Girl and the Goat review.
Arrived right on time for our Sunday night reservation at 8pm. Place was packed, was seated immediately. Great buzz going on there.
Server took drink orders and explained the menu concept, he suggested ordereing 2-3 items per person.
Pan fried Shisito peppers with parmesan, sesame and miso- server told us they were running spicy this time of the year, but they weren't too spicy for us. Fun finger food and the sauce was amazing.
Grilled baby octupus was also great, I usually don't like octopus, but this was very tender and tasty.
Skirt steak ala plancha- this was the favorite of my dining companions, very tasty and tender.
Wood roasted pig face- this was my favorite, luckily my friends wouldn't try it- their loss.
Had a few desserts and dessert wines.
Out the door for about $75 pp including tax/tip with 2 beers/wine each + the dessert wines.
Had a really good time, thought the atmosphere, service and food were top notch. Was the chef's night off, so didn't get to meet her.
This past Sunday, I ate dinner at Girl and the Goat. I had made the reservation three months earlier, when they opened up the book. The five of us were seated immediately for our 5:45 reservation. (At that time the wait for a party of two with no reservation was 60-75 minutes; when we left around 7:45 it was up to 90-120 minutes.) The room was rather loud - not quite as bad as Avec or Publican, but we occasionally had to strain to hear each other.
Our friendly server (Jodi) came by and told us about their "small plates" menu, in which all dishes are smaller than a normal entrée elsewhere, slightly larger than the typical appetizer. She suggested that we order 10-12 dishes for the five of us, and told us she would arrange to bring them out in a sequence that made sense based on what we ordered (and she did very well in that regard). We started by ordering one of each of the three breads on the menu, which were all very good, all served with a spread and an oil/dip. (There is no complimentary bread.) We proceeded to order 10 savory dishes, and we were pretty full by the time we got to dessert; I think two savory dishes per person should be ample for most folks. We are all good friends who eat together frequently, so the "family style" service - putting all items in the middle so that all can share - was something we're all accustomed to. This is a place you'll like a lot more if you get to try a lot of things; if you're going out with others who don't like to share, you may be missing out by limiting yourself to the 2-3 items you order yourself.
I won't list everything we ordered - you can see the menu on their website at www.girlandthegoat.com yourself - but a lot of the dishes have a certain culinary style, consisting of the main ingredient and additional elements all piled together, often served in a small ceramic pot, casserole style. It wasn't always clear which was the main ingredient and which were additional elements. It actually worked quite well; often the main ingredient was excellent, often the additional elements were excellent, and sometimes the combination worked very well. I was really glad that we had such a big group and were able to try so many dishes, because the dishes I liked best were not the ones that I selected! The two things that really stood out were the squash ravioli and the pig face. When I think of squash ravioli, I think of subtle flavors. Not here - they were very spicy, and very good! As for the pig face, I'm sure some of you are probably thinking of a smiling face looking up at you from the plate, which you might find unappealing, and that's not at all what it was like. It was a small slice of pork that might have been pressed together, I'm not sure; it was round and flat, not at all discernible as a face, with crispy edges, a certain pleasant amount of fat marbled into the pork meat, with a slightly sweet flavoring almost like a barbecue sauce. It was sinfully rich and good! So those two were the standouts. Everything else varied from pretty good to really really good. Perhaps the weakest dishes were the beet salad (which was much too bland, not much flavor from the beets or the added ingredients) and the braised beef tongue (which didn't have much tongue flavor or texture, although the crispy accompaniments were tasty).
We ordered one of each of the four desserts on the menu, and I was frankly disappointed with all of them. The same culinary style carried over - a lot of different elements thrown together, in a jar, in a small pot, etc. It just didn't work for me; I found the individual elements indiscernible, and I wasn't all that fond of how the combination turned out, either. I love good desserts, and these were the most disappointing desserts I've had in an otherwise nice restaurant since I ate at the Publican last year.
Regarding pricing, the breads were $4, the savory dishes were $13-17 (aside from the $9 beet salad), and the desserts were $8. Along with nine glasses of wine/beer ($9-13 each) and three coffee/tea beverages, the total ended up $80 per person including tax/tip.
All in all, this was a very good and enjoyable meal, despite the disappointing desserts. The savory dishes were delicious with strong flavors, and they were also quite creative, not items you've already had three times in the previous month. I would go back if given the opportunity. However, I'm not sure it deserves all the hype, just because there are so many other very good restaurants here in Chicagoland (some of which I actually like better than G&TG). It was simply a very good restaurant and a very enjoyable meal.
Girl and the Goat
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661
We were actually at G&TG last Sunday night too- my third visit there and we had a really great meal.
Some of our favorites were the vegetable dishes- like the roasted cauliflower with mint, chickpea fritters, shisito peppers and green beans. We also really loved the goat, pork and veal sugo.