LTH Home

Girl and The Goat

Girl and The Goat
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 7
  • Girl and The Goat

    Post #1 - July 9th, 2010, 11:19 am
    Post #1 - July 9th, 2010, 11:19 am Post #1 - July 9th, 2010, 11:19 am
    Girl and the Goat

    After a series of underground-type events last year, and a number of articles in local pubs, Stephanie Izard's Girl and the Goat has much more momentum (or do you call it hype?) going into opening day than just about any restaurant I can remember.

    The restaurant is scheduled to open this coming Monday, July 12. My youngest daughter asked to go for her birthday, so I'm going to try to get seats Monday night (my understanding is that reservations will begin to be taken at 10AM Monday morning).

    I can't remember the last time I've been to a restaurant on opening night, and I'm kind of interesting in seeing how the whole thing plays out.

    Girl and the Goat
    809 W. Randolph
    312.492.6262
    http://www.girlandthegoat.com/
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - July 9th, 2010, 12:04 pm
    Post #2 - July 9th, 2010, 12:04 pm Post #2 - July 9th, 2010, 12:04 pm
    I'm sure the food will be as fantastic as everyone hopes, but this restaurant has been "in the works" and talked about so much in every type of media, that I'm already tired of it... and I haven't even eaten there yet.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - July 9th, 2010, 12:41 pm
    Post #3 - July 9th, 2010, 12:41 pm Post #3 - July 9th, 2010, 12:41 pm
    So will tables be released via OpenTable exclusively, or will it be luck of the cell phone connection?
  • Post #4 - July 9th, 2010, 12:47 pm
    Post #4 - July 9th, 2010, 12:47 pm Post #4 - July 9th, 2010, 12:47 pm
    stevez wrote:I'm sure the food will be as fantastic as everyone hopes, but this restaurant has been "in the works" and talked about so much in every type of media, that I'm already tired of it... and I haven't even eaten there yet.

    It's a challenge keeping the enthusiasm going for a restaurant that has been in the works for so long. Also, when a restaurant gets this much advance notice, it's almost like "over-promising," and it's probably challenging to live up to its advance "reputation."

    At this point, I'm as interested in G&TG as a phenomenon as I am interested in it as a place to eat. Though I'm definitely expecting a wonderful dinner.

    cccpr wrote:So will tables be released via OpenTable exclusively, or will it be luck of the cell phone connection?

    I'm guessing you can call OR go through OpenTable, but I'm not certain about that.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #5 - July 9th, 2010, 1:04 pm
    Post #5 - July 9th, 2010, 1:04 pm Post #5 - July 9th, 2010, 1:04 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    stevez wrote:I'm sure the food will be as fantastic as everyone hopes, but this restaurant has been "in the works" and talked about so much in every type of media, that I'm already tired of it... and I haven't even eaten there yet.


    It's a challenge keeping the enthusiasm going for a restaurant that has been in the works for so long. Also, when a restaurant gets this much advance notice, it's almost like "over-promising," and it's probably challenging to live up to its advance "reputation."

    At this point, I'm just about as interested in TG2 as much as a phenomenon as I am interested in it as a place to eat. Though I'm definitely expecting a wonderful dinner.


    I reached TG2 fatigue a while ago, probably with the last name change, but kudos to them for keeping a broad swath of people excited. Actually, I don't think it'll be hard for the restaurant to live up to most folks' expectations (perhaps LTHers excepted). I think stevez is right. The food will be "as fantastic as everyone hopes"; it'll taste as good as everyone wants it to taste. I guess this is the TG2 phenomenon in my eyes. It's something about the kind of buzz they've generated, which from my perspective (again, due to fatigue, not paying too close of attention), has been more about the concept and face (read: Izard) of TG2 than necessarily about the food or atmosphere or its restaurant-ness.

