I talked to chef Roderick Bailey the other day, and he told me they're finishing up the construction, which almost doubled the size of the eatery from about 800 square feet to just shy of 1,600. "It feels bigger than twice the space, actually," Bailey says. Whatever the actual numbers, there's now room for 44 seats (as opposed to 20 before), which includes a 10-foot community table and a bar handmade from 87-year-old walnut.
The tiny cooking area that served diners before has been replaced. "I have somewhat of a proper kitchen now," Bailey says, "a a convection oven, a fixed burner range — we're still going to use the George Foremans and a panini press, but we'll able to offer a little more stuff, especially dinner-wise." Speaking of dinner, that's the biggest change to the menu.
"The format of the regular menu is totally the same," Bailey says. "I changed every salad and every dessert, but most of that is seasonal changes I would have made anyway." The new part is a menu insert that comes out at 5 p.m. and is available until closing — now an hour later (10 p.m.) on Friday and Saturday — that includes new offerings like seared ahi tuna (with roasted cashews, mango, chimichurri, sesame-chili aioli and herb salad), dry-rubbed pork ribs with local melons and fennel slaw,
roasted mahi mahi (with sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, quinoa and chive oil) and a citrus-and-Greek-yogurt-marinated chicken (with red lentils, spring onions and spicy tamarind sauce).
These new, more substantial plates, might be the shape of dinners to come, too: "I think over time, we might evolve into a little more of a menu for dinner," Bailey says.
Another development in the works: wine. The Silly Goose is "in the process of getting a wine-only license," Bailey says, and they might begin offering a wine list as early as July.
"We've tasted all the big distributors, some of the little boutique guys," he says, but "even if we had our license, we're not there yet — we're not going to have wine just to have wine." He says they're hunting for good stuff in the "$5 to $8 a glass range, maybe a couple things on the $10 or $11 a glass range." And if they can't find "10 to 12 we think are really great and unique," he says, "we might have four."
In the meantime, you can still bring your own — they have no plans to discontinue BYOB even after they start serving wine, though Bailey says he's "on the fence" about what the corkage fee will be. Even with the doubling of size and the expansion of the menu, expect The Silly Goose to be essentially the same: "The biggest thing was to keep the feel," Bailey says. "We felt confident that we could stay who we are and not get too big." And while the restaurant is still a modest size, it has — thanks to fresh, delicious, thoughtfully assembled food with a focus on local ingredients‚ done pretty well for itself.
"I have 12 employees now," Bailey says. "I had two when I started — that's kind of wild."