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Best Comfort Food

  • The Spotted Pig

    314 W. 11th St.; 212-620-0393

    There is comfort food that comforts. There is comfort food that soothes the soul. And there is comfort food like the Spotted Pig’s champ that induces a not unpleasant state of semi-conscious delirium. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, champ is an old Irish dish consisting of mashed potatoes mingled with bits of scallion that was traditionally made in an enormous pot with an imposing wooden implement called a beetle. You beetled your champ and kept on beetling until it was smooth. Chef April Bloomfield follows a more Robuchon-esque approach by boiling her Yukon Golds, then beetling them with the help of a ricer. Aside from that, what’s the secret to a good champ? A touch of freshly ground nutmeg, a pinch of black pepper, and, most important, the proper amount of dairy whipped in with the spuds, or, as Bloomfield puts it, a little milk to loosen the potatoes and as much butter as you can humanly take.

From the 2007 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine