The Goodwin is one of those cute West Village places that you find on every third block. Eater joked that it’s all of “2012’s dining trends wrapped into one new restaurant.” A few of those trends have been toned down — I didn’t spot market-price beef jerky or a “water program” — but most are as Eater described it.
The name, like so many new restaurants monikers these days, is obscure: it refers to the Goodwin family, who once operated a farm on the site, back when the Dutch still owned Manhattan. The building is a landmarked brownstone that was once a flophouse for visiting sailors.
The space is handsomely built-out in reclaimed wood, and the main dining room (called “The Grange”) looks out on a lovely outdoor garden. None of these ideas are original, but at least they’re tastefully carried out.
The Goodwin doubles as a restaurant and wine bar. The wine list isn’t long and it has no particular focus, but it’s affordable: of forty bottles, most are under $50, and about three-fourths of them are available by the glass. (The 2007 Sangiovese blend, above left, was $48 for the bottle.)
The chef is Jesse Olguin, who previously was the executive sous chef at Benoit, and prior to that, chef de cuisine at Robert at the Museum of Art & Design. His menu here is in three categories, two of which are Starters ($8–14) and Appetizers ($9–16), which at most restaurants are synonymous. Entrées are priced in a wide range, $16 (the burger) to $32 (the steak). In this neighborhood, you’d call that mid-priced. I wouldn’t mind paying a dollar or two more for a better bread service than just a plate of flatbreads (above right).
We shared “The Vegetable Experience” ($15; above), a strange appetizer that could also serve as a vegan’s entrée. It’s a bounty of smoked, roasted, pickled, steamed, salt-baked and sautéed local organic vegetables. Though well prepared, it’s too much of a good thing: we didn’t finish it.
The roasted half-chicken ($25; above left) and the pork chop ($31; above right) are typical dishes at such an establishment. Both were pretty good, but I’d give the nod to the chicken.
We reserved an early Saturday evening table the same day, but later on it was full. The crowd had a slice of every demographic. With business still brisk four months after opening, you have to figure that people in the neighborhood are coming back, as they should. I’d prefer the earlier times, before it gets loud and the server a bit harder to flag down. But I’d certainly come back if I were nearby.
The Goodwin (430 Hudson Street between Morton & Leroy Streets, West Village)
Food: Mid-priced American seasonal bistro cuisine
Wine: Not a long list, but 30 wines by the glass, and many bottles below $50
Service: Good, but less attentive as the place fills up
Ambiance: A reclaimed wood dining room backed by a lush garden
Why? Not special enough to be a destination, but nice for what it is