There are a lot of things that the Spotted Pig does right. Creamy, buttery ricotta gnudi? Yes, please. I don't even like blue cheese on my burger, and I can't stand brioche buns, but I'd kill for one of the Pig's perfectly medium-rare beauties just the same. But what about deviled eggs, that paprika-sprinkled, mayo-laden staple of family picnics? Can one really be that much better than another? I decided to find out at 3:30 p.m. on a recent Monday afternoon, about the only time you can get a seat at the Spotted Pig bar without a wait.
It was immediately obvious that these aren't your standard deviled eggs: The perfectly shaped whites at the Spotted Pig are overstuffed with piped golden-yellow filling to the point of ridiculousness. A drizzle of bright olive oil pools around them in their cute little dish, and on top they're loaded with precisely sliced chives and red-pepper flakes that are clearly not the same stuff you'll find at the pizza joint. Tasting these eggs brings more surprises: a tart, almost pickled flavor to the filling with a definite hit of mustard heat that somehow manages to be richer than a plain yolk, while staying light and fresh. Hidden crystals of salt crackle between the teeth.
My mission: to re-create these eggs at home. Click through the slideshow to see how I figured it out, and read my recipe [PDF].