When Chef Jennifer Cole informed me that she was moving from the Upper West Side to Brooklyn, I knew this would be a good move. More culinary freedom and liberal, experimental palates. Chef Cole invited me and a small group of bloggers to eat at the Fat Goose. I saw immediately that my instincts were right.
I met up there with Jessica and Lon from Food Mayhem and had the pleasure to meet Andrea and Jeff from High Low Food Drink. It was a pleasure to dine with people who enjoy it as much as I do. The restaurant has a comfortable feel about it; brick walls, soft lighting and copper ceilings make the space feel cozy and warm. The kitchen is a two level affair (something NY Chefs often yearn for and equipped with machines most chefs just dream of).
We started off with some cocktails. I chose the Love Potion No. 8. It was a lovely autumn cocktail made up of rum, lemon, ginger, simple syrup, all spice, clove, Ommegang and bitters. This was a true culinary cocktail. I sensed no alcohol in the cocktail which led me to believe that more than one would be perilous.
Chef Cole started us off with the Cajun fried chicken croquettes ($7). They came on a bed of tomatillo salsa that was simply divine. Even more delightful was the texture of the croquettes. In this dish, Chef Cole gave a nod to the culinary traditions of Spain where she spent more than 10 years and spent some time as head chef of Michelin-starred Balzac.
Our next dish was the Wild Salmon Tartare (MP). This was my favorite dish of the evening. Salmon can be a very strong flavored fish. Chef Cole’s preparation kept the integrity of the fish intact while toning down its power. To top things off (literally), a Quail hen egg yolk. Chefs, if you are listening; eggs are not just for dinner. They are for breakfast, and lunch, and snacks. The egg yolk added a lovely texture to the tartare and took me back to my Spain trip just a few months back.
Next to come out was the hake ($18). The fish was clean, elegant and fresh. Perfectly cooked and textured and sitting on a bed of wild mushroom pumpkin ragout and heritage pork trotter. I could not stop eating the mushrooms. Simply gorgeous.
The agave nectar caramelized pork belly was accompanied by a creamy rosemary polenta ($22). Suddenly I was in North Carolina enjoying the heat of summer. The pork belly was succulent. The polenta was a delight and a perfect match for the pork belly which was laced with a delicate trace of sweetness.
Dessert was an empanada of arroz con leche with a chocolate cinnamon dipping sauce ($7). The dough was lightly fried without the smallest hint of greasiness. The bitterness in the chocolate counteracted the sweetness of the sugar gently sprinkled on the empanadas. I can see that some people may have a slight issue with the texture of the arroz con leche; but for me, it was delightful.
I was thrilled to receive the invite from Chef Cole to dine at her new home in Brooklyn. It will be exciting to see where she goes with her dishes as she settles into her new space.
The Fat Goose is located at 125 Wythe Ave., corner of North 8 St., Brooklyn, NY 11249 718-963-2200