Chicago >Girl and the Goat
Everything is beyond delicious. One of the best meals of my life. What ever you do, don't skip the bread.
A new classic, Girl and the Goat has lots of meat dishes (as expected), but it's the vegetable dishes, like the green beans, that shine.
Top Chef Stephanie Izard has the hottest restaurant in town. Full Stop. There's no other way to say it. Make your reservations months in advance or head across the street to LIttle Goat, her other restaurant on Randolph.
Top Chef Stephanie Izard is on her game at her perpetually packed West Looper. Think you can't stomach pig face? You clearly haven't tried it here! Let your server guide your meal--they won't steer you wrong.
Love the cocktails (sazeracs and plain old martinis especially), cauliflower, goat pizza, homemade bread and butter. I don't love the crowds - so I come extra early, extra late, on random days, or I hover and grab seats at the bar. And then don't leave.
Amazing!!! And No Waiting Time for Us!.
We tried making reservations here before arriving in Chicago but they were totally booked. I was determined to try the restaurant, being such a fan of Top Chef, so my husband and I tried our luck at getting in on a Saturday night at 9pm...the hostess was extremely pleasant and although they had no cancellations, she suggested that we have a drink at the bar, where we could also order food and if a table came up, they'd notify us.
We posted up at the bar, which has an amazing cocktail selection and a very smart wine list and we ordered some appetizers. The bar scene was really fun and the bartenders were great....just after about 30 minutes, the hostess offered us a table at one their communal tables along the back of the restaurant...usually, I'm not a fan of communal tables but it was nearby to the gorgeous open kitchen so I was very pleased. We ordered nearly everything just to try it, it was THAT good. The following day, we met with some friends who live in the area and they were astonished that we managed to get in...so our suggestion would be to definitely try out the menu from the bar, and even if a table doesn't open up, you'll still have a phenomenal meal...the shellfish was amazing, as were all of their meat dishes and my favorite..the shisito pepper appetizer. The space is really pretty, great music and all of our servers were fantastic. Can't wait to go back!
You're worth the wait...but for how long?.
Eating here is a lot like going to the doctor. Wait 3 weeks for a time slot, phone-sign 2 affidavit confirmations, arrive early or the space is going standby and you still won't eat before waiting 40 minutes. I'm too old and cranky to play this game but since play this night I must, I took my zen-pills and so should you.
Summed up in a single phrase: it was worth it. When you go in expecting to wait on-site for your 3-week-old 7:15 PM Thursday night reservation, you don't really start getting irritated until the hour-mark so unless they completely bungle something you'll be seated in about 45 minutes. Just don't go with people with whom you don't have 45 minutes worth of bar-conversation otherwise you might run out of stuff before dinner. One purgatory couple seemed particularly devoid of topics and was not enjoying the wait at all. Maybe they were saving it for dinner.
Anyway, one more comment before the food: when your demand so greatly exceeds your supply and you don't want to raise prices, you need to manage expectations. A table "paying" for an hour is not acceptable and a sign of gross mismanagement. When there are 5 parties booked on a given table for the night, you take the sum of reserved minutes, divide by the number of parties and the quotient is the available minutes per party. You inform everyone of their limit BEFORE they sit and this way, no surprise will overtake anyone as they're being rushed out. If you screw up and make an overlapping reservation you get the party you need vacated a bottle of champagne - AT THE BAR. They'll high-tail it out real quick. If you have ever eaten at Katana in West Hollywood you would know that this style of management can be institutionalized. You have the table until 8 you'd hear before you're seated and it didn't matter who you were in town. You would get a 20-minute warning, then a 10 and then your check and a cleared table. Most got the "hint" but there was no shortage of big boys in black suits around just in case.
On to the meal. What do you expect? It was excellent. The portions were good for sharing amongst 4. The prices were mostly good with 1 or 2 exceptions. The Goat pizza was amazing as were the mussels and the scallops. I LOVED the fat bread even though it cost $4. It didn't last long. My favorite dish that evening was the Hiramasa Crudo which is a crispy pork belly with yellowtail. Who woulda thunk? But you would be errant in not trying it yourself. I was a little disappointed in the pig face not actually being a pig face with which to gross out our party's squeamish. Sadly, there were no eyes into which we could stare deeply but just 2 pieces of pig's jowls. I guess if you wanted make a point of French-kissing your dinner you need to order tongue. Oh well. It was still delicious.
Our service was good and attentive. We were "comped" a beet dish but a stickler member of our party asked if a comp is really a comp if you never ordered it in the first place. Mostly out of anger that I wasn't the clever devil to make this precious insight, I grumbled that the group's macro increase in happiness after X than before it made microeconomic terminology irrelevant. Luckily for us, no amount of macro happiness could take away from the micro prices of most dishes. Even charging $15 for a glass of Pinot came out in the value wash. Go here with some other people with whom you don't mind waiting around a while. If I can take the wait, you can too.
Top Chef. My wife is a big fan of Top Chef and has been wanting to come here for awhile. We were finally able to get in this past week and had a fantastic dining experience. We were seated right away and the staff was very friendly. If we had any questions about anything our server was very knowledgeable about the food and wine. The food was fantastic. I really enjoyed the grilled beef short ribs, they were delicious. We will definitely be returning.
Great place for a group!.
My fiance and I moved to Chicago about a month ago. He's a cook and I want to get into baking and cake decorating. Needless to say, we're into eating. He has a bit of a crush on Stephanie Izard. His family came into town and we happened to see her do a demo at the Green City Market, which led to our going to Girl and the Goat.
It's not cheap, but it's worth every penny. Our group of five sampled 18 different dishes. Yes. 18.
We finished 16 of them at the restaurant and my fiance had the leftovers of the other 2 the next day for lunch.
Ask for suggestions and trust your server. I only ordered two dishes. Everyone else had 3-4, plus dessert. Note that the design of this restaurant is for everyone to share their food. If I had ordered a heartier second dish (I had the hiramasa crudo, which was delicious. it was raw fish, though, so it was not very filling.) and not shared, two dishes would have been plenty.
Portions are very generous for a small plate style restaurant.
Stephanie was super sweet. She remembered us from the market and had our server invite us to speak with her--- yes, she actually works in her kitchen! She even invited my fiance to work with her on one of his days off from regular work.
Eat here ASAP.
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