The concept: “Amazing food without
preaching.” Add a sexy space, nice price
and cocktails, and you’ll forget it’s vegan.
ET’S START WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY. “I bet it was just about everyone’s first experience of a perfect dish,” says Mark Hinchliffe, the driving
force behind Goldie’s, which opened in Asbury Park in August. “But no one
was thinking it’s a vegan sandwich. They just were thinking how good it was.”
That, in a peanut shell, gives you the spirit behind the first vegan restaurant in
New Jersey with a liquor license. Goldie’s breaks ground in other ways as well. Inspired by the sensuous curves and playfulness of the visionary 20th century Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, it is likely the first vegan restaurant to apply “organic” as
much to its design as to its food. And it is surely the first whose name deliberately
evokes a Jewish deli where a grandma in support hose ladles out matzo ball soup.
“We are interested in breaking the mindset that in order to eat vegan, you
must be vegan,” Hinchliffe says. Stricter than vegetarian, vegan excludes dairy
and eggs—indeed all animal products, even honey. Hinchliffe, who considered
himself a confirmed carnivore, began eating vegan six years ago. He says he has
never felt better. In 2011, he pitched his breakthrough concept to his partners PH
STARRING ROLE: Cooked with care and imaginatively combined, veggies bring big personalities
to the spotlight, as in this winter squash salad with
cauliflower bechamel or the über-crunchy fried
hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, left.
AMBIENCE: Young, hip and sensuous
SERVICE: Happy to explain it all
WINE LIST: 14 choices by glass ($7-$12) or
bottle ($30-$40); exciting cocktails ($9-
$11); 10 craft beers in bottles ($6-$8)
DINNER FOR TWO: $65-$85
HOURS: Dinner: Wednesday, Thursday
and Sunday, 5 to 10 PM; Friday and Saturday, 5 to midnight. Brunch: Saturday and
Sunday, 11 AM to 4 PM.
AX, D, DC, MC, V, X
550 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park
COCK TAIL CULTURE: From left, kale-ginger margarita with tequila, spiced
pear with cranberry juice and rum, and
sweet potato purée with pomegranate
molasses and bourbon.