Iberian Pig: A Spanish “Gateway” Restaurant?

Creative Loafing’s Besha Rodell hopes the Iberian Pig will serve as a “stepping stone” for Spanish food in Atlanta, but also labels the popular Decatur spot’s offerings as “bastardized Spanish food” in her recent review.

A 90 minute BSP-style wait at the Pig on Saturday (“Do you have a reservation?” “Um…maybe?”) sent me and the wife down to Feast for a satisfying, walkable alternative.

19 thoughts on “Iberian Pig: A Spanish “Gateway” Restaurant?”

  1. I have not yet been to IP, but I unfortunately not heard great things.
    Most of the local foodie bloggers aren’t too kind.
    Feast, on the other hand, is always a solid choice imo.

  2. I’ve been to IP and we enjoyed everything but the heirloom tomato. We made a reservation and were seated promptly.

  3. We went Saturday around 5:30 (we were satill walking off the Wine Festival), and although it was already full, were seated pretty quickly. We shared 2 tapas, a salad, and a couple of entrees (along with a really nice bottle of wine, which, to their credit, was already at cellar temperature). Bacchanalia it’s not, but what we had was pretty darned good. I do think they’re tryin to do too many things at once; that being said, it’s an enjoyable place to have a fun, enjoyable meal. Also, they give pretty generous, inexpensive tastings of the wines they offer by the glass– I really like that.

    “Local foodie bloggers”– meh. Sometimes I agree with ’em, sometimes I don’t. Same with “professional” food critics (a la Kessler & Lauterbach). Opinions are like – – -holes: Everyone’s got one, everyone’s is a little different, but everyone is partial to their own. Either way, I keep an open mind about a place until I’ve tried it for myself…

  4. Decatur Metro,

    As the owner of the Iberian Pig, and a big supporter of all things Decatur, I feel it necessary to respond to the recent review. Something that restaurateurs seldom due, but with our relationship going back to the Smith’s sign, and the great PR boost you gave us for opening, I wanted to defend ourselves to those who matter most…local Decatur folks.

    If you look at our online reviews, Jezebel magazine, and our Open Table reviews, you will see an overwhelmingly positive response to what we are doing from a service, hospitality, and food perspective. In the 2 poor reviews that we have received (one was a little known blogger), the biggest gripe has been, “you are not authentic”. Which in all honesty has never been my intention to open a truly authentic Spanish restaurant because as we all know they haven’t succeeded in Atlanta.

    My philosophy has and always will be: passionately taking care of our guests and serving the best and most flavorful food possible. I can tell you right now, I have been there every day since opening and have personally checked on each table. When you eat at my restaurant there is always a guarantee that if you are not pleased with something, I am there to take care of it.

    I am listening to my customers and so far, they have been thrilled. They have been coming back consistently, and we haven’t had a night since our 2nd day where we haven’t had a repeat customer.

    We are very dedicated to what we do and we have a lot of experience in this business. All I ask is that you try it out, and make up your own opinion.


    Federico Castellucci

    1. Federico: You website looks great. I have been hungry to eat at the IP since I saw it. And thanks for saving the sign.

    2. Frederico, thank you for responding. I hope you did not see my linking to the review as an endorsement of its statements. This was simply the first semi-negative review I had seen and thought it might be an interesting place to start a discussion. (Honestly, I don’t think most Decaturites give much credence to these reviews)

      Your decision to keep the Smith’s Shoes sign and your commitment to Decatur is very much appreciated. I think that is evident by your impressive crowds and, as you stated above, your repeat visitors.

      In fact, I’d still like to help organize a “thank you” night at the Pig as a way of recognizing the honorable thing you did by keeping that sign. Let’s talk offline and hopefully we can make that a reality.

  5. Toots and I went on Friday night, and left slapping each other. Very good stuff and a very welcomed addition to the Decatur dining scene. And it is a scene…feel very fortunate to live here. If you go and have the beef tenderloin as an option, get it. That sucker was resting on some pork belly, with aged manchego and crushed walnuts on top. A crushed (not a foodie obviously) date on top of that with 2 cheese stuffed peppers on the side.

    1. Thanks a lot Rusty! Now I have a huge puddle of drool to clean off my desk!
      I was out of town the night our dinner group went to the IP. Everyone talked about how good it was for a week! It’s on my list, but I just need to find the time.

  6. having been there for my birthday last month, and again since then (since we enjoyed it so much), I also can’t say I agree with the review. Everyone in our group of friends (who have been doing a weekly dinner group around Decatur) really loved the food. And being sensitive to salt, I don’t know why the reviewer thought the mushroom flatbread was salty; I thought it was amazing and had to have it both times there. I’m certainly not a foodie, but I enjoy quality food, and have been very pleased with the Pig.

    And I agree with the thanks for keeping the Smith’s sign.

  7. I’ll give a shout out to IP. We’ve been there twice and had a great time and meal both times. $5.00 drafts, easy to-order wines by the glass, and a chance to linger over your food by ordering tapas style. Very, very social and fun.

  8. I had the eggplant rellenos that are ripped in the review and found them very fresh and tasty. We had a very pleasant meal there several weeks ago. Harsh review compared to our experience. . . .

  9. Hubs and I went about 2 weeks ago, have reservations to take some friends with a love of pig products and wine this Friday. We loved it. Service was wonderful – Mary Quinn was our waitress, but everyone looked just as knowledgeable and attentive as she was to us.

    All of their cocktails sounded great, but we went straight for a bottle of wine. I love anything wrapped in bacon, so we started with the bacon wrapped dates (yum), then I had a salad and the meat flat bread. Hubs had one of the specials and some pork belly. We then polished dinner off with churros for dessert. I caught Hubs with his spoon trying to get the left over chocolate from the dipping cup. Wine was excellent. All of that was under $100 pre-tip, which we felt was a great price for a date night.

    Can’t wait to go back this Friday night.

    Thanks Pig for opening in Decatur!

  10. Went to IP last night, food was great and the service was outstanding, our waiter really knew the wines and specials, which I find unusual in most Decatur restaurants.

  11. It’s hard to take a food review seriously that is critical of food that she finds delicious. Um, isn’t that sort of the point?

  12. I like it! It’s a nice place and they put up with Baby Nelliebelle acting like a total nutjob, which no one should have to endure.

  13. To Frederico, I wouldn’t worry about reviews…….restaurants are tough to run and satisfy everyone, and diners opinions are tougher. You cannot possibly please everyone all the time. Your repeat customers, and filled tables will speak the loudest. Haven’t been in yet, but will soon.

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