A First Glance at Girl and the Goat

Seared Scallops

The scallops are topped with veal, giving them a unique mouth feel and distinct flavor.

Stephanie Izard’s Girl and the Goat opened last week to much fanfare and hub-bub, so we followed the throng to be among the first to taste the Top Chef’s concoctions for ourselves in her new dining space on West Randolph.

I was tickled to land a reservation that last week’s  Red Eye dubbed the “hottest seat in town,” but I couldn’t help but wonder if Izard’s food could possibly live up to all of the hype. The verdict?

Grilled Baby Octopus

Grilled baby octopus is a good seafood option.

My initial impression is a good one. The food is tasty, creative, and beautifully plated.  Izard excels preparing meat, and it lurks in almost every dish she turns out, including the seafood ones.  In fact, the scent of roast beast greets you the moment you walk in the door. The veal topped scallops are standout as is the smoked goat pizza.  I also liked the pig face — although I think Tammy was hoping for something like an actual pig head to photograph — and was pleased with the taste of the dish, which literally combined the best parts of the face, including tongue and cheek. I enjoyed the onion soup and the baby octopus as well — they were the strongest showings among the meat-free options we tried.

Crispy Pig Face

The best of a pig face, ready to eat.

The restaurant features small plates — and recommends ordering roughly three dishes per person — so our party of four tried a lot of food. There were no complete misses among them, but we agree that probably one in four is truly noteworthy. The dishes have a lot going on, and we were surprised how many were prepared with undertones of citrus flavor.

Still, Izard is off to a good start. Her restaurant has a loud, fun, and good vibe, much like the chef herself, and I look forward to going back in a few months to see how it fares.

Stephanie working the pass

Stephanie Izard working the pass.

Girl and the Goat
809 W Randolph
Chicago IL, 60607
312-492-6262 | Make Reservations
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  1. Brandon Smith left a comment on July 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    From this angle, the octopus dish looks like a pile of all kinds of fun things. Not unlike like we sometimes do it at Clandestino.

    Lots of color and super-cool flavor combos on the menu. Thumps up. And congrats, Stephanie!

    -Brandon, from Clandestino

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