When it comes to food I have always been willing to try new things; I love a good meal. I am not one to plan trips around food, but every trip I take consists of some of the better restaurants in town. I also don’t tend to spend too much money, but that is mainly because I’m cheap not because of the quality of food I enjoy. While in Chicago one night for dinner my fiancé Hank, our friend Sam (who joined us on the trip) and I went to eat at a restaurant we had heard nothing but good things about – Girl & the Goat.
To say it did not disappoint is a great understatement. I mean, this place has 4.5/5 starts on Yelp with over 6,000 reviews! The owner and head chef, Stephanie Izard, is a Top Chef winner and Iron Chef champion. it is clear she more than deserves every award and title that has come her way. From the moment we got there we had incredible service. Our waiter shared his recommendations and gave us time to gaze over the interesting menu choices. We were all a little daring and wanted to try some of the recommended dishes. They are smaller plates so we got seven to split, plus dessert and drinks. They were served one at a time so we could enjoy each before moving on. Here they are in order from first to last.
This felt like the kind of place that you get drinks, so naturally we did. I like my drinks to taste like fruit, not like alcohol so the waiter recommended the best of three (kettle one vodka – pimm’s #1 – cucumber) and it was very good. Hank got the pale ale and Sam had the very old fashioned (j. henry “blind goat” bourbon – rittenhouse rye – demerara – angostura).
onion focaccia bread – caesar dressing – cauliflower giardinier
This was a good starter prepared us for the meal. The bread was warm and all the flavors worked well together.
duck tongues – tuna and black bean poke – crispy wontons – piri piri
This was the dish we were most nervous about, but our waiter assured us it was one of the best and most popular dishes. Duck tongues. Yep, duck tongues. Without a doubt that is something I not only never thought I would eat but I didn’t even know I could eat. On top of all that, it was amazing. We devoured every bite.
tempura soft shell crab – sweet corn elotes – chili crab sauce
I have had crab many times before, but this was different and so well done. The meat was tender and juicy and blended perfectly with the elote. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish and scraped every last bite off the plate.
kalbi beef ribs – sweet corn coblettes – grilled okra relish
I have had plenty of ribs, but I cannot understand how they got these to taste so flavorful. The pieces were pretty small, but that didn’t matter, as they packed such a punch. There were six pieces, so we each had two along with the garnish. This was the last dish we ordered by our waiter’s recommendation. The beef served to round out and fully compliment our meal.
pan roasted halibut – marcona almond butter – white asparagus – blueberry nuoc cham
This was easily one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. My fiancé typically does not enjoy fish and it was near life changing for him. The three of us couldn’t believe the taste and texture combination, almost like a pastry. We easily could’ve eaten two or three more. Apparently Stephanie Izard describes this as the flavor of PB&J, which you wouldn’t think works, but does in so many ways. This was my favorite thing we had by far.
wood grilled broccoli –rogue smokey bleu – spiced crispies
Broccoli is another one of those dishes that does not seem like it could be anything special but we were wrong. It proved to be another great dish to accompany the others. The crisps on top plus how it was cooked made it a real stand out, almost like eating a campfire.
goat satay – goat, assorted vegetables
I have had goat once before, and it was not my favorite; not the worst but not the best. This was better than that of course, and really good in comparison with other food I have had but it was not my favorite dish. The vegetables and flavors were really great though.
caramel corn & malt balls – vanilla malt gelato – popcorn caramel – chocolate magic shell
I am a dessert person, I love it and cannot resist when there is a stand out option. I love ice cream and pop corn so this was a natural choice. Oh my goodness, it was so good and such a strong way to end our meal. I don’t know what those white pieces are but they were amazing!
donut & ice cream
I don’t know what was in this one because our waiter actually brought it out to us on the house, which was a very nice gesture. Again, I don’t know what more to say than it was so good! Just like everything that came before we devoured every bite.
I am no food critic so I apologize for my lack of descriptions and repetitive writing! But, it is hard to say anything beyond just how good it all was. We walked away agreeing it was the best meal we have ever had. I highly encourage a visit, but a reservation is definitely needed. The entire meal from start to finish, every little detail made it a great night.