Girl and the Goat

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http://www.girlandthegoat.com/     1.312.492.6262       open daily 4:30pm-11pm

Oh my it’s hard to get a reservation here and I know why. Everything on the menu is so good its hard not to order the entire thing!  Pricing is spot on, especially since chef Stephanie Izard’s flavours evoke such nostalgic responses it is very much worth it.  Dishes served here taste so different but so similar at the same time.  No wonder she has won a boatload of awards – the experience here is magical.  Servers know  how to maximize every inch of the menu, making sure one doesn’t over or under order. The vibe is rustic-casual, picture a holiday evening , winding down from a hectic day wanting nothing but the quite dim of chirstmas lights surrounding you.   That’s what I feel when I’m here, and it’s a good thing.  Geez, I love Chicago. 

The kona  kampachi crudo $16 is savory – creamy at first then the rich pork belly hits the palate finishing with pickled caperberries -every single part of your mouth in perfect harmony.  A hot fried oyster and cold egg salad make the fried naked cowboy  $12 a delight.  Next, notes of cucumber fill my mouth, then a hit of acid (muscatel mignonette), and finally it’s the wild taste of the Kusshi oyster $12 that lingers quite pleasantly. 

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 Green beans $9 are f*cking ridiculous;  fish sauce is dominant at first then crunchy sweet from green beans sprinkled with aioli and  cashews.  Featherweight duck tongues $16 lightly coated in piri piri float on a tuna and black bean poke with fried wontons.  The goat Carpaccio $13 needs a wikipedia pages it’s that good: sultry smoked roe explodes with crunchy capers softened by an olive-maple vinaigrette.  An ultra smooth and no-so-gamey goat liver mousse $12 really surprises as one of my favorites of the evening, served with fried crumpets, beech mushrooms, pickles and apple sauce to cut through the richness.  Earthy-sweet pan-fried shishito peppers $7 have a slow motion approach to heat and I like it. 

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Half sour, fried pickles $6 arrive with a garlicky shallot aioli and citrus Yuzu harissa.  Scrumptious sautéed shrimp $15 tangle in a peanut-pork ragout and spaghetti squash (I don’t get the raw grape tomato?).   Wood oven roasted pork face $16 – sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, red wine-maple, potato stix – tastes like nostalgia: waking up to the aroma of bacon and eggs at my parents house when I was a kid.

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My evening ends off like so many others with a liquid dessert.  Tonight it’s The Smokestack $13,  Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Tim Burton’s Maple syrup, fee bros. black walnut bitters; picture a horse farm on a hot summers day laying on hay in the big red barn.  I loved it! But not everyone was as elated as I.  However, we all agreed that The Girl and the Goat is a must if in the Chicago area, and if not in the area one MUST come to area aka CHICAGO! Love this city….

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