Girl & the Goat, the culinary brainchild of Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard, has been Chicago’s IT restaurant since it opened 3 years ago. The restaurant is one of the toughest to get a reservation and is fully booked months in advance.
Since this was a spur of a moment trip, I didn’t even try reserving. The concierge suggested that I try for a walk-in table at 4:30pm on a weekday.. and maybe I’ll get a table within an hour. So that was my plan……. until… my fingers got itchy and decided to see if there were any cancellations on Opentable. AND THERE WAS! 7:15pm for 4 people on the next day (our last night in Chicago). Seriously.. this was just MEANT TO BE! The next availability was 7 weeks later for a 9:30 pm slot.
So we headed to West Loop again.. It’s like 2 blocks away from The Publican on West Randolph.. which is THE restaurant street. Located across the street is Little Goat Diner, which Stephanie Izard opened late last year.
The restaurant, lounge and bar were dimly lit and loud.. and totally emitted the IT vibe. Instead of sitting at the long communal tables rubbing limbs with the adjacent diner and shouting to get heard, we had our own 4 person table by the windows. This is yet another sign to prove that that reservation was meant for me!
The Girl and the Goat.. cartoonized..
Cool thing about the menu is, it’s split into 3 sections: vegetable, fish and meat. It’s a small plate sharing concept.. so we decide to get 3 dishes per category.
roasted beets (green beans . white anchovy . avocado creme fraiche . bread crumb).….the beets tasted really sweet.. couldn’t taste the avocado though…
ham frites (smoke tomato aioli, cheddar beer sauce)…love this! .next time I fry frozen-fries at home, I’m gonna add bacon bits…
chickpea fritters (caponata . mozzarella . tomatillo aioli)….interesting.. the chickpeas are mashed and fried.. the texture reminded me of fried tofu…
grilled baby octopus (guanciale . favas . radish pods . pistachios . lemon vinaigrette)….it tasted like Asian-style cooking..
wood oven roasted pig face (sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, red wine-maple, potato stix)…… one of the famous dishes… no, it’s not the entire face roasted… the name is misleading.. but just some meat from the face.. the meat was tender.. and the crispy potato sticks gives it an interesting texture…
pan fried shishito peppers (parmesan . sesame . miso)… another famous dish.. some peppers were spicy! couldn’t really taste the sesame/miso…
escargot ravioli (bacon . tamarind-miso sauce)…. another famous dish.. but the flavour of this dish isn’t strong enough… first time having escargot wrapped in pasta!
sauteed green beans (fish sauce vinaigrette . cashews)… another dish that tasted Asian…
crisp braised pork shank (nectarine kimchee, buttermilk dressing, naan)… the meat could be more tender… I don’t eat kimchee.. but this was an exception… loved the fruitiness!
As you can see from the description of each dish, the food here has a very strong Asian inspiration…which probably is why the food is good. However, I don’t think it’s worth the 5 months advance reservations…..
FAIM? OUI OUI!!!
Girl & the Goat
809 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607, United States