TYPE:New American cuisine
Not a Goblin in sight (except perhaps for Alex Freij of Industry and Diner 24 infamy), Goblin Market has emerged as a charming and pleasantly unassuming addition to Soho. Richard Snyder (AZ & Barna) and chef Richard Pelz (Tintol & La Caravelle), have teamed up for their first restaurant venture, a creative New American (with Asian accents) set in a rustic and notably petite 28-seat space (formerly Soho Cantina). Designer, Alex Freij has created a newly “old looking” feel by way of damask banquets, oak floors & tables, Edison bulb fixtures, and an exposed brick wall. Just as blue is the new black in the fashion world, so the latest newcomer, is further proof that intimate dining is the new mega-restaurant (Buddakan, Mr. Chow, Craftsteak, enough said).
Better than it has to be, some of the dishes on the small, but relatively inspired menu, are downright good, like the roasted yard bird, but first let’s start with the appetizers. There are undoubtedly some misses to be avoided: the overly moist, mayonnaise-heavy crab cakes; a tiny pork belly that belies the notion of hearty fare; a bland arugula and ricotta salad (the ricotta could’ve been fresher). Those aside, start with the garlicky mussels served in a tomato, herbed broth or even better, the creamy shrimp risotto – zesty and luscious risotto dotted with plump & briney rock shrimp – further enlivened by a pronounced lemon kick.
All better than they have to be, there are no earth-shattering food feats, but surprisingly thoughtful, and some are quite tasty. In particular, the miso marinated hangar steak paired with a sweet mustard vinaigrette-dressed salad, a salad that merits a position of its own on the appetizer menu. Skip the sea bass, in need of a a flavor kick (the hazelnut vinaigrette doesn’t serve the fish) and head directly to the burger – a tender and extremely well-seasoned grass-fed Angus patty, tucked into a sweet and soft brioche bun, happily overshadowing its fry accompaniment – not bad for Pelz’s first go at a burger. The real winner is the pan-roasted yard bird, which should be their signature dish (and quickly renamed seeing as it’s a
chicken breast and the term yard bird has creepy connotations). It’s moist,
perfectly cooked and paired with luscious buttermilk mashed potatoes.
The finale, a daily special, requires a simple adjustment. A wafer-thin phyllo crust, sandwiches a more than generous dollop of rich chocolate sabayon, iced with fresh raspberries needn’t the raspberry coulis, that surrounds and sadly suffocates a potentially lovely dessert.
But all things eaten and consider, the understatedly appealing Goblin Market is more than an acceptable refuge for weary Soho shoppers, or just a neighborhood jaunt for weekend brunch, lunch or dinner.
Until we eat again,
Further Goblin Market reading at:
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