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?
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.
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.