April Bloomfield may have released a pro-vegetable cookbook, but who’s she kidding, really? The guiding force in her career has always been meat. And she’s doubled down on her flesh obsession big time with her newest project with Ken Friedman, White Gold; a whole animal butcher shop and decidedly protein-focused eatery from Bloomfield and long time partner, Ken Friedman, located — amusingly enough — a stone’s throw from the taxidermied displays at the American Museum of Natural History.
But Bloomfield isn’t the only one wielding cleavers; she hired star butchers Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest (from L.A.’s Lindy and Grundy) to help with daily breakdowns. Because in addition to serving as a central commissary kitchen for all of Bloomfield’s establishments —producing ground beef for Salvation Burger, as well as for the top-rated patties at The Breslin and Spotted Pig — White Gold sells all manner of meat retail; from steaks and sausages to bone broth and cold cuts.
Probably the best bit of news for the restaurant-deprived Upper West Side, however, is that it’s also an ambitious all-day eatery; with grab-and-go breakfast options such as Egg Sandwiches, bulked out with bacon, sausage or ham (all produced in house, of course). Lunch follows that, and you’ll want to commandeer a window-side stool for especially hefty eats, like Beef and Red Wine Pasties, Smoked Duck Salads, Lamb Toast with fermented lemon and a Chopped Cheese — a Philly Cheesesteak-esque concoction long associated with NYC bodegas (but rarely offered anymore) which Bloomfield has gamely resurrected.
Though the space is small (with considerable real estate taken up by the butcher counter) dinner is a full sit-down affair, with table service and a small but stacked menu. Snacks include seasonal Crudité with anchovy white gold — a piscine play on the restaurant’s namesake; the precious, milky fat that surrounds meat. There’s Beef Tongue in the salad (along with puntarelle, green tomato and beets), and there’s no escaping protein in the veggie sides either; pancetta pads the Brussels Sprouts, and Crispy Layered Potatoes glisten with a thick coat of beef fat. And that’s all before you get to the dedicated meat section, where Pork Sirloin appears with apple and sage, Smoked Lamb Shoulder gets anointed with chimichurri and spiced yogurt, and Beef Heart is offered again in an entrée-sized portion; seasoned with the Egyptian spice mix called dukkah.
It’s also paired with greenmarket carrots — but at White Gold, they’re an afterthought. Certainly no one’s disputing that Bloomfield respects veggies, but there’s no doubting her heart truly belongs to meat.
375 Amsterdam Ave