My boyfriend had been bugging me to go to Pig Heaven with him for about a month. I had honestly never heard of the place, even though I am now aware of the accolades it has received from the Travel Channel and New York Magazine.
We traveled up to the slightly out of the way location on the Upper East Side and were immediately greeted by the owner and hostess Nancy Lee. She was dressed in a funky outfit consisting of leopard print and lame’, a prefect match to her equally as kitschy restaurant that was half filled to the brim with pig paraphernalia complete with piglet-pink walls and half reminiscent of a 1970’s backyard tiki barbecue.
We sat down at our choice of any table in the restaurant and were greeted by our absolutely delightful waiter, who seemed more like a caricature of a person than real flesh and blood. It being our first time dinning at Pig Heaven, he was more than willing with helping to make our decision. Per our new friends recommendation, we ordered the fried meat dumplings ($7.50) to start and a large order of Pig Heaven’s famous pork ribs ($17.50) to share.
The ribs came out, piping hot, in 5 minutes. There was no waiting for this meal to be cooked. The dumplings came out shortly thereafter, crispy on the outside and steaming on the inside. While they were definitely a step up from your run-of-the-mill fried Chinese dumplings, I was expecting more from a place so well known and a dish so highly recommended. Next time I will save my dumpling outing for a hole in the wall in Chinatown.
The ribs however, were cooked to fall-off-the-bone perfection with a sticky sauce which was neither too sweet nor too savory. Although a bit on the fatty side, the ribs had a wonderful crust on top that made the gooey sauce that much more of a contrast.
All in all, I’m glad that my boyfriend insisted we stop by Pig Heaven for a meat-heavy dinner. The atmosphere, pleasant; the food, quite delicious and my stomach, very full.