Pasties — or Cornish pasties to those who know better — are not often found in New York City. To clarify, we’re referring to the British meat-filled pastry, which originated as a portable and nourishing meal for Cornwall’s tin miners and not the stickers worn for a striptease, in case you’re into that sort of thing.
They’re a lunchtime staple at White Gold Butchers on Amsterdam Avenue, the new butcher shop and eatery owned and operated by U.K. transplant and Michelin-starred chef April Bloomfield — probably most well known for West Village favorite the Spotted Pig — along with her partner Ken Friedman, as well as Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest.
Nakamura and Guest are star butchers, both of whom have worked with Bloomfield and Friedman previously. The duo is heading up the butcher side of operations, while Bloomfield handles the restaurant and kitchen, although naturally, there’ll be a little overlap.
The Upper West Side is not necessarily the place that springs to mind when you think of trendy dining spots. Sure, there are plenty of white-tablecloth establishments, and student-friendly fare abounds a little farther north around Columbia University, making White Gold a welcome addition.
White Gold gets its name from how old-school
butchers refer to fat.
Not only is all of White Gold’s butchering done on-site, it supplies the ground meat for other Bloomfield fare, such as the Salvation burger, the Breslin lamb burger, the Ace Hotel lobby bar’s burger and the Spotted Pig burger.
Undoubtedly thanks to Bloomfield’s British blood, pasties are joined on the lunch menu by sausage rolls, another pastry-wrapped meaty treat from across the pond.
Plenty of other cuisines are represented at lunchtime, too; pastrami sandwiches come filled with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing; hot dogs are topped with kimchi and mayonnaise; and the meatball sandwich comes with tomato sauce, Miticrema (a soft Spanish cheese) and ricotta salata.
Luckily, if you’re in need of a prelunch snack, breakfast comes in the form of egg sandwiches prepared a multitude of ways.
The butcher shop/all-day eatery gets its name from how old-school butchers refer to fat. They consider it “white gold” for the flavor, texture and richness it brings to the experience of eating meat. Indeed, White Gold certainly embodies the moniker.
The dinner menu, which will rotate seasonally, is categorized into snacks, small plates, meat and vegetables/sides.
Snacks include the likes of the fermented pickle plate and chicken liver mousse. Small plates deliver hipster-favorite bone broth with kabocha (a winter squash), Taleggio cheese and pumpkin seed oil, and the delectable beef carpaccio comes with button mushrooms, horseradish and turnip.
Not surprisingly, the meat category is where White Gold truly shines. Perfectly seared lamb is dished up with chimichurri and spiced yogurt (but would stand perfectly well solo); huge chunks of strip steak are served alongside anchovy and chicory; and pork is accompanied by the classic combination of apple and sage.
Lastly, the sides include crispy, layered potatoes: tasty slices of potato, fried in beef fat, that are utterly addictive. Pete Wells, in his review for the New York Times, described them as “little golden boxes made of thin rectangles of potato stacked like Post-it notes.” We’ve certainly taken note.