Goldfish Oyster Bar and Restaurant in Ossining continues to be a good find. It is surprisingly large compared to its outside appearance. The interior design is playful with oranges and blues; and it is sleek with a modern polish.
The lunch menu they developed for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week has very generous offerings for the price. We ordered from both the regular and HVRW menus.
The crab cakes were more crab than cake, and that’s what made it delicious. No sense of “fill” whatsoever. The outer crust was golden and nicely crisped. Inside: Dense, and all crab. It was able to stand on its own flavor-wise, although, I didn’t exactly shoo away the dollop of tarragon remoulade either. The crab cake was positioned next to an underwhelming portion of crisp napa cabbage and carrot slaw. Albeit, this was a great start to the meal.
A salad appetizer of arugula with roasted pears, gorgonzola and candied pistachios was quite enjoyable. The baby rocket leaves could have used a slight pick-through to discard fading freshness and a little more generosity on the pear front would have been very welcome. The vinaigrette was light and refreshing and glistened around the ample and tender pieces of spring asparagus.
The seared tuna was very interesting. It was lightly wrapped in a crispy wonton wrapper – – almost en croûte. As requested, the tuna was served rare. The fish was tender but lacked a little balance with seasoning. In addition it was supposed to be served over wasabi mashed potatoes – – there was zero evidence of my favorite Japanese condiment whatsoever. As mashed potatoes, they were fine, just not as promoted. In the center of the dish were braised baby bok choy so perfectly prepared. The sweet soy glaze around the tuna, however, was a perfect marriage for the fish and for me. Just like candy.
Filet Mignon did not disappoint at the table. It was a nice portion measuring approximately two-inches thick. It was topped with a port wine reduction and caramelized cloves of garlic. The sweetness of the reduction/garlic combo complemented the seared steak. In the center were tender braised pieces of baby bok choy, light and with a light crunch. Visually stunning and perfectly prepared. To the side was a crisp round of an herbed potato cake which made a lovely foil for mopping up any remaining sauce. In addition, there was a serving of sautéed broccoli rabe with shallots.
Next were the seared sea scallops, once again accompanied by the herbed potato cake. The glaze for the scallops was a vin cotto glaze. Vin Cotto in Italian means “Cooked Wine” which gives the sauce a sweet, almost sticky essence. Since the “vin” was a white, it was light and was a good match for our tender bivalve friends.
The meal was complemented by a crisp grassy Sauvignon Blanc. A good choice on a warm day and with just enough acidity to cut through the sauces.
Dessert was difficult to even consider after all we had eaten; but we made the decision to try our best!
Enjoyable was a white chocolate bread pudding served warm in a rum bath of caramelized bananas and strawberries. Rich, delicious, and cozy.
The dessert sampler was just okay. It consisted of a chocolate mousse pyramid which was quite dense and little batone cuts of NY style cheesecake. The fresh fruit was a bit off-putting as none was in season. I would have preferred big plump and juicy red seedless grapes rather than the tart green grapes – – especially as served with the chocolate. Another idea would be to simply scatter a handful of red raspberries across the plate or create a coulis.
Goldfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant is a great destination. The mood is upbeat. The action in the open kitchen, if you get a seat around the area, is entertaining to watch. I have always found service to be attentive and friendly, and portion sizes are over-the-top if you can actually bring yourself to eat it all.