If you’re heading to the Windy City, you need to call and make a reservation at Girl & the Goat. Right now. By the time you finish reading this, they will probably be completely booked. And you WILL be sorry.
I made a reservation about 3 and a half months in advance for a regular Saturday night and all they had available for a party of 3 was 10PM. It’s that kind of place. However, they are known to keep tables open for those who are not obsessive planners (clearly not me), so if you can’t get that reservation, show up and wing it. It’s worth the wait. And the bar area was packed – perfect to have a couple of drinks and make some new friends while you wait for that glorious moment when you’re table is ready.
Simply put, Girl & the Goat wins on ALL levels. Here are the details:
Ambiance– The décor was the only minor miss, but feeling like I was at the hottest spot in town made up for it. With a variety of seating options, the person you meet at the bar could ask you to join them for a drink in the lounge area (if all goes well), and then to a table for a late night snack. And if they manage to snag you 1 of the 4 bar stools that overlook the kitchen – you may need to finish the night off at their place.
Service– They made up for seating us 20 minutes late with an extra entrée on the house. Situation handled perfectly. I don’t blame other diners for hanging around, most likely to order more than they initially intended. Our waiter was extremely patient and explained the entire menu thoroughly- then circled the favorites and must-try’s.
Food– If you watched Top Chef season 4, you know that winner Stephanie Izard did not disappoint and her dishes were even better in reality. The menu is divided into categories: vegetable, fish, meat, and goat — all dishes are meant to be shared. I’m not going to give you my thoughts on everything I tried because ALL were delish! I would recommend each one, but the knockouts I’ll point out for sure.
What I consumed:
Apple Cheddar Bread– one of the daily freshly baked breads.
Grilled Baby Octopus– guanciale, brussel leaves, lemon vinaigrette, Romano beans and pistachios. This was the bonus dish they brought out for us. Octopus isn’t normally a fav of mine, but this was phenomenal. They can delay me 20 minutes any time if this is my reward.
Nantucket Bay Scallops– French lentils, beach mushrooms and celery root.
Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face– egg, tamarind, cilantro, red wine maple and potato stix. Signature dish.
Confit Goat Belly– bourbon butter, lobster n’ crab and fennel. My favorite- it melted in your mouth! Think goat belly surf n’ turf. Don’t be scared by the goat, it mostly just tasted like buttery goodness.
Sautéed Green Beans– fish sauce vinaigrette and cashews.
Roasted Cauliflower– pickled pepper, pine nuts and mint.
Your traveling taste tester,
Alex & the Goat
Girl & the Goat ↔ 809 w. randolph street, Chicago, Illinois, 60607 ↔ 312-492-6262