Last weekend we hit up Girl and the Goat for my birthday dinner. I am so glad I had the sense to make reservations way in advance. It was AWESOME. For those that watch Top Chef you all know Stephanie Izard was a big winner and then opened this restaurant in Chicago. It has been the place to check out even before it opened. Lucky for us in Chicago, it has lived up to all the hype.
I had a clear view of the kitchen and specifically the chef. I was in awe to watch her stand on the restaurant side of the kitchen and inspect and hand off every single dish! I also had a glimpse of what it must be like to work for her, and it must be good. I think just about everyone working greeted her with a smile and hugged her or at a minimum touched her someway. She clearly is not ruling with an iron fist, but as a member of the team.
The restaurant is pleasantly casual. Everyone was in black logo t-shirts, jeans and an apron. My kinda place, I am not much for dressing up to a stuffy dinner. Our waitress was great and helped us make our decisions as best she could. I mean really, there is not a bad choice on the menu. The cocktails are delicious too but the food was king.
Everything is served in the small plate style. Our waitress told us that normally people order 2 or 3 plates. After reading the menu we got a little nervous as we knew we were going to order way more. Glad I asked her for clarification, she meant 2 to 3 per person. Phew!
There is a specials menu each night and the regular menu is split into vegetables, fish and meat. Here is what we enjoyed, though I make no illusion that my words can even do this food justice.
Wood Fired Oysters — These were simply prepared with a horseradish sauce and served warm. Neither of us are much for oysters, but we really loved these, especially served warm.
Stone Crab Claw with Pork Belly and a Vanilla Bourbon Sauce — The vanilla bourbon sauce was to die for, so rich and delicious. If I could have picked up the plate and licked it believe me I would have.
Roasted Beet Salad — I love beets, my husband not so much. The salad included The beets, green beans, white anchovy, and avocado creme fraiche. The beets in this salad were slice so thin and still had some bite to them, much different than the way my roasted beets turn out. Even the husband liked them. Um, and we both loved the white anchovy!
Roasted Cauliflower — Roasted cauliflower with pickled peppers, pine nuts and mint. This was by far the favorite of the night for both of us. It had such a rich meaty flavor, for us carnivores it was like eating a steak. A must try!
Ham Frites — My word, these were good. Fries topped with bits of pork and served with a side of roasted tomato aoili and a cheddar beer sauce. My only complaint, the order was TOO big and it was too delicious to not over indulge.
Wood Oven Roasted Pig face — pork with a sunnyside egg, tamarind and potato with some amazing sauces. Delicious.
Blood Orange Sorbet finished off the evening. Perfect! Our tour guide of goodness knew it was my birthday and threw in a few extra goodies, a pound cake with a vanilla bourbon custard. Delicious, it made me a believer to the fact she told us most people order the stone crab twice, once during the meal and then for dessert.
I swear I awoke still smelling of the vanilla bourbon sauce! It was a fabulous meal and I can not wait to go back. We are already planning another visit.