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Review: Goldfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant

Goldfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant
6 Rockledge Avenue, Ossining, NY 10562
(914) 762-0051

Formerly Dudley’s — with an emphasis on Dud — in Ossining, Goldfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant has taken over, done an extreme makeover and moved in.  No longer the purple building with dark interiors this place is now fresh, airy, and modern.

Tasting 1.0

Oyster Bar?!  Yes!  This area of Westchester needs more restaurants serving fresh and interesting oysters.  The “arrrrrgh” of my evening began when I asked to see their oyster menu.  They told me they had one type of oyster to serve – – Blue Point Oysters from Long Island.  Of course, my impulsive side whispered into my ear saying, “How can you call yourself an oyster bar and only have one type of oyster?”  Then my rationale side whispered into my other ear, “Oysters are only in season in the months in which there is an ‘R” in the spelling… For example, January, February, March… You get the point.  NOT August.  I calmed down and had the Blue Points.  They were OK and the mignonette was quite good, red wine vinegar, touch of shallot, and seasoning.  I look forward to my next ‘R’ month. 

My entrée was next in-line.  I ordered tuna, grilled medium-rare, laying on a wet bed of chimichurri sauce.  The sauce was different in that it had every component of a traditional chimichurri yet the addition of pureed roasted tomato.  The tuna was excellent and the sauce greeted the tuna with a hint of heat and rounded red tomato flavor. 

Dessert was interesting.  The crème brûlée was served unusually. Generally it is served in a shallow tart-like ceramic round.  This was served, in the closest that can be described, as a gravy-boat without the spout or handle.  The custard could have been warm rather than room temp., and the crust a bit more caramelized to make it crustier.  The part that intrigued me most about the crème brûlée was that it was topped with roasted little figs and toasted pignoli (pine nuts for the unaware).  That was fun!  The flavor held promise and was smooth and creamy on the tongue. 

The dessert that was done right was the chocolate bread pudding.  Appropriate temperature, loved the texture of the bread pieces, and chocolate permeated every bite.

Monday was not a crowded night despite the fact that many fine local eateries in the Croton/Ossining area are closed on Mondays.  One might think the local foodies would migrate to a new Monday haunt – – perhaps they haven’t heard of it yet. The young man serving us was tall, blond, and thin.  He was very young in appearance and experience.  However, he wanted to please.  He generally works at the owners’ sister restaurant Casa Rina, located in Thornwood ( but was asked to assist on Mondays at Goldfish.  Although friendly and willing, he had no knowledge of wine, stated he did not care for seafood whatsoever and was basically filling a staffing void – – very pleasant but not who you want speaking to your seafood loving customers at a new joint.

Tasting 2.0

Miles is a friendly guy!  He has studied and wants to be in IT.  Oh, he is engaged to be married – – well, he was until my third visit.  He is entertaining and polite but can get himself caught up in conversation which doesn’t fare well with the owners or wait-staff. Several times I waved him on to focus on his duties rather than be his “couch”.

Appetizer:  Crab cake.  Yes, it is one; but one is enough.  This is the first crab cake I’ve had that truly is mostly crab.  One gets a ramekin shaped mini-tower of lump crabmeat on a plate surrounded by thirds of roasted tomato-coulis, basil pesto, and a smooth/creamy beurre blanc.  Very good!

Second appetizer – -yes, call me piggy… Alaskan King Crab Legs in a perfectly seasoned broth with floating cloves of roasted garlic.  Delicious!  Yes, you do have to work for it (complete with small fork and cracker); the effort is worth it.
Dessert:  Biscotti and a side of vin santo (Italian for “holy wine” traditionally served at dessert, chilled) which I requested in order to traditionally dip into. Although high in alcohol content, this vin santo was not appropriately chilled which exaggerated the alcohol.  The biscotti come with a chocolate sauce which remains viscous at room temperature.  When I inquired, I was told the chocolate is tempered and then a small addition of olive oil is added to keep the consistency without solidifying.  The biscotti lacked any notes of flavor and were in fact under-baked lacking crispness.  They had the sense of being left out in a humid room to absorb moisture

Tasting 3.0

We are seated on the upper level which overlooks the bar, dining room and kitchen below.  This experience is dinner-and-a-show as the cook in training had a small grease fire erupt which can be troublesome to a restaurant with an open kitchen.  Michael, one of the chef-owners watched to see how the new guy was going to handle the dilemma, then appropriately stepped in and put out the distracting flames.  The waiter on the upper floor was a woman with some ‘tude.  Not the kind of attitude I’m looking for when enjoying an evening of food and wine with friends.  We had to ask for her attention on multiple occasions.  She even got snippy with Miles which carved a dent in my bones.  I understood, but she does need to lighten up and focus on her focus.  As usual, the food was good.  Portion sizes are healthy.

Tasting 4.0

Appetizer: Scallops in a vanilla beurre blanc with hints of anise (and whole anise on the plate for decoration) accompanied by fried oysters topped with a remoulade.  The oyster fritters lacked seasoning overall and were very bland. 

However, the calamaris in a sweet chili sauce were an excellent choice. The breading was tempura like and the calamari had a good crunch.  The plate had a side salad of baby watercress simply seasoned with garlic, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), and salt and pepper.  The s&p hand on the chef’s part was too light but good choice for the greens had he tasted it and adjusted.

Entrée: Skirt steak medium-rare with a side of wasabi mashed potatoes.  Nicely combined with no “hot pockets” of nasal burn… very good.

Final point:  A nice wine list – – but I have a beef!

The red wines are not at a drinkable temperature.  Over visits, each time I had to request an ice bucket where I had to personally attempt to keep the wine at the right temperature (not too hot, not too cold) in order to enjoy them at their best.  Too much work.  A restaurant which charges these prices, presents the quality of food it does, and attracts such a specific clientele must invest in a temperature controlled wine cooler.

Once properly chilled:  The bottles of Pinot Noir – – New Zealand.  Good

2004 – Merlot (California) – – very good

2002 New Zealand sauvignon blanc – – very good, cold and crisp with grassy essences, perfect for summer!

Report Card

Eats – Really Good, some issues with appropriate seasoning – – potential for excellence
Drinks – Nice martini menu, good wine offerings, some draught beer
Wait Staff – Tend to be young and inexperienced
Red Wine Temp. – Too hot!  Get a cooler
Buzz – A happy machine – – Older monied professionals
Award:  Most Interesting Caesar Salad
Award:  Best Crab Cake

One Comment

  1. STeven wrote:

    I just felt like voicing my opinion. I was the Sous CHef at Goldfish when it first opened and left after a month becuase of differences between the owners and myself. However the head chef (Craig) decided to leave as well. The entire menu except for the brunch was designed by him. Michael is not a chef should not be considered one he does not know the first thing about cooking and never will. He only knows on how to make you reuse stuff that was dropped on the flower. Like the olives he made me wash one night. Iwas discussed and that was the first thing the placed in the situation of leaving. The only thing they cared about was how can I pack the most people in the restaurant with a poorly managed seating and waitstaff. When I was there I watched the food and helped run the kitchen to the best I could. The only thing they have there now is a bunch of cooks (not one being a chef) who I am sure not one of them being a legal immigrant.

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 9:57 am | Permalink

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