August 19, 2012

Ginger and the Goat

Last April we had reservations at Girl and the Goat.  Then the couple who invited us got sick the night of the reservation so they rescheduled for the next available dinner spot – this August.  You’ll likely end up with a res for very early or late.  Most people I’ve heard go 5-6 pm or 9-10 pm.  No matter – it’s totally worth it at any time. 

I've been wanting to visit this famous restaurant on Randolf street owned by Chef Stephanie Izard who won the fourth season of Top Chef since I moved to Chicago.  We immediately loved the space – the room is large with mirrors and funky art on the walls.  The dining area is separated by a huge panel of burnt wood and the bar is very beautiful and ornate.  The servers are knowledgeable, but casual; wearing jeans.  The best part about the night was the music they were playing:  Notorious B.I.G “Remember when I used to eat Sardines for dinner?”  Perfect. 

The menu is fairly small:  a column for veggies, one for seafood-type items and one for meat.  The plates are small….very small and meant to share, which is likely perfect for two but somewhat laughable at times for four (imagine four people splitting two quail legs….do you know how small quail legs are?!).   We picked 11 items together and the server coursed it out.  That’s the best part.  You tell the server what you want and they send it to you in the order they think is best.   Everything was great but there were a handful of items that stood out:

Bread appetizer – goat cheese butter and corn relish (I couldn't get enough)
Chickpea fritters – crispy, mild, savory, and pleasantly unique
Crab Rangoon – a play on the classic appetizer, but the outside is made of fried squash blossom (see below)
Trout – perfectly cooked, lovely sauce

If you want to end the evening on a perfect note, stop by the Violet Hour on your way home for a nightcap.  This works especially well if you have the early reservation for dinner.  An authentic and stringent Old-fashioned is a nice digestif after a meal where you surely indulged. 

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