    I won't need to eat there right away (though I'm housesitting two blocks from TG2 for the next few months, so I may get there sooner rather than later), but I am looking forward to experiencing the space full of people. A woman with whom I do yoga designed the interior with her firm 555 International. It's a very handsome space. I'm curious to see if it'll actually be functional.
  • Post #6 - July 9th, 2010, 1:12 pm
    Post #6 - July 9th, 2010, 1:12 pm Post #6 - July 9th, 2010, 1:12 pm
    happy_stomach wrote:I reached TG2 fatigue a while ago, probably with the last name change, but kudos to them for keeping a broad swath of people excited.


    To add to name confusion, I had coined TG2 above, then figured out the place is actually called Girl and the Goat, so that abbreviation no longer works. I had changed the abbreviation in my post while you were writing your response. My bad. I also fixed name of thread.

    Any way, the name change problem was, as I understand it, beyond the control of the Boka Group (Drunken Goat was already taken and the owner wasn't giving it up or sharing), and I kind of like the current name more.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #7 - July 9th, 2010, 1:20 pm
    Post #7 - July 9th, 2010, 1:20 pm Post #7 - July 9th, 2010, 1:20 pm
    David Hammond wrote: Any way, the name change problem was, as I understand it, beyond the control of the Boka Group (Drunken Goat was already taken and the owner wasn't giving it up or sharing), and I kind of like the current name more.


    When I saw Girl and Goat in the same sentence, I have to admit my first thought was "I better get more than a few fuckin goats as dowry when I get married." :shock:

    Seriously though, I don't like the name. It just doesn't roll of the tongue. How about Girl Eats Goat?
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #8 - July 9th, 2010, 1:27 pm
    Post #8 - July 9th, 2010, 1:27 pm Post #8 - July 9th, 2010, 1:27 pm
    Habibi wrote:
    David Hammond wrote: Any way, the name change problem was, as I understand it, beyond the control of the Boka Group (Drunken Goat was already taken and the owner wasn't giving it up or sharing), and I kind of like the current name more.


    When I saw Girl and Goat in the same sentence, I have to admit my first thought was "I better get more than a few fuckin goats as dowry when I get married." :shock:

    Seriously though, I don't like the name. It just doesn't roll of the tongue. How about Girl Eats Goat?


    "Girl and the Goat" sounds like the dark fairy tale the Brothers Grimm never got around to writing.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #9 - July 9th, 2010, 1:31 pm
    Post #9 - July 9th, 2010, 1:31 pm Post #9 - July 9th, 2010, 1:31 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Any way, the name change problem was, as I understand it, beyond the control of the Boka Group (Drunken Goat was already taken and the owner wasn't giving it up or sharing), and I kind of like the current name more.


    It sounds more like a band name than a restaurant to me.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - July 9th, 2010, 1:39 pm
    Post #10 - July 9th, 2010, 1:39 pm Post #10 - July 9th, 2010, 1:39 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    Habibi wrote:
    David Hammond wrote: Any way, the name change problem was, as I understand it, beyond the control of the Boka Group (Drunken Goat was already taken and the owner wasn't giving it up or sharing), and I kind of like the current name more.


    When I saw Girl and Goat in the same sentence, I have to admit my first thought was "I better get more than a few fuckin goats as dowry when I get married." :shock:

    Seriously though, I don't like the name. It just doesn't roll of the tongue. How about Girl Eats Goat?


    "Girl and the Goat" sounds like the dark fairy tale the Brothers Grimm never got around to writing.


    Or a Brazilian porno.

    Did I go too far?
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #11 - July 9th, 2010, 1:42 pm
    Post #11 - July 9th, 2010, 1:42 pm Post #11 - July 9th, 2010, 1:42 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    happy_stomach wrote:I reached TG2 fatigue a while ago, probably with the last name change, but kudos to them for keeping a broad swath of people excited.


    To add to name confusion, I had coined TG2 above, then figured out the place is actually called Girl and the Goat, so that abbreviation no longer works. I had changed the abbreviation in my post while you were writing your response. My bad. I also fixed name of thread.

    Any way, the name change problem was, as I understand it, beyond the control of the Boka Group (Drunken Goat was already taken and the owner wasn't giving it up or sharing), and I kind of like the current name more.


