We were excited to check out Goat Town’s locally grown/sourced food (including vegetables from the garden out back). We had to try the goat shoulder rillette, given its namesake. (Truth be told, we inquired about “rillette” before ordering, but were game to try upon discovering it was pâté.) We found ourselves requesting the recipes of many of the delicious dishes (particularly the mayonnaise!). In sum, the food, ambience, and attentive waitstaff led us to dub this charming East Village nook as the perfect date spot.
Goat Town is located at 511 E 5th Street, between Avenue A and Avenue B.
- FEATHER RIDGE FARM DEVILED EGGS.
- GOAT SHOULDER RILLETTE: apple jalapeno relish, curry aioli, cilantro, and crostini.
- MUSSELS & FRIES: caramelized onion and bacon broth with tarragon and lardons.
- LOCAL TROUT FILET: fingerling potatoes, spinach, with a white wine cream sauce.
- SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM.
Given that I knew nothing about Goat Town (aside from the information on its website) prior to dining, I was eager to dive in to see how the locally grown cuisine stacked up to more well-known hotspots in the city. As it turns out, I’d happily go back to Goat Town than brave the crowds (or cough up the cash) at a more famous restaurant. There were a lot of promising appetizers, but starting our meal with deviled eggs was the way to go. The eggs themselves were delectable (and as I’d soon learn–the secret was the homemade mayonnaise), and the mustard added an unexpected kick. The goat rillette was satisfying as well (but difficult to spread!). I ordered the mussels, expecting a dish with savory sauce (that I’ve oft been known to dab up with bread). However, the mussels were a bit on the greasier side, and thus the lingering juices at the bottom of the pot went “un-dabbed.” However, the surprising highlight of the meal was the mayonnaise (served as a dipping sauce for my fries). I still can’t believe that I’m raving so much about a more or less simple condiment, but the buttery, light, and whipped concoction created in-house at Goat Town was honestly to die for. Although our waiter told us that the chefs relied on a fairly standard recipe, he believed that the “secret” was the extra yolk from the organic eggs. (I’m now fully an organic eggs convert.) Finally, I know that Jess found the salted caramel ice cream too salty, but I enjoyed it for the most part–I kept wanting more…in addition to the mayonnaise.
I was a little skeptical when we walked in; Goat Town seems like one of those restaurants that pretentiously jumps on the local food bandwagon to overcharge for flavor-lacking meals. However, Goat Town is literally farm to table. There is a small garden in the back that provided the herbs and veggies for our meal. The deviled eggs were a dream. This is how I want all deviled eggs to taste. They were acidic, salty, creamy, with the right mustard taste and simply perfect. I wish the goat shoulder rillette had been served a bit warmer so it would be easier to spread, but it was interestingly delectable. The server offered and brought more bread when we ran low – which shouldn’t be such a novelty, but was very much appreciated. I didn’t care for the sauce in the mussel dish, it had a strong licorice flavor that I found out of place and a bit off-putting. I know Jules will sing the praises of the unexpected and amazing fries and mayo combo. My generous serving of trout was flaky and tender. The spinach and potatoes contributed beautifully to the earthy tone of the plate. The sauce could have used a bit more salt, but it seems ALL of Goat Town’s salt is used in the salted caramel ice cream. I had one bite and had to stop. (NY Mag also noticed the heavy salt). Overall, this place is has a lovely undiscovered, neighborhood vibe that makes it a great spot for a romantic date and fresh, seasonal food.
SOURCE: Although many of our Destinations are sourced by recommendations from friends, articles, foodie blogs, and publications, we found Goat Town simply by perusing Google Maps and contemplating our options for 5th Street. This just goes to show that oftentimes, some of the best kept culinary secrets in New York are often stumbled upon.