Sunday, October 11, 2015


Girl and the Goat
809 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
Tel: 312.492.6262
$$$ ($30-$45)
Cuisine: American
Sat, 10/03/2015, 4:20pm walk-in
    (4 Piglets)

Ever since Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard opened up Girl and the Goat, the restaurant has been a madhouse. People congregate, waiting to get a table before the restaurant even opens (and I'm no exception to this). It's 4:20pm, my friends and I put our names down on the list. We are one of the lucky ones who barely makes it to get a table before they run out of availability in a few minutes.  The staff double check their tables to make sure everything is perfectly aligned. It's 4:30pm sharp and the servers wait in a straight line to receive the name of their hungry customers from the maĆ®tre d'. Each server knows exactly who they're getting and where they're waiting.

The bar
The aisle

At 4:30pm, we are seated to our table. We have 1.5 hours to finish our meal before the next party (who were smart enough to make a res) are seated at our table. Those who weren't so lucky to get a table wait at the bar and drink away (and there seems to be many of them). The last time I came to this spot, I waited 3 hours. Not this time around.

I felt relaxed as soon as I sat down. There is an exposed brick wall that makes you feel like you're really in Chicago. And somehow, we are transported to being in a fancy ranch style home with the wooden flooring and ceiling. The dim lighting allows the dramatic open kitchen to shine through. I'm so looking forward to dinner at this point...

The interior
Another picture of the interior
The servers line up waiting for their diners

Place Setting

JOHNNY APPLECHEESE BREAD ($5.00): Chili cheddar butter, malt oil. This was a good bread. The chili cheddar definitely had a nice kick and the malt oil was a bit different than the usual olive oil offered at most restaurants. It didn't amaze me, but it didn't stop me from eating it either! 
GOAT EMPANADAS ($16.00): Miso-blue cheese aioli, squash-apple slaw. This was one of the better dishes. The empanada was extremely crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The goat wasn't super "gamey" either, which I appreciated. The slaw cut through the fat and complemented the empanada. 
SAUTEED GREEN BEANS ($11.00): Fish sauce vinaigrette, cashews. This was surprisingly a large-portioned dish. It was going to be the most green vegetables I would have during my Chicago trip, so I'd like to think this is healthy. It had an Asian feel to it from the fish sauce that was used. The green beans themselves had a nice crunch with a perfect amount of acidity. It was a great dish overall. 

SWEET POTATO BLEU CHEESE PIEROGI ($15.00): Yuzu-harissa, apple giardiniera, caramelized sweet onion sour cream. This was probably one of my least favorite dishes. It lacked flavor and the pierogis were a bit dry. The sour cream didn't help either. I probably won't order this dish again. 
GRILLED BABY OCTOPUS ($17.00): Guanciale, green beans, brussels leaves, pistachios, lemon vinaigrette. This had good flavor. The octopus was cooked well and wasn't overly rubbery in texture. The brussels and the green beans added a bit of texture, which I appreciated. It almost reminds me what a Chinese stir-fry dish would be. 
WOOD GRILLED BROCCOLI ($11.00): Rogue smokey bleu, spiced crispies. For broccoli, this was delicious. It had that nice, smokey woody flavor that I appreciate. It was a little spicy and they were cooked well. I liked this dish. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. WOOD OVEN ROASTED PIG FACE ($19.00): Sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, red wine-maple, potato stix. I loved this dish (and not simply because the main ingredient had a pig in it).The pig was moist, with enough fat to give the dish flavor. The sunny side egg added a creamy texture and the potato stix offered the crispy texture it so needed. I would come to this restaurant simply for this dish. 
CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE CAKE ($9.00): Just the right aMOUND of coconut. I'm not the biggest fan of coconut but I seriously loved this dish. I also love chocolate and this dish is ideal for chocolate fans. The cake was moist and the ice cream added the coolness and creaminess it needed. 
CAJETA-BLACK PEPPER GELATO PIE ($9.00): Plum jam, sour cream mousse. I was a big fan of this dessert, probably cause it was mostly made of gelato. The black pepper was definitely unique and somehow, it worked well with the plum jam and sour cream mousse. The gelato is local from a shop called Black Dog Gelato. It was creamy and rich just like how I want my gelato to be. After each bite, I kept wanting to go back for more.
MISO-BUTTERSCOTCH BUDINO ($9.00): Sesame gelato, sesame whip, glazed pineapple. This was definitely Asian-influenced. I never would've thought to put miso into a budino form. This dish was innovative and delicious. The budino itself was creamy and the gelato added a nice touch. I loved this dish as well. 
Overall, the Girl and the Goat was decent but didn't amaze me. There were only two dishes that stood out from the seven savory dishes we ordered. I would come here simply for the Pig Cheeks and the dessert. Would I wait three hours? Probably not. It's worth checking out this place to see what Stephanie Izard is conjuring up but only with a reservation or walking in when doors open. 

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