One of our best meals from last year was at Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat in Chicago.
Even though the restaurant has been open several years, it is still one of the most popular restaurants in town and reservations need to be made far in advance if you want to dine during prime dinner hours.
The menu is filled with dishes offering innovative, exciting and unique flavor combinations, pairing ingredients I’d never seen used together.
Duck Tartare gooseberries, pickled mushrooms, gochujang mayo, cracklins, duck fat lavash
We started our night with this appetizer which was one of the highlights of the meal. The duck tartare was full of intense flavors, hitting every tasting sensation.
Pan Roasted Halibut marcona almond butter, white asparagus, blueberry nuoc cham
The delicate halibut was perfectly cooked, resting in a gentle sauce that didn’t distract from the fish.
Goat Empanadas avocado smash, grilled pineapple-blueberry salsa, queso fresco
This was probably the only dish of the night that we didn’t quite fall in love with. It tasted fine–but the flavors just didn’t excite us the way the other dishes did.
Sautéed Green Beans fish sauce vinaigrette, cashews
Our second favorite dish of the night and the one I remember the most from my visit. It’s the best version of green beans I’ve had and I’ve since tried my best to replicate it with this recipe. The fish sauce vinaigrette adds a bold umami flavor to the green beans and I could have eaten the entire bowl myself. I’d go back to this restaurant just for the green beans.
Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, red wine-maple, potato stix
One of their signature dishes and my personal favorite dish of the night. (It made my Top 10 list for 2017). Chef Izard may have an obsession with goats, but I think her pig dishes are where she really shines. The dish actually contains patties made out of various parts from a pig’s face, though you wouldn’t guess it after all the preparation that goes into the patties. The dish was wonderfully balanced with textures and acidity. We savored every bite.
Caramel Corn & Malt Balls vanilla malt ice cream, popcorn caramel, chocolate magic shell
This is one of their most popular desserts and it is like a grown-up version of Cracker Jacks. The dish brought out a lot of childhood nostalgia though I’m personally not a huge fan of malt ice cream.
Overall, we had a wonderful visit here and would recommend it to anyone visiting Chicago. Reservations usually need to be made several weeks in advance (unless you feel like eating at 10 PM). I heard they also occasionally take walk-ins for the first seating of the night.
Girl & the Goat
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607