Cozy Winter Night @ Girl and the Goat & The Aviary

It’s been a couple of years since I have been to Girl and the Goat, Stephanie Izard‘s wildly successful restaurant.  Having great memories I was excited to go back. I usually don’t have the patience to get reservations at places like The Aviary but I was lucky my friend Dana did so off we were after dinner.

It’s not news that The Girl and the Goat is a great restaurant.  I was curious to see if the food was at the same level it was two years ago. As expected, when we arrived early it was already full. The mood is energetic, loud and crowded but comfortable at the same time. We scored some seats at the bar and waited for the walk-in table to open up. The server’s laid-back nature was coupled with extensive menu knowledge and patience to know when to cut through our chatter and questions.

Every bit was as I remembered and satisfying, definitely worth the wait. The chickpea fritters, roasted cauliflower and the chicken were the standouts in terms of flavor and being perfectly cooked. I did convince the table to get the Pig Face dish, I still liked it but it was met with mixed reviews. This was mainly due to not being able to mentally get over the name of the dish.

Chickpea Fritters – stewed chickpeas, pickles, red onion, crave brother’s mozzarella

Roasted Cauliflower –  pickled peppers, pine nuts, mint

Hen Of The Woods Mushroom Ragout – sweet potato agnolotti, shroom creme fraiche, capers.

Escargot Ravioli –  bacon, tamarind-miso sauce (not pictured)

Ham Frites – smoked tomato aioli, cheddar beer sauce

Wood Fired Walter’s Chicken – yuzu harissa, fried pickles, brussel slaw, grilled naan

Girl and the Goat Ice-Cream

Girl and the Goat Ice-Cream

We took the short walk to the Aviary in Fulton Market. It was a much-needed constitutional as you can see we over-served ourselves at dinner. The Aviary creates beautifully complex drinks that are really works of art; innovation is the name of the game. Exactly what you would expect from Grant Achatz of Alinea and Next fame.  It is not for your every day ($16 – $30 each drink) and I suppose the hard to get reservations adds to the feeling of exclusivity of the experience. It’s the perfect place for a date, entertaining out-of-town guests, any official celebration, and in our case a group of 4 looking to indulge and be impressed. In hindsight, it may have been a better idea not to eat a 10,000-calorie meal beforehand, as the drinks are meals unto themselves.

Although the drinks and in turn The Aviary are serious and complex they are also fun and interactive. I felt like Willy Wonk must have created the Rob Roy that consisted of scotch served in a bag of lavender air that you must break before drinking. I had the root beer mainly because I love to say the word sassafras but it was a delicious balance of caramel and Fernet.  The egg nog was a perfect winter night drink warm, rich and cozy. Did I mention it had fresh truffles?!

Rob Roy – lavender air, Pedro Zimenez 1985, scotch

Root Beer – sassafras, caramel, Angostura, Fernet, rum

White Truffle Egg Nog – fresh truffle, egg, Jamaican rum

Persimmon – Gewürtztraminer, Blanc de Blanc, cognac

In the Rocks (second edition) – Benedictine, vermouth, cognac, rye

scotch with lavendar air, lavendar bitters, cognac ice egg, egg nog

We all experienced full sensory, visual and taste satisfaction and enjoyed a hearty slumber that night.

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