Have you ever eaten at a restaurant you loved so much, SO MUCH, that you wanted to sing its praises from the rafters? Shout from neighboring rooftops? This was me, yesterday, dining with my closest friend at Goat Town in New York’s East Village. I should preface this by saying that I’m not necessarily a fan of the East Village, as it’s a disturbing reminder of a volatile decade where nights were spent in the back rooms of bars. Even as a teenager who knew never to venture below Avenue A (back in the day you just didn’t), I never could get the vibe of St. Mark’s Place, — with its smattering of tattoo parlors, incense and overall listlessness — which I always found borderline comic.
Until yesterday. A sweet friend and I were long overdue for chow and conversation and we ventured to this farm-to-table spot made famous by The General Greene owner, Nicholas Morgenstern. Inside you’ll find a wooden bar, latticed mirrors, and a backyard yielded herbs and fresh vegetables used for seasonal dishes and pickling. The menu is simple and decidedly seasonal, with fresh kale dressed in a marcona almond vinaigrette and shaved almonds, carrot pestos, herbed chicken and a burger piled hight with flavor. You could taste the care with which every dish is prepared, and my friend Kate and I fawned and marveled over everything — the airy, open decor to the perfectly cooked cast-iron chicken.
And what I loved the most? The quiet. The East Village is pretty frenetic on a Friday night, and Goat Town is located on a seemingly long strip of quiet. My friend and I enjoyed the people and pooch watching, as well as an evening filled with stories and laughter.