    See. I'm not even paying close enough attention to use accurate abbreviations for the restaurant name. For all I knew, "TG2" was some secret code--revealed on a limited edition button, of course--obtained only on a city-wide scavenger hunt put on by the restaurant.

    I, too, dislike the new/final name (though as someone thinking a lot about TM lately, understand the issue of the taken name). I feel like goats, along with owls and a few other animals, have been totally fetishized and over-appropriated by hipster crafters. I can't take it anymore. The "girl and..." prefix only makes it worse.

    Habibi wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:
    Habibi wrote:When I saw Girl and Goat in the same sentence, I have to admit my first thought was "I better get more than a few fuckin goats as dowry when I get married." :shock:

    Seriously though, I don't like the name. It just doesn't roll of the tongue. How about Girl Eats Goat?


    "Girl and the Goat" sounds like the dark fairy tale the Brothers Grimm never got around to writing.


    Or a Brazilian porno.

    Did I go too far?


    Yes. Not too far.
  • Post #12 - July 9th, 2010, 1:45 pm
    Post #12 - July 9th, 2010, 1:45 pm Post #12 - July 9th, 2010, 1:45 pm
    When I saw Girl and Goat in the same sentence, I have to admit my first thought was "I better get more than a few fuckin goats as dowry when I get married."


    For you, Johnny Lingo, a ten-goat woman.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #13 - July 9th, 2010, 1:51 pm
    Post #13 - July 9th, 2010, 1:51 pm Post #13 - July 9th, 2010, 1:51 pm
    The sample menu on the website separates stuff into V, F and M categories which I assume stand for Vegetables, Fish and Meat. But 100% of the F listed also have an M component to the dish, which I hope is not indicative of what will actually be the case. I'm into F&M, but my wife not so much. And sometimes I too just want a good F.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #14 - July 9th, 2010, 2:01 pm
    Post #14 - July 9th, 2010, 2:01 pm Post #14 - July 9th, 2010, 2:01 pm
    I attended the friends and family preview dinner this week and was overall astounded by the food. We shared about 12 or 13 dishes (almost half the menu). I will post a true review in the next few days once I download the pictures from my camera.

    There is a lot of mixing between V, F, & M. Plenty here for a veg person to enjoy though. The categories are more guidelines of how heavy/light the dish is.
  • Post #15 - July 9th, 2010, 2:06 pm
    Post #15 - July 9th, 2010, 2:06 pm Post #15 - July 9th, 2010, 2:06 pm
    All of the hype surrounding the long anticipated opening really makes me want to avoid the place. But if I just think of it as "the chef from Scylla is opening a new place" I realize I'll probably be checking it out in a month or so.


    Habibi wrote:Or a Brazilian porno.


    That was my first thought too.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #16 - July 9th, 2010, 2:38 pm
    Post #16 - July 9th, 2010, 2:38 pm Post #16 - July 9th, 2010, 2:38 pm
    Attrill wrote: But if I just think of it as "the chef from Scylla is opening a new place" I realize I'll probably be checking it out in a month or so.


    This how I look at it. I loved Scylla and even though the thought of Publican-lite doesn't excite me, I look forward to trying the Girl and the Goat.

    Habibi wrote:Or a Brazilian porno.


    Attrill wrote: That was my first thought too.


    My first thought reveals me as a real loser.
    Last edited by Darren72 on July 10th, 2010, 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #17 - July 9th, 2010, 7:21 pm
    Post #17 - July 9th, 2010, 7:21 pm Post #17 - July 9th, 2010, 7:21 pm
    Ok Kenny, that was damn funny. I, also, like a good F.

    What I think is amazing is her ability to keep the public interested over the two years its taken her to open the damn place.

    I can't wait. Expecting a lot
  • Post #18 - July 9th, 2010, 7:54 pm
    Post #18 - July 9th, 2010, 7:54 pm Post #18 - July 9th, 2010, 7:54 pm
    I know one of the Front of House folks at this Goat restaurant, who said (in general) never go the first few days or even weeks a place opens. No matter how good it is, it won't be good enough.

