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Sep 22, 2011 09:01 AM

Girl & the Goat Reservations Policy - 6 Months in Advance (If You Call), 3 On OpenTable, OT is 100% accurate

A PSA for my fellow CHers:

I just got off the phone with the Girl and the Goat's reservationist...

If you are calling them to make a reservation, they actually take them SIX months in advance. On OpenTable they restrict it to 3 months in advance. But you can do 6 months in advance if you call.

If you are planning for something sooner than that, and you don't see a time you want on OpenTable, calling WILL NOT help.

The OpenTable site reflects their actual reservations book, "100% accurately" she told me.

They really are that popular! And probably holding a good chunk of tables for walk-ins.

Girl and the Goat
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661

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  1. Thanks for the clarification, kathryn.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chicgail

      Thanks! I'll mark my calendar so I can call for a time during my trip next May when I come for the NRA show again, which by the way had the dates moved to the first weekend in May from the third.

    2. There are very few restaurants in the world worthy of making a reservation 4, 5, or 6 months in advance. Girl and the Goat, though good enough, certainly isn't one of them.

      Girl and the Goat
      809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661

      1. FWIW, I made reservations for dinner September 22nd at the Girl and the Goat by phone well in advance (April?), as my wife and I were going to be in Chicago, and in fact ARE in Chicago as I write this. Approximately one month ago, we called the restaurant and asked if there was anyway to change our reservation for two people to three . . . we were told they were full-up, and couldn't do that, but they would call us if they had any cancellations.

        We checked in with the restaurant last week, on Wednesday, and again late yesterday afternoon . . . just to see if there were any cancellations and if they could squeeze in one more. We were told they rarely have cancellations, that they were "fully committed," and could not add one person to our reservation. So they ended up by having a cancellation, and we ended up having a great dinner at Blackbird.


        Don't misunderstand -- I am not upset with the Girl & the Goat, and they were very nice about it. Some "two tops" can hold three in a pinch, while other tables just cannot. I understand that, having worked in and around restaurants most of my adult life in one form or another. But any disappointment Lynn and I feel in missing out on the food at "G&G" was more than made up for by our dinner at Blackbird, and so . . . if we return to Chicago, we'll certainly try again.

        (It does, however, sort of makes you want to reserve for four and then cut it back to two -- easier than increasing it later, if need be.)

        Girl and the Goat
        809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661

        1. When I went there about a year ago, as a walk-in, my friend and I were seated at farm tables (family style) in the back by the kitchen. This was around 5:30 on a Sunday so I'm guessing at 8pm on a Saturday it wouldn't be quite so easy. We were more than pleased to sit back there to watch the kitchen, versus in the main dining area. The hostess at the time said that was where they seated their walk-ins. So, at least at that time, they did not hold regular tables for walk-ins. Maybe it's changed now that they've gained more popularity.

          1. Stephanie Izard is not Feran Adria - you've got to be kidding - we've eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world and never called 6 months ahead. 30 days or 31 days is certainly do-able but this is too much. Diners should take a stand against this sort of silliness and refuse to eat there.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Rubyred1

              It isn't the GATG policy. It IS that popular. Diners are taking a stand or rather a sit which is why you have to make plans to get a good time. That being said, I have friends who got seats on Saturday by walking in. And there is a reservation open for 8:15 tomorrow PM.

              1. re: Rubyred1

                Take a stand against what?!? Why should Chef izard be punished for being so popular that so many people want to dine at her restaurant? If she only allowed people to book 30 days in advance, there would be far more people vying for reservations than there are seats available every time new slots were released. The only feasible way for her to decrease demand (barring a slip in the quality of the product) would be for her to jack up the prices. GATG provides an amazing value as is, so she certainly could fetch a higher price point, but IMHO it is nice she makes dining there so affordable - even if it means planning far in advance to secure a reservation.

                1. re: Gonzo70

                  30 days is standard. We are traveling to Chicago and do not usually book city trips 6 months in advance. Having just attempted to book at The Aviary for drinks and being told by return email that if we are selected they will let us know at 3:15 same day it all sounds a bit too self important to me. Nobody is "punishing" Chef Izard but from this board it appears that the frenzy created by the long wait times increases some diner's expectations beyond what is coming out of the kitchen

                  1. re: Rubyred1

                    Me thinks thou doth protest too much . . . .

                    You have one valid point out of all that. Six month in advance *POSSIBLY* is too long. But where is it written "30 days is standard"? Truthfully? Not in my experience. Most restaurants I know will accept reservations up to SIXTY days out, many 90 and some only 30. All those are, I think, do-able number in the real world. There will ALWAYS be last-minute business trips, and most restaurants save a few tables precisely for those last-minute trips/events/walk-ins.

                    However, the rest of your post does -- it seems to me -- come across as more sour grapes than anything else. You don't like planning your trip well in advance? Fine. Don't do it. But it sounds like more of a "throwing the baby out with the bath water" than a criticism of Girl and The Goat. Several restaurants do this, including Grant Achatz' Next -- heck, you have to register on their website just to have a shot at making a reservation! See And they aren't the only ones! Check out Momofuku --

                    Some restaurants book only online, and free up reservations for ONE DAY, AT MIDNIGHT, either 30, 60, or 90 days in advance. Some restaurants use Open Table (or something similar), some only accept telephone calls -- and some will only accept calls between 2:00pm and 5:00pm . . . .

                    I certainly honor your right to b*tch to the proprietor about what you feel is a silly, nonsensical, stupid, or "a bit too self-important" policy. But to do so here, and to aim it at GATG generally, of Chef Izard in particular, strikes me as singling out one establishment, and one individual, when this is an international practice.

                    That said, feel free to vent . . . .

                    1. re: zin1953

                      I had a little and am somewhat sorry that I did!!