Can I just tell you how long I've been waiting to go to Girl & the Goat? I made reservations on October 10, 2011 and we didn't actually get to go until February 20, 2011. That's 133 days or 4 months and 10 days if anyone is counting. So the story goes that you need to make reservations about two months in advance if you want to eat at a reasonable time and we ended up having to cancel our December reservation because we were stuck in a snow storm. Just my luck I tell you! I promptly made new reservations for two months later and told my friends I would disown them if them didn't show up. Thankfully they all showed up and the weather was much more forgiving this time. :)
The restaurant is right on Randolph, known as Restaurant Row. Inside, it has an industrial, loft feel to it, but yet feels really cozy and inviting at the same time. It might have to do with the fun, colorful artwork on the walls and lounge chairs at the front where you could also nibble on some food. When we walked in, we saw Stephanie talking to a group of dinners. It's always a good sign to see the boss working that night. .
We got seated and were greeted with these cute table settings. You can see goat motifs all throughout the restaurant. Super cute!
The menu is broken down into four components: bread, vegetables, fish and meat. We ordered a bunch of dishes from each column. We didn't want to fill up on the bread, so we only ordered one to share.
This was the Miso Hungry Bread with Miso Parmesan Butter and Maple Oil. Inside was soft and chewy with a great, Parmesan crust. The miso butter rocked, I wish I could have saved it before they took it away and put it on everything I ate that night.
This was the goat, pork and veal sugo with pappardelle pasta, rosemary and cape goose berries. It was one of the first dishes to arrive and I have to say, set the tone pretty high for me. It was one of my favorite dishes that night. I am in love of anything braised and slow cooked, and even though I'm not a huge fan of goat, I didn't even notice it, all I noticed was that it tasted heavenly.
We also tried the seared scallops, which was highly recommended from our waitress. It was cooked with brown butter, goat sausage, white shrimp, shiitakes and winter squash. Would have never guessed to put goat sausage and scallops together, but it worked.
Another highly recommended dish, the sauteed green beans with fish sauce vinaigrette. So good!
It wouldn't be a proper meal for Aleen without some chicken right? So we also got walter's chicken, which came with yuzu harissa, fried pickles, shaved brussels and grilled naan. The chicken was tasty but not that interesting.
Given how meat and fish heavy our selections were, we tried a vegetarian dish the kabocha squash ravioli with mushroom raisin ragout, brussels leaves and shroom creme fraiche. This was probably my least favorite of the night. I usually like flavor contrasts, but this was a bit of sweet, salty, vinegary and creamy all at the same time and just didn't do it for me. There were too many ingredients trying to compete for your attention.
Why I took a close up of my least favorite dish, I don't know. Just so that you'll agree with me. :)
Sorry for the blurry picture but this was the lamb sausage stuffed calamari with sweet garlic, sweetbread crisp and currants. Gook loved this dish but to me it tasted like stuffed calamari I've had in Thai restaurants so I wasn't that impressed by it.
Another vegetarian dish the sweet potato gratin with rogue river smokey blue and crispy onions.
It's hard to see from the picture, but it was a sweet potato gratin with crispy onions on top. Not as flavorful as some of her other dishes, but it was alright.
Everyone that comes here tells me to get the pig face. I literally was expecting an actual pig face, but apparently it's a patty of meat derived from a pig's face like the cheek and what not. It's pretty tiny and although it comes topped with my all time favorite, the sunny side egg, it was slightly disappointing. Susan pointed out that it tasted like spam and I have to agree with her, it did. It was totally not what I was expecting. It just tasted a bit processed to me. Trust me, I am a lover of spam so don't get me wrong, just disappointed by the hype I guess.
For dessert, we shared two things. The sesame semifreddo with pork fat donuts and sambal pineapple. Pork fat donuts, enough said.
Trying to compensate for the pork fat donuts, we opted for the a jar of bourbon apples with cranberry, miso, marcona almond and maple fat gelato, which was equally delicious.
We waited four months, came, ate and conquered. I loved close to all of her dishes that we had, but there were some hit and misses, as to be expected anywhere. I love that you can order a bunch of small plates and sample them with a group of friends. The vibe and energy of the restaurant is great and I definitely hope to be back to sample all the other dishes we didn't get to fit in our bellies.
Stephanie Izzard was recently named Food & Wine's Chef of the Year so clearly I'm not the only one that's in love with the Girl & the Goat. Congrats!
Girl & the Goat
809 W Randolph St(between Halsted St & Green St)
Chicago, IL 60607