The Fainting Goat: We liked some & wanted more of others

It’s becoming damn near impossible to keep track of all the restaurants in DC, much less those on the 14th Street/U Street corridor. The Fainting Goat opened their doors this year and we can expect to see them around for a while.

Located off U Street with a whimsical upside-down blue goat as their logo, this dimly lit and warm environment provides a limited menu packed with some serious flavor.

While we had a bit of a wait, and didn’t sample much, we were certainly satisfied with what we did have.

To start, a special of the evening was brought out. Clams with chorizo and scallions in a warm and flavorful broth perfect for dipping were presented. The clams were perfectly cooked, tender, and tasted of the ocean. The sausage added an earthy and salty contrast and bread was quickly used to collect any remaining broth. Great for those colder DC nights.

While I was sad to see only two goat dishes on a place called The Fainting Goat, the one that peaked my interest was Goat Tartare and was ordered. I always appreciate an attempt at good plating, however you could put perfectly fried chicken in a bucket and if the food is good, the food is good. Sadly, what this goat tartare lacked in quantity of portion it also lacked in flavor and presentation.

Traditional tartare is typically served as a mound, if you will, with a raw quail or hen egg on top. Their version was placed atop creme fraiche, then topped with salsa verde, and hidden under thinly sliced and toasted baguettes. I found the actual tartare good, not great, and though forcing the mixture with creme fraiche didn’t add anything. I would suggest a larger portion with mustard and capers, and perhaps the creme fraiche mixed in if the attempt was to mask a preconceived notion that goat is strong or gamey. However, I found the actual meat pleasant and felt it did not need the veil.

Always a fan of large charcuterie boards as they allow for a large sampling and are great for picking at during conversation and drinking wine. The board options at The Fainting Goat are great. We loved everything on our board.

Several cheeses including a Burrata, a blue, and a creamy cow’s milk were ordered, their house-made pickles and a side of sweet jam or chutney were a great compliment to the strong cheese and salty meat options.

Lardo, thinly sliced fat (always a favorite) melted in the mouth. A house made headcheese, and two other meats were ordered which were all delicious.

We loved the atmosphere and the vibe at The Fainting Goat, and will certainly be back for wine and another great board before heading out on U Street, and you should as well!

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