EDITED BY ERIC LEVIN
REVIEWS BY ERIC LEVIN, KAREN TINA
HARRISON AND ELIZABETH ANDERTON
at Smith, the company behind two of
Asbury Park’s most successful and progressive restaurants: Brickwall Tavern
(a gastropub opened in 2006) and Porta
(a big, shed-like space with picnic tables and a lively bar scene, it opened in
2011, serving authentic Neapolitan pizza
and Italian small plates). “The concept
for Goldie’s was amazing food without
preaching,” says Hinchliffe, 30. “We simply want people to explore and have fun.
That’s how you change consciousness.”
Here’s a $10 game changer I’ll put
against anybody’s fries, onion rings or
crunchy bar snack: Goldie’s fried hen-
of-the-woods mushrooms with panko
crust, apple mignonette and horserad-
ish cashew cream. Order it at a table or
at the curvaceous bar, made from lay-
ered poplar slabs. The stools have seats
like those on vintage farm tractors. Each
handmade poplar seat is a bit different,
so pick one that fits your beam.
The plate of deep-brown hen-of-the-woods arrives in a ravishing free-form
tangle. Tease one out, swipe it through
the lush horseradish cashew cream and
your eyes may roll back in your head at
its epic crunch and meatlike satisfaction.
It’s hard to limit your intake to one order.
An $8 warm salad of Brussels
sprouts—high on any child’s “no thank
you” list, but as trendy now as kale—
offers another festival of contrasting textures and flavors. Finished with nutmeg
and lemon zest, it comes with plum “
butter,” pecan mousse and puffed black rice.
Another warm salad—charred wedges of
winter squash with cauliflower bechamel and toasted almonds—is as rewarding as it is handsomely presented.
Except for the potato soup with nutty-
sweet black garlic purée, Goldie’s small
plates and salads make perfect pass-
arounds. They won’t
all rock your world,
but even the most pre-
dictable (sliced mild
radishes with white-
bean purée and crusty
is very good.
Goldie’s shuns all
mock meat shtick, but
it does transpose certain classics to the key
of V. Its Idaho russet
steak fries with smoked paprika remou-lade and porcini gravy could pass muster
at any steakhouse. The $16 leek risotto
with mustard greens and toasted chestnuts calls for white wine and subs olive oil
for butter and vegetable stock for chicken
stock, to no ill effect. The absence of Par-migiano-Reggiano, usually stirred in at the
end, is noticeable. The $16 pot pie, filled
with butternut squash, dense royal trumpet mushrooms, kale, cranberry beans, celery and cashew cream earns serious stick-to-your-ribs cred.
I developed a fondness for the lip-smacking kale-ginger margarita. Like almost all the eight vegan cocktails on the
lunch and dinner menus, it plays well
with savory food. The one that doesn’t—
the novel and seductive sweet potato
purée with lemon juice, pomegranate
molasses and Buffalo Trace bourbon—
might better be listed with the three
terrific cocktails on the dessert menu.
These include a smashing Irish Cream,
made with Jameson Irish whiskey,
Grand Marnier, coconut milk, brown
sugar and coffee.
All 11 cocktails were created by Lindsey Taylor, 34, the Smith company’s
house mixologist. Taylor, who grew up in
Metuchen, designed the eight lunch and
V FOR VICTORY:
above left, a vegan
the idea. Architect
Jim Watt designed
Goldie’s, and Grace
Crossman became its
first executive chef.
Roasted carrots for
a warm salad with
peanuts and cashew
yogurt are finished in
the sauté pan. Roasted figs sprinkled
with a crunchy pecan
streusel come with a
vanilla panna cotta
made with coconut
milk and agar-agar
instead of gelatin.