Chicago's New Restaurant Row
West Randolph Street in Chicago’s West Loop has become a new home to the city’s culinary talents. Stephanie Izard first drew crowds cooking dishes like roasted pig face at Girl & the Goat (the restaurant pictured above). She then opened Little Goat, a retro diner, across the street. Graham Elliot Bowles keeps it simple at his casual g.e.b, where each dish has no more than three ingredients. On a more elegant note, the prix-fixe menu at Grace, from chef Curtis Duffy, features dishes such as kampachi with coconut, lime, basil, golden trout roe, and pomelo presented in a cylinder of frozen ginger water.
By Jen Murphy, AFAR Contributor
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Dinner in Chicago? Go to Girl and the Goat
With 24 hours in Chicago, my friend and I headed straight to Girl and the Goat for the food, the drinks and the scene. We didn't have a reservation but after an hour of waiting, people watching, and having fun at the bar the unthinkable happened (on a Saturday night)—we got a table! The menu is small (not that small) plates organized into fish, meats, veggies and goat. The two of us ordered six dishes, and they were all delicious. My favorite was dessert, a goat cheese cheesecake, but then, I always love dessert. I can't wait to go back!
Girl & The Goat: Chicago gets local
Girl & the Goat blends their own delicious red wine, and it's tasty. There are beers on tap from Three Floyd’s and a couple others. They work with a number of farms to keep the restaurant fresh and local, using Spence Farm, Kinnikinnick, and Nichols for most of the produce, Kilgus Farm for goats and veal, and Prairie Fruits Farm for goat cheeses. If you're not a fan of duck tongues, pig face, beef tonque, beef heart and six different goat dishes, there are also other things on the menu like fantastic oysters, roaster cauliflower, celery root and cheddar dumplings. This is a great place to go with people who enjoy trying new things and like to share tapas style.
Early dinner in Chicago
I came to Girl and the Goat early on a Wednesday (we are talking pre-6 pm early) and there was no availability, even at the bar. I was a little put off but decided to return the next night even earlier because I was heading out of town. I showed up at 4:20 and there was a line outside the door. At this point I was about to bag the place just on principal but decided to wait (apparently they open for dinner at 4:30 pm). This time I had no trouble snagging a bar seat and was greeted with friendly service. The bartender recommended the cauliflower dish and the halibut. The cauliflower was great but the halibut was one of the best things I have ever tasted. There is only one other meal I distinctly remember being so good and that was in Paris. To top it off the bartender, without me asking, wrote up a list of his favorite places in Chicago after I mentioned I wanted to bring my husband back for a visit. For such a hyped up spot I found the prices to be reasonable and the service friendly. Apparently it's a very popular spot so make a reservation in advance or show up for an early dinner!
By Emily Taylor
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Sun - Thur 4:30pm - 11pm
Fri, Sat 4:30pm - 12am