’s the kind of trendy restaurant with an ideal location, sort-of celebrity chef name recognition, and traditional yet stylized menu that just fills tables. I just checked the Yelp page and it looks like they fixed the issue.

The chef and guy with his name on the signage is Randy Witherspoon. Not a Mario Batali or Daniel Humm, but he’s known as the guy who did the catering for the cast of Hamilton. When I visited SpoonFed, there was seemingly no one else here except for the waitress/bartender and Randy himself. Just two people. Randy was nice enough to come out with some food and say a few words with us. The waitress also introduced herself, asked us for our names and shook our hands. I don’t know if this had something to do with southern hospitality, but it was unexpectedly friendly and I kind of enjoyed it.

Anyways, we ordered a couple of things. They have small plates to share as well as entrees. We ordered the Mac and “Alotta” Cheese ($9 for a small size, $14 for a large), the Sausage Gravy and Biscuits ($8), the dressed up cornbread ($6, toasted cornbread served open-faced with mozzarella, candied tomato jam, house basil) and an order of the Smoke “Cacky Lacky” BBQ Ribs ($28, came with five ribs with the ends on).

I enjoyed everything we were served, including a complimentary serving of roasted peaches with balsamic vinegar drizzled on top that Randy gave at the beginning of the meal. The dressed up cornbread was unlike any cornbread I’d had before. The candied jam is a little spicy and the corn bread had the consistency like whole wheat bread rather than the more spongy texture I’m used to getting. The biscuits in the Sausage Gravy and Biscuits were fried on the outside, but buttery on the inside. Really good. But what I most enjoyed was the ribs.

I normally do not like dry rubbed ribs. I’ve never really had a rib that I could eat dry, without putting some kind of sauce onto it. I think eating ribs with sauce is a certain style of barbecue but I can’t recall which kind. Regardless, I generally like my ribs with sauce. These ribs I had from SpoonFed though, these were the first ribs I’d ever had where I would not add sauce to them. They were that flavorful on their own. I don’t know what was in this guy’s dry rub or if he was basting the ribs with something, but they were perfect without any additions on my part.

Overall, I loved this place and I’d love to come back again. If you like southern comfort food with a small twist, I thoroughly recommend it. Service was great and there’s plenty of seating as they have a downstairs and an upstairs seating area. My only complaint would be that it is a little more expensive than what I’d usually pay for this kind of food.

Score: 7.5/10

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