    And I never really liked Scylla's food because of all the fruit, meat, fish mixing. I don't like my fish with ham on it or my chicken with fish in it, or either with fruit in it (mostly).

    You put peanut butter in my chocolate! No, in fact, it is NOT better that way.

    Feh.

    Get off my lawn, you darned kids.

    Are they serving goat, actually? I like goat. To eat.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #19 - July 9th, 2010, 10:40 pm
    Post #19 - July 9th, 2010, 10:40 pm Post #19 - July 9th, 2010, 10:40 pm
    I'm going in early October. I figure that's about when the post-opening hype that gave way to disappointment will start to be replaced by the first revisionist thoughts saying that it's coming into its own.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #20 - July 11th, 2010, 12:38 am
    Post #20 - July 11th, 2010, 12:38 am Post #20 - July 11th, 2010, 12:38 am
    As I mentioned in my previous post, I attended the friends and family preview dinner at Girl & the Goat on Wednesday night. The picture I took came out pretty well, but I missed some courses and pictures of the space as I imbibed more and more as the night progressed. The space itself was somewhere in between gastropub and a hip elegant lounge. Definitely a place you could feel at home wearing jeans or a tux. Overall, the lines are modern, with colors dark and low key, although there is a huge painting (has an interesting Rydenesque vibe) by a local artist in the corner that provides a splash of color. The staff were all incredibly friendly and helpful, although I can’t see why they wouldn’t be at this stage. Our waiter had tried the entire menu and had some educated suggestions and descriptions. He also laughed when he saw my eyes pop out when he stated that we could order as many menu items as we wanted (the meal was free). The liquor license is not finalized yet, so we brought a growler of Half Acre and a bottle of Malbec. I’m pretty interested to see what their selection of spirits will be, because I know that will be a large part of the experience.

    We really had a fantastic meal. While not every single menu item was fantastic, there wasn’t one single dish that I thought a failure, or wouldn’t be happy to try again. In addition, I was really impressed that the kitchen was operating like a well oiled machine. The waiter suggested that we order 4 plates at a time and have 2 plates delivered at a time which worked really well. The pacing was great, we never waited too long for food, nor were we rushed. On to the dinner…
    We started out with a chilled sweet onion soup with poached shrimp and fresno chili. This was one of my favorites of the night. The soup was super creamy (crème fraiche I believe) with a nice balance of the sweet onions, olive oil, and touch of chili.

    Image

    Next, I sampled a shaved kohlrabi salad with fennel, blueberries, evalon cheese and toasted almonds. The flavor was quite good, but definitely dominated by the cheese. Another nice mix of textures. Continuing on, the next dish was a hiramasa crudo with aji aioli, crispy pork belly and caperberries. I enjoyed the caperberries (flavor of capers, but way less salty and more subtle), but thought that the fish was a bit overwhelmed and made bland by the rest of the dish.

    Image

    Image

    The next course was dubbed “fat bread” on the menu and came with a liver and marrow butter and homemade apricot preserves. The spreads complimented each other well, and the house-made bread loaf was fresh and delicious.

    Image

    The last dish of our initial round was grilled baby octopus with guanciale (cured pig jowl) and a lemon pistachio vinaigrette. Nicely understated.

    Image

    Here we took a short break to drink for awhile and gear up for more. As far as portion sizes go, I think you could get anywhere from 2-4 dishes per person and be well satiated. That would translate to a cost of $25-50 per person, not including alcohol, which seems right about where it should be. The next round started with a dish so good, we had to order a second. It was a crispy soft shell crab cooked in a small casserole of sweet corn, lime and chili aioli. The corn (somewhere between creamed and pudding) was phenomenal and the crab really light, crispy and fresh.

    Image

    We forged ahead to a crispy skatewing served with grilled calamari, chickpeas, grilled radicchio and tomato aioli. I believe this dish is a holdover from Stephanie Izard previous restaurant, Scyllla, which I enjoyed quite a bit. The chickpeas really gave a nice textural element to the plate, but I wouldn’t say it was one of my favorites of the evening.

