How could I resist a restaurant with a name like Goat Town? I’ve been to Goat Hill Tavern, a dive bar in Costa Mesa, California and The Surly Goat, an excellent beer geek hangout in West Hollywood, California. If the goat moniker is an indication of a successful food and drink establishment, then based on my two previous goatish encounters I had a pretty good feeling about four month old Goat Town in the East Village of Manhattan.
A recent Sunday evening outing to Goat Town did not disappoint. The restaurant oozed charm, decorated in distressed wood and white tiled banquets it evoked the new American/French Bistro theme Goat Town appears to be going for. The waitress was as a delightful as the surroundings having no problem spacing our courses out to enjoy at the leisurely pace befitting a Sunday evening.
A first course of grilled country bread, peppered butter and salty prosciutto was a lovely first nibble especially when pair with a slightly effervescent Txakolina*- a welcome substitution for the out of stock pinot grigio by the glass listed on the menu. Then on to a special of fiddlehead ferns and whiting that were lightly battered and fried in a mixture of cornmeal and Pellegrino, a dish that seemed to cross the bridge of new American Farm to Classic French Table. Our group that evening decided to forgo the heavier lamb burger and roast chicken specials for lighter fare: a tile fish special with a near-perfect fish stock reduction and a mess of woody mushrooms along with a whole roasted brook trout served with sautéed celery and requisite lemon. And to drink, an unusually chilled Cabernet Franc, heavier than a typical rosé but light enough to compliment our fish entrees.
If Yelpers are to be believed, and they rarely should given the proliferation of fake reviews, this French-cum-New American bistro should have had only passable food and service becoming the surliest French waiters. A note to Yelpers: give a restaurant a few months to work out the kinks before passing judgment. It is doubtful that Goat Town will win any awards for food but I don’t think they are trying to be Per Se. The menu could have a few more options and I imagine on a busier Friday or Saturday the waitress would not be as eager to let us linger over a long dinner. But for a neighborhood restaurant trying to do honest food in a Frenchie-American way I say job well done. And to all those dissenting Yelpers I have one thing to say to you: Baaaa.
* Wondering what txacholina is? Check out this NY Times article for the full story on this delicious wine