I am long, long overdue for posting about Chicago. I’ve been twice this year and keep trying to find time to post all 13 (!) of those posts. Unfortunately (and fortunately), this was one heck of a year, so a full Chicago review won’t come out for a bit. But I would be remiss if I didn’t post about our amazing dinner at Girl & The Goat on a very cold evening back in January.
We decided to go because we just love Top Chef and have no shame in trying every Top Chef restaurant we can find, especially when traveling. Girl and the Goat is led by Top Chef’s only female winner (to date), Stephanie Izard. (I also kind of love her because she’s a fellow curly girl, and I feel like that bonds us in some way. I like to pretend that if we sat next to each other on a plane, we’d become great friends… a girl can dream, right?)
We couldn’t get a reservation last minute, so we walked in and crossed our fingers. Within 20 minutes, we had a table for 4.
I thoroughly enjoyed this kind of creepy, kind of awesome mural on the wall.
The restaurant is definitely industrial, with a full view of the kitchen. We saw Stephanie Izard a few times throughout the meal, and she was very gracious when I went up to talk to her afterwards and thank her for an incredible meal.
I really enjoyed the goat theme throughout.
We started with a nice hunk of bread with some delicious spreads.
This was a long time ago (almost a year!) so I apologize that we don’t have great memory for what we ate (besides the pig face… more on that later). And while I can’t remember all the details, what I do remember is being insanely impressed over the entire meal. And I remember thinking throughout the meal that this was an epic dining experience. One of those meals that you just know will be hard to find one better. To make it worse, we were in a really dark corner, so the pictures aren’t great. Basically, this review is not the best, but I couldn’t let this year pass without mentioning how much we truly loved Girl & the Goat.
We started with what we think was a cracklin’ salad. I remember as soon as the meal started we all started “Mmmming” and we knew we were in for a great meal.
I remember the waiter recommended we try this, and it was nothing I would have picked myself but we wound up really enjoying it.
We also had a cauliflower side that everyone really loved.
And the restaurant was SO accomodating to my allergy. One of the very few places we have been where they actually made separate versions of dishes we were sharing just so I could eat it. Here was my pepper-less cauliflower.
The octopus dish was really incredible. A perfect blend of textures and flavors that really showed off the delicious octopus.
The next few dishes are fuzzy, but I can say that we enjoyed every bite…
And then, at the very end of the meal, the piece de resistance… the wood roasted pig face. This had peppers in it, but I tried a tiny bite anyway. And even though my tongue was itchy and starting to blister, I ate a full portion. It was that good. It was so delicious, so tender, and so packed with flavor that I didn’t care that my mouth was blistering. It was 100% worth it. And, as the last dish, this took an already amazing meal to a whole new level. It was one of the best single dishes I have ever had in my life. Very impressive.
Girl & the Goat overall was incredibly good. Every dish added depth and excitement to the last, and each one alone could have been the best dish on a restaurant’s menu, but this restaurant had them all. And then when the pig face came out, all bets were off. An incredible meal. One of the best of the year.
Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10