Since arriving to Chicago, I have been looking forward to our visit to Girl and the Goat, a restaurant in the West Loop. They serve up a concise menu of small plates meant to be shared among the table. The atmosphere is barn-esque, with wood-beam ceilings, rustic structure, dim lighting. Most of the restaurant is painted black and tattoos abound on wait staff and chefs alike. "Traditional" is out the door, while creativity and ingenuity reside in spades at Girl and the Goat.
The concept runs throughout the restaurant, as the chef line has the appearance of a trough, and the restrooms look a bit like stalls for farm animals. It's very cohesive and fun. The owner, Stephanie Izard, is a talented chef who understands flavors and her cooking consistently seems to have a smirk about it.
Ken's comment throughout the evening was, "How does someone even come up with this!?" My thoughts exactly! The flavors in each dish worked well together in a surprising way. For example, roasted cauliflower came with a strong cheese sauce and... mint leaves and pine nuts. It was delicious and unexpected.
Above is the menu and the table setting gives a bit of the rustic element running throughout the restaurant.
Also pictured here are our two favorite dishes of the evening: Chickpea Fritters with Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella (Ken), and the Kabocha Squash Ravioli with mushroom raisin ragout, brussels leaves, and a mushroom creme fraiche (me).
The rest of our meal included the skirt steak a la plancha, the sugo, and roasted cauliflower. For dessert they brought a menu of their cheese offerings. As tempting as it was, we passed this time.
If we're ever in Chicago again, we'll be making our way back to Girl and the Goat!
-Domestic in the District