We’ve had our eye on Dale Talde for quite a while now. When the Chopped, Top Chef, Beat Bobby Flay and Iron Chef America mainstay signed on as chef-owner at Goosefeather at the Tarrytown House Estate, we were delighted. When he introduced a menu of modern Cantonese that spun our understanding of Chinese food on its head, we happily shoveled his famous crab fried rice in our mouths. Now, just a couple years later, Chef Talde is one of the most popular chefs in the county.
“Unlike the other seven styles of Chinese food that most Americans are familiar with, [authentic] Cantonese fare emphasizes fresh, seasonal ingredients, and the food at Goosefeather is no different,” Talde told us when the Westchester location opened. We were drooling at our tables when he introduced a brunch menu but, shortly after, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all dine-in service.
After a winter of outdoor dining experiences, Talde’s Goosefeather is back open, and we knew we had to sit down with the famed chef to see what’s in store for the only New York restaurant outside of NYC to be named one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America.
Well, some of the obvious, like the staffing issues everyone is going through. We’re opening at a weird time when people are going on vacation and not many people are around; the Delta variant; the next COVID variant that may come around; supply chain demand…the list goes on and on. Everyone’s going through it; we just got to learn to work around it.
Yeah, we have a front lawn we were going to get going this summer, but because of the obvious shutdown, we never got it fully moving, so we’ll be working on that. In the fall we’re going to be hosting wine tastings, beer tastings, bourbon tastings — we want to be just as engaged as we were last season. We have a lot of events that have been delayed for the past two years, so we’re focusing on that right now and getting our staff level back at where it needs to be, and we’ll see what happens from there.
We’re looking beyond the fall. We just opened and are trying to get our feet on the ground again, so obviously we want to get some events in there but we’re really focusing on when people will be inside and needing things to do: December, January, and February. We do a great Thanksgiving Day prix-fixe menu. We’ll do a morning event on Halloween for the kids, hopefully. If the weather is nice, we’ll be outside, but the event will include games, costumes, prizes, and best costume awards. In January we’ll do a Talde [Chef Dale’s former Park Slope eatery] pop-up where we’ll do OG menu items from Talde and make it a whole buyout inside the restaurant.
We’re doing a red cooked kabocha squash. It’s seasonal, it’s appropriate for when this event is, it’s delicious, it’s almost vegan. If you’ve looked at our menu recently there’s a ton of vegetables on the menu, and that’s the direction we want to go with some of the food. We want to keep it as “feel good” as possible and food for your mind, body, and soul — not to say we’re going to be completely vegan, but now’s the time to be hitting it hard.
We’re seating people at the bar now and hopefully will be getting the restaurant working at full pace inside as soon as the weather turns. We’ll utilize the fire pits 100 percent this year, but we don’t plan on putting tents outside like we did last year. We want to try and keep everything inside because it was just so hard on our staff to go from being inside to outside in 30-degree weather — regardless if the heaters are on, it’s cold.
There will be fun stuff coming up. On the weekends you might see one of us pushing a cold dim sum cart around and have a complete raw bar on it — crab legs, cocktail shrimp, stuff like that. Definitely in the style of Goosefeather, but our way of doing it.