Tail Up Goat
Complimentary Daily Shrub
Einkorn Sourdough – Chicken Liver Mousse, Tallow Carrots, Cipollini, Oyster Mushroom
Kabocha Bread – Feta, Crispy Farro, Oat Crumble, Kabocha Agrodolce
Crispy Salt Cod – Smoked Cauliflower, Pickled Red Onion
Tagliatelle – Pork Ragu, Calabrian Chiles, Ricotta Salata, Black Pepper Breadcrumbs
Garlic Knots – Fonduta, Parsley
Lamb Ribs – Sumac Onions in Black Lime Yogurt, Beets, Hazelnut Dukkah, Mustard Seeds
Date Cake – Burnt Strawberry Jam, Candied Hazelnut, Mascrarpone
Located in the bustling Adams Morgan community, an area that has been hot for years in terms of its nightlife but only recently as a DMV dining destination, Tail Up Goat opened in February 2016 to great initial reviews and has yet to slow down, an 8pm reservation with two local friends on a Saturday night finding the dining room absolutely packed and bar standing two-deep as the streets teamed with young adults dressed to impress for an early Halloween.
Owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Jon Sybert and Jill Tyler along with Bill Jensen, the three having previously worked together at Johnny Monis’ celebrated Komi before deciding to take a chance to do their own thing, Tail Up Goat is described as a “comfortable neighborhood spot” featuring “soulful and sophisticated” cuisine and although the intent may originally have been as such there is little doubt the restaurant has now become something bigger as tables on either side sported diners from out of town, one group from Boston and another overheard as visiting from Austria.
Taking a unique approach to small plates by focusing each days menu around fifteen choices, five sections of three items each including bites, appetizers, breads, pastas and dishes intended for two or more, guests entering Tail Up Goat are quickly greeted at a hostess podium directly in front of the bar area before being led around the edge and past the pass to a tightly spaced dining room where wooden tables and gentle lighting compliment a glow from the kitchen, the service pleasant and efficient despite rehearsed conversations about “everything is great” and “Chefs recommend 2-3 plates per person.”
Delaying the order by several minutes thanks to conversation, nearly five years of catching up beginning quickly and continuing throughout the meal, it was finally after a third prompting and a tasty housemade Shrub that the decision was made to order six savories divided into three courses, the opening round of two Breads finding Wild Wheat topped with slightly metallic tasting Chicken Liver plus Carrots and Onions while the Squash Quick Bread fared far better beneath creamy Feta juxtaposing toasted Farro and Oats plus sweet and sour roasted Kabocha.
Never one to pass up Baccala, the version at Tail Up Goat one of the restaurant’s few consistent features, suffice it to say that the creamy orbs of Salt Cod are undoubtedly worth the $2 each alongside pickled onions and Cauliflower Cream, the flavors all marrying effortlessly into something greater than the sum of their parts with a similar compliment due for the Tagliatelle placing tender ribbons of Pasta beneath spicy Pork Ragu, crumbled Ricotta and crunchy Black Pepper Breadcrumbs.
Pleasantly surprised by the laminated Garlic Knots with Cheese Fondue but unfortunately let down by the signature $55 Lamb Ribs for two, a big plate of fatty Meat cooked fork-tender but largely overwhelmed by far too many Mustard Seeds and an astringent sourness from the combination of Sumac , Lime and Yogurt it was with just one of three Desserts that dinner came to a finish, the Date Cake moist and dense but not too sweet with a subtle balance of condiments including stiff Mascarpone, candied Hazelnuts and Burnt Strawberry Jam.