4020 Goldfinch Street, Mission Hills
Combine a few of my favorite things — shaded outdoor patio, fine cheeses, tasty share-able plates, and a variety of dogs to ogle — and you have my new favorite happy hour hangout spot. [The Patio on Goldfinch]1 recently opened with an overcrowded bang just across the street from Brooklyn Girl in Mission Hills. The stunning interior design, with its soaring open spaces, living walls, and warm wood throughout, makes me feel as though I’m lounging in the Garden of Eden, sans the Satanic snake.
At the time I’m writing this, the place has been open for just over two weeks and I’ve already been there four times. Here’s a round-up of some of the quality food I’ve had a chance to sample so far. I should probably mention first that though the specialty cocktail list is fun, I found most of the cocktails to be “just a little too sweet." To avoid mixers, I recommend going straight for an infusion, such as the Goldfinch, which is blanco tequila infused with pineapple and vanilla beans. My favorite drink so far is the Sassy Sangrita, which is like a spicy (serrano, jalapeño, chili powder) margarita. David prefers the Mad Hatter, with bourbon, barolo chinato, housemade grenadine, and orange bitters.
The first time we happened in, it was early Saturday morning the weekend they opened. I love that the place is open from 8 a.m. to midnight every day, making it a convenient go-to for those of us who work outside of the typical 9 to 5 gig. That first day, David ordered the house-cured lox sandwich, which was said to come on a croissant. Though the presentation was gorgeous, David was disappointed that the “croissant” was actually more like a pressed disc of dough — as if it had been steamrollered and then cut out with a circular cookie cutter — more chewy than flaky, closer to a sope than a croissant.
I got the Patio breakfast sandwich, with a spicy pork sausage patty, tomato, more frisee than a sandwich like it needs, and a fried egg, all on a cheddar cheese biscuit and served with a side of gravy. I’m glad the sandwich didn’t come with any potatoes or other accoutrements, because by itself, it already has a bit of everything, and I found it to be satisfying.
Happy hour has become my favorite time to hit up the patio. This is when all the dogs are out (as with the one on Lamont, this patio is dog friendly, and even has its own doggie mascot, named Gordie). But more importantly, during happy hour all specialty cocktails and wines by the glass are half off, a great deal considering some glasses of wine get up there in price. Thus far I’ve liked everything I’ve tried on the happy hour menu, from the sautéed seasonal mushrooms and beet bruschetta to the shrimp corndogs.
One particularly unique dish is the grilled shrimp over creamy soba noodles flavored with miso, soy, garlic, ginger, and thai peanut sauce, and garnished with spicy and tangy Sriracha.
Perhaps my favorite treats, however, come from the selection of cheeses. As it was explained to me, the Patio purchases its cheese through Venissimo, and ages it on-site, in a glass-walled cave between the bar and the back dining room. The cheese is organized into thematic boards, such as the Left Coast (cheddar with apple and toasted pepper, soft goat cheese with fresh fig and balsamic, hard sheep cheese with sundried tomato). Another board is Vive La France, with three kinds of French cheese and their accompaniments. And still a third is the Italian-themed You Say Buffalo, I Say Bufala.
David absolutely loved the Cioppino, a small but packed saucer of crab claws, little neck clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and fish, a dish that, for its quality ingredients, he thought was a steal at $14.
On a visit for dinner, I opted for the short rib, which is a “small plate,” but filling enough and also a good deal at $13. The braised beef is served atop a parsnip puree and drenched in a rich and delicious demi glace with micro mirepoix (carrots, onion, celery).
We only made it to dessert one time, and opted to share one of the smaller offerings, the carrot cake in a small jar. Turns out this was the perfect size for a few bites each of cream cheese frosting, not-overly-sweet carrot cake, and the pleasantly salted caramel drizzle.
The Patio is understandably packed, so be sure to make reservations, or get there during happy hour (3 to 6). Chances are you’ll see me there.