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White Gold Butchers

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

375 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 40.782237 -73.978631
at W. 78th St.  See Map
212-362-8731 Send to Phone

  • Cuisine: American Nouveau, American Traditional, Gastropub, Hot Dogs, Soup & Sandwich
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating: ****

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating:

    6 out of 10

      |  

    3 Reviews | Write a Review

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Official Website

whitegoldbutchers.com

Hours

Mon-Thurs, 10am-11pm; Fri, 10am-midnight; Sat, 8am-midnight; Sun, 8am-11pm

Nearby Subway Stops

1 at 79th St.; B, C at 81st St.-Museum of Natural History

Prices

$20-$29

Payment Methods

American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch - Daily
  • Hot Spot
  • Kid-Friendly
  • Lunch
  • Notable Chef
  • Reservations Not Required

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Not Accepted

Profile

If you are even a halfway ambitious chef these days, it’s not enough to cook food and sell it. You must mill your own flour, grow your own herbs, churn your own butter, apply your own tattoos (well, maybe not that), and butcher your own meat. April Bloomfield is a very ambitious chef, with six restaurants on two coasts; a farm in Cornwall, England; and a butcher shop on the Upper West Side. Given her restaurants’ prodigious burger output (an estimated 75,000 per year at the Spotted Pig alone), you will understand why she and her business partner Ken Friedman wanted to control the sourcing and production of her meat supply. So she employed in-house butchers Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest to break down animals and grind burger meat at the Breslin and Salvation Burger, respectively, until they all got the idea and the location to give the women and their handiwork a home of their own a place that would function not only as a purveyor of sustainably raised, nose-to-tail beef, pork, and poultry but also as a slyly delicious neighborhood restaurant in disguise.

White Gold isn’t shy about announcing its mission statement. There’s a retail case filled to the brim with all manner of rib eyes, short ribs, lamb shanks, rosy-pink strip steaks, and beef marrow bones. The air is perfumed with the heady scent of bone broth infused with winter spices. Chickens twirl on rotisseries, fresh-from-the-oven porchettas rest on open-kitchen counters, meat pies and sausage rolls beckon from warming cases. Even the wallpaper in the bathroom is meat-themed. Taken as a whole, the effect on the devout carnivore is overwhelming, like how it would be for a grizzly bear to wake suddenly from its winter nap not in an empty cave but behind the smoked-salmon counter at Zabar’s.

If there’s a flaw in this business model, it’s Bloomfield herself. With a kitchen whiz like that behind the enterprise, why buy ingredients you have to lug home and cook yourself when you can let her crew feed you virtually any time of day? White Gold serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with the common theme, of course, being meat house-cured, smoked, ground, grilled, and confited. Morning is for egg sandwiches (with housemade bacon, ham, or sausage); lunch expands on the theme. If you have the time, opt for a hot sandwich rather than one of the ready-mades: meatballs enriched with pork fat and drizzled with a cheesy sauce; a snappy hot dog tucked into a butter-griddled lobster-roll bun and dressed with mayo and kimchee; or a chopped cheese, which here approximates a super-crumbly cheeseburger infiltrated by pickles and chiles. The potato pasty would ruin even Yonah Schimmel for knishes. And there’s always a nourishing soup and a bright, herby salad for those who strive for balance in their diet. With its tufted black leather banquette, high-top and wall-ledge seating, and a smattering of groceries, the space feels like a cross between a lounge, a luncheonette, and a general store.

At 5:30, though, a switch flicks and the shop becomes a bona fide restaurant, a Spotted Pig for stroller moms and Upper West Siders of a certain age. Instead of a bar and a late-night scene, there are prospective diners sipping mugs of mulled wine along the butcher counter. The offbeat setting is part of the charm. That and the classic Bloomfield gastropubby menu, as executed by chef de cuisine Robert Flaherty. Because of the context, certain items seem compulsory: We went for a plate of aggressively seasoned porchetta topped with a crackling so big we ate it with our hands like a piece of toast, and a juicy New York strip, its beefy flavor enhanced by anchovy vinaigrette. This being a Bloomfield joint, though, just as much flavor is crammed into an unassuming slice of sourdough, oiled and grilled and topped with horseradish-laced kefir cream and mushrooms. And the surprise signature dish may very well be Flaherty’s riff on pommes Anna: three mini Rubik’s Cubes of potato sliced into 25 micro-layers (yes, we took a cube home and put it under the microscope), then twice-cooked in beef fat. At White Gold, you see, it’s all about the meat and the fat, even when it’s a potato.

Ideal Meal

Sourdough toast with mushrooms, strip steak with chicories, beef-fat potatoes, éclair.

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The Underground Gourmet Review (02/20/17)
Featured in
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