By January 31, 2016 Read More →

ChefView – Ralston’s Goat

Chef View: On your marks, get set, Goat!!!

By Dana Johnson

February is the month of love and my birthday month. Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable for me to celebrate all month long! This means raising my glass and my fork on numerous occasions! Lucky for us, Modesto has a new restaurant, Ralston’s Goat! The menu is highlighted by a genuine French chef! Bonjour and beinvenue to Chef Laurent Katgely! From the moment we met, I could see a twinkle in his eyes and a warm smile upon his face when we talked about our love of food. Chef Laurent comes to us from Grenovie French Alps and I do believe he’s staying! He shared with me the importance to what he does: “Just feed other people. The fun is the first thing- everything else comes later.” I concur!

Curious, Ralston’s Goat, where did that name derive from? Owners, Mike Shelton, Chelsea and Paul Bavarro must have done some stimulating brainstorming! Mike explained an interesting fact with me that at one time Modesto could’ve been named Ralston. (Editor’s note: William Chapman Ralston was an investor and banker from San Francisco who helped finance the railroad extension to Modesto. When the track was laid down, the builders suggested naming the tiny settlement Ralston, to which he replied he was not worthy of a settlement being named after him. One of his servants called him modest, and the city became know as Modesto, which is Spanish for Modest.)
So that made sense, but I don’t see any goats running around Modesto! Mike said “Nobody has Modesto’s goat!” Aaaah the connection was made and Ralston’s Goat came to life!
(Editor’s Note: There was a contest in 1912 for Modesto’s slogan so it could be put on our famous arch. The winner was to be paid $3! Back then that was a nice night out! There was a tie between “Nobody has Modesto’s Goat” and “Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health”.  Anyone who has seen our arch knows who the ultimate winner was, but that is where the goat comes from.)

I’ve enjoyed 2 visits to Ralston’s Goat. The first one was with Modesto View’s Rockabilly writer, Jennifer Allsup. She was already a huge fan of the menu and the folks directly involved with opening this welcome establishment to downtown Modesto. I can’t seem to get enough of her fabulous company! We started with the delightful bartender, Darlan Kamerdula! She introduced us to her specialty cocktails including her margarita, her version of an old fashioned, and an aperitivo, Aperol spritz (Aperol is based on a selection of herbs & roots) which is a most popular happy hour cocktail in Italy. I also brought a bottle of wine in to share and welcome the new business. Lots of reasons to cheers!

What a tasty thrill when the food parade started to come to our table! The squash soup was smooth and nicely flavored. The beet salad had genuine eye appeal and each bite matched the appeal. Skeptical about my first time trying chicken and waffles, I found the waffle prepared golden good! And the fried chicken moist and tasty, but together it must be an acquired taste that Jen has because she loved it! Separate them & I’ll devour them both! Then came the no-noodle lasagna. Again, unsure how my taste buds would react, but OMG so Dana-licious, I would order this every time! Jen & I didn’t fight over it, but we could’ve! Jen kept telling me about a divine burger she had there the week before with a truffle emulsion, so we ordered that, too! I was stuffed by then but I can say the truffle emulsion should go on dang near everything! Ralston’s Goat also has daily specials like the Hunter’s plate of elk and pheasant! On the dessert menu you will be pleasantly surprised to find a chocolate pot de crème or perhaps you’d order the Asian pear crisp with mascarpone cheese.

If all that wasn’t enough, they have a traditional coffee bar with offerings such as Ethiopa Danch Meng, Brazil Santa Ines, and Guatemala Los Corillos coffees. Barista, Kody Moret shared they are trying to highlight the coffee opposed to adding extra artificial flavors, tres bon!

During the week in the morning you can enjoy coffee and pastries. On Saturday & Sunday, Chef Laurent has an original menu including Pavesa soup, chicken broth, poached egg, corn, tomato, cilantro, & toast! Yukon potato & bell pepper frittata and much more! Mmmmm can’t wait!

Modesto View signature question: Beatles or Stones? Mike Shelton, “Stones!” Like I didn’t already know that!

Ralston’s Goat

1001 10th Street

Modesto, CA




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