Monday, August 29, 2011

Try the Goat!

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It’s hard to keep up with all the foodie news in NYC. All too often, just when you hear about a new gem, The New York Times or some other dining bible will write a fantastic review making it impossible to score a reservation or even worse… it will become so crowded with tourists that what made it special suddenly seems sadly overdone.

Goat Town was right on the cusp. With a great review in New York Magazine touting its farm-to-table concept (my favorite) coupled with its Alphabet City location, I figured us Foodies should give it a whirl before ‘Best Thing I Ever Ate’ exposed it to the flyover states.

Now, before we get into the food, which was very good, a few things must be said:

1- We went during the July heat wave. It was easily 90 degrees at 7 PM and the restaurant’s A/C system could not keep up. This naturally sweaty Foodie was quite uncomfortable throughout her whole meal, and chugging 2 bottles of cold wine wasn’t helping. I mean, who wants to sweat in their roast chicken???
2- The restaurant’s ambiance is great. French bistro meets East Village meets down home style, BUT the last 2-3 new restaurants I’ve popped into (i.e. The Dutch and 100 Acres) look remarkably similar…. Is NYC running out of creativity?
3- The service was slow. We like slow dining, but the waitress was so aloof I almost felt compelled to use the ‘I have a food blog and will be reviewing your flipping restaurant so speed it up sista’ card.

Ok, enough about mediocrity - now it’s on to where Goat Town shines. Despite the slow service, hot dining room and pricey wine list, the food at Goat Town is actually pretty good!

We started with the ice box tomato and watermelon salad, which was divine. The balsamic vinaigrette perfectly complemented the salad. It was more than just refreshing given the heat (both inside and out), it was really satisfying. The goat neck French dip (made with actual goat) was also really fun. I am not one to order goat, but it actually melted in your mouth. The au jus was so good, I would have been happy eating it by itself as a soup, and sour cherries really balanced the dish. Another star was the cast iron chicken. You didn’t even need a knife, the chicken was so juicy and tender. We also did the burger with bone marrow butter. This fell a little short for all of us and the bone marrow added nothing to the dish except for extra calories (and definitely does not measure up to the Spotted Pig burger which I had again the week before).

Perhaps Goat Town deserves a second chance. However, for this Foodie, it will go to the back of her list as she sets out on a quest to try new things in the ever-evolving city.

Goat Town
511 Fifth Street (between First and A)

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