After several years of hiatus, a community favorite for upscale pizza has returned to Holly Street in Downtown Bellingham. Goat Mountain Pizza, which previously closed in 2019 to make room for the then-expanding Black Sheep, has opened again in the space left behind by Bar 542.
Photo by Jessica Bylin
This smaller location is exactly what they needed to reopen Goat Mountain, according to General Manager Chris Rapp.
“This space lends itself to doing pizza,” he says, comparing it to the large open space of Black Sheep’s location next door. “Trying to do this pizza for hundreds of people in a couple hours is really difficult.”
Goat Mountain is flanked on either side by cousin restaurants Black Sheep and Lorikeet Bar. All three have the same owners, which creates a sense of community between them.
“We all work with each other and move around to the other bars,” says Rapp. “You see your other co-workers throughout the day, it’s fun.”
Each location focuses on a different spirit, and for Goat Mountain, that spirit is gin. I ordered an intriguing cocktail, the Mushroom Old Fashioned ($10), made with Warfield barrel-rested gin and house-made shiitake mushroom syrup. Rapp, who tended bar at Black Sheep before managing Goat Mountain, was an integral part of creating the gin and shrub drink selection.
Photo by Beau Bodner
“Gin is a lot different than most spirits in how you taste it … you’re trying to figure out exactly what was put into that gin and what it was distilled with,” he says. He notes that it pairs well with their pizza due to the abundance of botanicals found in gin, and how it can play off their ingredients.
Goat Mountain allowed me to taste all four of their pizzas, which was a total flavor journey. The first pizza I tried was the Pepperoni & Sausage ($11 for half/$21 for full), an extremely tasty version of the classic. The pepperonis were large and the edges crisped to perfection, and the sausage was sweet and spicy. With the red sauce, mozzarella, and finely shredded parmesan, it’s a combination that can’t be beat.
Photo by Beau Bodner
Next I tried the Potato & Bacon ($9/$17). The sliced Yukon gold potatoes were essentially scalloped in the shiitake-thyme cream sauce and white cheddar cheese, with applewood smoked bacon cooked down into it for a mouthwatering savory, creamy dish. Rapp pointed out that my Mushroom Old Fashioned, which was sweet, refreshing, and had a deliciously earthy mushroom flavor, was designed to complement the shiitake cream sauce in this pie.
Then came the Roasted Mushroom ($11/$21), which was truly a pizza like I had never tried before. They are not skimping on the namesake—oyster mushrooms tossed in herbs and sherry vinegar are plentiful in each mouthful, as is truffled garlic confit (which is aromatic and full without being overwhelming). Fontina cheese is sharp and stands up to the rich umami flavors, and chives ensure an herbal element for pairing with gin.
My favorite pizza was the Caramelized Onion ($9/$17). Stilton blue cheese, a creamy English blue with a distinctive funky flavor, makes every bite melty and gooey. Golden caramelized onions burst with sweet and savory flavor, and roasted walnuts add needed crunch. Topping the whole thing off is a generous layer of fresh, crisp arugula. The peppery bite of this green is a great contrast to the other heady flavors.
Even if you’re not huge on pizza, there’s the large Goat Mountain Salad ($13), and two exciting veggie plates, the Oven Roasted Broccolini ($13), and the Gochujang Carrots ($11). Altogether, Chef Matthew Brady cross-utilizes ingredients for a menu of unique dishes that pair wonderfully. 215 W. Holly St., Ste. 103, Bellingham, 360.306.8491, @goatmountainbham