The cuisine at the bulk of American Chinese restaurants (especially those of the counter-service/takeout variety) is derived from Cantonese cooking.
Unfortunately, the preponderance use cheap, sometimes frozen or canned ingredients, an overabundance of salt and oil, and to favor frying over other cooking methods, belies the true nature of the cuisine, which comprises simple dishes where regional ingredients are allowed shine naturally without heavy sauces and overpowering spices.
Expect to recalibrate your notion of Chinese fare at the new Goosefeather, located in the Georgian-style King Mansion on the sprawling grounds of the Tarrytown House Estate. The concept, per chef-owner Dale Talde, is seasonal, modern Chinese fare, with a focus on noodles, family-style Cantonese barbecue, and dumplings.
“Unlike the other seven styles of Chinese food that most Americans are familiar with,” says Talde, “[authentic] Cantonese fare emphasizes fresh, seasonal ingredients, and the food at Goosefeather is no different.” The menu has Cantonese staples but also twists on classics, with unexpected ingredients like dry-aged beef, black truffles, grilled avocado, and more.
The name Talde might sound familiar: He competed on two seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef, plus Food Network’s Chopped, Iron Chef America, and Beat Bobby Flay. He previously was a partner at Talde (Brooklyn, Jersey City, Miami), Rice & Gold, Massoni, The Crown, and The Heights in Manhattan. Goosefeather is the first concept from his new Food Crush Hospitality group, a partnership between Talde and his wife, Agnes.
Familiar with a scallion pancake, are you? Forget the oily flops proffered at most takeout joints. Talde’s are crispy-without-being-greasy sliced batons served with mildly tangy cultured butter and aged soy vinegar.
Crab rice drizzled with jalapeño aioli, dry-aged beef potstickers, charcoal-roasted scallops with cashews, and Cantonese roast duck with caramelized hoisin and Cognac prunes are other dishes to sample. For dessert, rum-roasted pineapple with shaved ice is an original and fun choice.
The main dining area has a dignified, manor library vibe, and scattered between the aged books on the shelves are charming tea kettles and geese of varied colors and materials. There are in fact four separate dining areas, including a nine-seat bar, plus indoor and outdoor lounge areas. (On colder nights, a firepit adorns the latter.)Additionally, a terrace provides outdoor seating for up to 20, bringing the total number of seats at Goosefeather to about 180.
The name of the restaurant is taken from an ancient Chinese proverb that embodies the idea of thoughtful gift-giving. This is consistent with Talde’s upbringing in a Filipino household in Chicago. “I grew up eating,” he says, “surrounded by loved ones and sharing food.”
King Mansion at the Tarrytown House Estate
49 E Sunnyside Ln, Tarrytown