We finally made it over to Goodlife (downtown) after hearing that Michael Scelfo is now in the kitchen. I've been a fan ever since one of the Hounds - Dax - put Dedo on my radar when he was cooking over there, and have since been able to enjoy his cooking at Umbria for a time, and then at his most recent stint at North Street Grille. Niblet's recent rave finally convinced me not to wait any longer.
I hadn't been to Goodlife in a long time, not since it's wood-panelling decor days, so it was a surprise to see such a nice redo. Three of us, E and I, and Niblet too, ate upstairs in the window-lined dining room with its centerpiece piano covered in flickering votives. I started with the mac and cheese with hens of the woods mushrooms, topped with foie gras, and served in an individual casserole dish. As have been all of his versions of mac and cheese I've tried, it was delicious. E enjoyed his plump, crispy fried oysters with Old Bay tartar sauce and celery root salad, and our friendly 'Hound shared her tuna tartare. I was happy to see he's brought over his addictive prep from NSG with sesame aioli, served over crisp seaweed salad and topped with homemade potato chips. For his entree, E had the steak frites with thin, rosemary-dusted skin-on fries and creamed spinach. For me, it was the smoked cheddar, apple, and caramelized onion pizza. Once again, the hallmarks of Scelfo's cooking - generous portions at reasonable prices (we took half our entrees home), and creative spins on classics. I'm glad this spot is convenient for us - the whole menu appeals to me and it was hard to decide. The special of the night was a blue crab pizza, which I almost ordered. Other dishes to order for next time might be his version of a "Cubano" with avocado and carnitas, the carbonara with Kurobuta bacon, the duck confit Reuben, the cider-braised bacon with onion rings, the...
We also had a nightcap (or three) downstairs in the vodka lounge (Afterlife) which I think Gini had mentioned in a previous thread. Excellent selection with 150+. I started with the Charbay green tea vodka, but then decided to switch to a new one for me. The friendly bartender Lauren suggested one of her favorites, Zyr, which is now one of my favorites - exceptionally smooth, it's a Russian vodka distilled from wheat and rye. It was a nice way to end a great dinner, and the Goodlife is a comfortable, casual spot serving great food where we'll be spending more time.
Goodlife dinner menu: