Goldfish in Ossining

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(sarcasm) <a href=”http://lizjohnson.lohudblogs.com/2006/08/23/where-for-dinner/” target=”_blank”>No thanks to your suggestions, readers, </a> (/sarcasm) I headed over to <a href=”http://www.goldfishdining.com/” target=”_blank”> Goldfish, </a> the seafood restaurant in Ossining that celebrated its two-month anniversary yesterday. I had an excellent meal that wasn’t too spendy.

That up there is my octopus appetizer. You know how octopus can be sometimes? Too chewy, not fresh, yuck. Not this version. The olives, garlic, lemon and basil were nice accompaniments to a nicely grilled, clean-tasting dish. (Though I could have done with a bit less olive oil.)

I can’t believe this is the same place that used to be Dudley’s. Dudley’s was dark. A little dank, even. Its centerpiece was an old wood bar, and the room had nooks and crannies and a low ceiling. You knew the place had been around a long time. It was, in fact, once a speakeasy. I saw the trap door that led to an underground tunnel to the river (for liquor deliveries) when I was reporting a story about Dudley’s excellent wine list. (I was also told there were phones in the old bar for reporters to call in their stories about executions at Sing Sing down the hill. And that the lights would dim in the restaurant when they pulled the switch at the prison.)

But you wouldn’t know any of that lore by stopping at Goldfish. It’s modern, light, airy and comfortable. Just avoid the seats right in front of the open kitchen — the light from above the stove and on the right wall glare too much.

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We sat at the bar. We usually sit at the bar. It was nice of the bartender to offer us a drink list. Goldfish has a creative cocktail list, and the drinks really are good: not syrupy and sweet — even my grapetini, made <a href=”http://www.ciroc.com/agecheck/?source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ciroc.com%2F” target=”_blank”> Ciroc vodka, which is made with grapes </a> (don’t ask me how that’s vodka, I don’t know), champagne (which is definitely made from grapes) and white grape juice (which, strangely, sometimes has apple juice in it).
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The drink is garnished with grapes, too.

Besides the octopus, we got fried oysters as an app. Look how gorgeous:

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A lovely black-bean corn relish with tomato and a smoky chipotle aioli made this dish the winner of the night.

We also had scallops with a vanilla sauce (which was excellent after a couple of sprinkles from the salt shaker) —

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— and an appetizer portion of mussels in a tomato-saffron-tarragon broth that was well worth mopping up with the side of truffle fries we got.
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(Here’s the sauce after the mussels were gone!)

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Yes, you read that right: Truffle fries.

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They were doused with truffle oil, which made them look slick.

I’m not really a dessert person, but I figured since we were trying out the restaurant, we should try the dessert. I wish we’d tried a different one. We thought we were being adventurous (and recognizing the creativity of the restaurant) by ordering what’s called dessert sushi.

Sounds gross, right? Well — not for the reasons you think. It’s not fishy or anything, it just wasn’t so good. It had a frozen strawberry inside and a few rice kernels and was covered in too much chocolate. (Too much chocolate. Weird, huh?)

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It doesn’t even look like sushi, does it?

Everything else about the restaurant was great. We had a good time, people were friendly, and no one even asked why I was taking so many photographs. I guess they thought I liked the mascot.

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He swims at the bar in, appropriately, a big cocktail glass.

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

9 Comments

  1. April Daryanani on

    On the suggestion of this blog and by other word of mouth, I went to Goldfish the other night. Wish I hadn’t.

    The calamari was merely ok and the sweet sauce that accompanied it must have come from chinese duck sauce packets. The sushi rice was wet and too generous for the fish. Don’t get me started on the entrees – the salmon, albeit a nice cut, was overcooked and the seared tuna, also a nice cut, was undercooked and served on a cold plate with cold sauce. I sent it back.

    The service was well-meaning but clumsy with waiters and busboys reaching across us and banging our elbows with their crumbers.

    I’m sure it’s better than the prison food down the street, but then, in prison, you wouldn’t be paying $19.50 for an entree.

    My recommendation: stay out of prison and out of Goldfish.

  2. I am so happy to have a restaurant like this in Ossining and I am adamant about supporting local businesses.
    Went there first time Sat night and loved the atmosphere and the people were very friendly. I was impressed that the manager was upfront that they were having a problem in the kithcne and were so busy that they were backed up and out of many of the menu items. We chose to stay anyway. We sat at the bar. Fred is great, he’s the bartender. I had a wonderful glass of house Chardonnay. We had the mussels (great size and great sauce)and the fried oysters (above). The taste was good w/the oysters but it was like they cut up one oyster into 4 pieces, I couldn’t taste the oyster at all. Oysters are better at the Ocean House in Croton. For dinner my friend has a shrimp dish which was delicious but they ran out of large shrimp and used small, still ok, gave extra. I had the tuna. Good sushi quality tuna and cooked nice and rare but not coated w/anything so it was gray on the outside. Not very appealing. Nothing special, wouldn’t order it again. Ocean House tuna dishes better.
    P.S. Where were the fish? Sleeping? Didn’t see them in the glass or in the tank on the wall in the back.

    Would definitely give it another try.

  3. The fish soup is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I am very happy there is a place like this in Ossining!
    Try the soup!

  4. I went with my wife to celebrate our Anniversary. Unfortunately, this Saturday night was the night the restaurant had a private party downstairs. It was extremely loud and we felt like we ran into a bad wedding party from the 80’s. They should have closed the place down for the party instead of heading other diners upstairs.

    The food was ok and the service was friendly but slow (no doubt slowed down by the party).

    Not likely to return.

  5. Food delivered to our table was room temp. Waiter seemed harried even though place wasn’t busy. Won’t be going back.

  6. What a wonderful restaurant!

    I took my husband there for his birthday last Friday. There was live piano music playing and the Chilian Sea Bass was the best I ever had. My husband ordered a special that evening which was swordfish with homemade seafood ravioli’s. He finished off the Swordfish before I could try it but I was able to sneak a taste of those ravioli’s and they were amazing. We will definately be returning.

  7. My grandmother, aunt and uncle lived in Ossining years and years ago. Going to Goldfish Tuesday for lunch with girls I grew up with in Tarrytown. Did that use to be years ago The Pine Tree inn and I think owned by Pete Laluna?

  8. rene de la varre on

    Cant believe it’s no longer Dudleys!!!! My dad, Andre de la Varre used to go there and drink with John Cheever, the American writer. I also spent some time there.

    CHeers
    Rene de la Varre
    fitteryou@gmail.com

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