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It's always good at Goldie's

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One of the hallmarks of Alvar Aalto’s designs was his use of irregular curved forms comprised of laminated wood – and were the Finnish designer to find himself at Goldie's in Asbury Park, it’s quite possible that he would recognize his inspiration in the stunning serpentine bar of poplar wood that is the dining room’s centerpiece.

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Notable for its sleek design as well as for its innovative vegan cuisine, Goldie's utilizes a natural color palette heightened with streaks of gold, which evokes the sun’s radiance as well as the restaurant’s welcoming vibe. A woven basket-reed ceiling twinkles like a cirrus cloud shot through with starlight.

With a focus on seasonal ingredients sourced from local organic farmers, Goldie's is currently offering a Mexican vegan menu that features highlights such as a spicy bean soup laced with shitakes and a watermelon ceviche flecked with chile and orange, studded with pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds. A corn and pea salad, served warm, is accompanied with wild scallions and cashew cream. An entrée called Papi Chulo was a succulent tostada of fried maitakes, pickled onions, and salsa verde.

Based on the peregrinations and whims of the restaurant’s chef and partners, Goldie's menu changes three times a year in order to highlight the gustatory attributes of another global cuisine done vegan.

For dessert, a pair of cinnamon sugar buñuelos sandwiching mango sorbet makes you happy that Goldie's is still in Mexico. Tasting like something that your mother might’ve made for your summer birthday, the buñuelos evoke the best parts of a carefree childhood.

The restaurant’s signature cocktails bear monikers such as Telenovela and Bloody Maria, while weekday “Good Hour” specials (from 4 – 7 pm) include a potent orange lemongrass margarita or a strawberry-infused tequila limonada.

Brunch specialties include “Juan-y Cakes” of cornmeal and chocolate, flecked with chile powder and a Mexican toast served with berry agave syrup. And one Jackson buys “endless sangria” for two. Small wonder then that Jon Stewart found time to dine at Goldie's when he was last in Asbury Park, as did Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Opened in 2013, Goldie's is located on Cookman Avenue, with an adjoining door to its neighbor, Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room, one of Asbury Park’s most popular eateries since its opening in 2006. Both establishments are part of Smith, the design and hospitality group based in Asbury Park that also owns and operates Pascal & Sabine.

One of the many pleasures of Goldie's is to sit with a cocktail at the sinuous bar and watch the chefs in action in the open kitchen. From this vantage point, surrounded by a fashionable crowd of locals, students, weekenders, and entrepreneurs, the restaurant’s conviviality perfectly mirrors the laidback charms of Asbury Park.