    Image

    The next thing we sampled was a really interesting rabbit rilette preparation that was an absolute revelation. The rabbit was wrapped like a manicotti in a delicate crisp rice crepe, and served with ginger giardinare, baby carrots, spigarello and sweet garlic. The whole thing really melted in my mouth. We laughed about the irony of serving rabbit and carrots.

    Image

    Round 2 ended with a crispy pig face patty with chimichurri, daikon and baby arugula. This was very uncommon and quite good, but incredibly rich. Our party of 2 was far too few to share something of this sort. I would say you need at least 4+ people.

    Image

    After another longer break, we decided to squeeze in a couple of more dishes before dessert. My choice was seared scallops with braised veal, caponata and marcona almond butter. A truly delicious dish. The combination of textures and flavors was brilliant. The final plate we had was steamed clams with homemade pork sausage, green tomato and fennel over linguini. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t say it was memorable. The combination of clams and sausage has become quite popular, but I have to say that for me personally I find littleneck clams to be pretty unsatisfying.
    For dessert they had 2 offerings, and both were successful. The first were some beignets, covered in powdered sugar served with figs and maybe vanilla cream (I was pretty looped by this point). The second dessert was even better. It was a casserole with a brown sugar cake on the bottom, a layer of blueberry compote, and a goat cheese cream on top. Yum.

    Image

    Image

    I’m sure that there will be an insane amount of hype and crowds, but I’ll definitely be back. Ms Izard has a really unique culinary identity for this city, and has done a nice job (with her partners) of putting together her vision.
    Last edited by Lancelac on July 11th, 2010, 10:57 am, edited 3 times in total.
  • Post #21 - July 11th, 2010, 12:46 am
    Post #21 - July 11th, 2010, 12:46 am Post #21 - July 11th, 2010, 12:46 am
    Hmm, not really sure why my links to flickr aren't working. **Thanks everyone, got it now, although I should have resized smaller I think.**
    Last edited by Lancelac on July 11th, 2010, 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #22 - July 11th, 2010, 9:51 am
    Post #22 - July 11th, 2010, 9:51 am Post #22 - July 11th, 2010, 9:51 am
    Lancelac wrote:...We started out with a chilled sweet onion soup with poached shrimp and fresno chili. This was one of my favorites of the night. The soup was super creamy (crème fraiche I believe) with a nice balance of the sweet onions, olive oil, and touch of chili.

    Image

    Next, I sampled a shaved kohlrabi salad with fennel, blueberries, evalon cheese and toasted almonds. The flavor was quite good, but definitely dominated by the cheese. Another nice mix of textures. Continuing on, the next dish was a hiramasa crudo with aji aioli, crispy pork belly and caperberries. I enjoyed the caperberries (flavor of capers, but way less salty and more subtle), but thought that the fish was a bit overwhelmed and bland by the rest of the dish.

    Image
    ...

    Nice post. I really enjoyed Scylla and appreciate the preview of G+G. Though I agree that the Stephanie Hype Machine has been a bit much, I have to give major credit to her and her PR squad for keeping her relevant this long after her Top Chef win. Not an easy feat, I'd guess, since reality show contestants come, go, and become yesterday's news with such regularity.

    I fixed the first couple of your pictures for you. Follow that lead or try this thread for help in fixing the rest.

    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #23 - July 17th, 2010, 8:11 am
    Post #23 - July 17th, 2010, 8:11 am Post #23 - July 17th, 2010, 8:11 am
    Since we happened to be in town this week, I felt weirdly obligated to check out The Girl and The Goat on Wednesday when we had an evening to get out. Overall I'd say it was an uneven experience, with the kind of problems you might expect from a kitchen in its third official night of operation. Nonetheless, there were a couple of great highlights.

    Image
    "Fat Bread" with liver butter and plums
    I'm a little weirded out by the fact that we're monetizing bread service. This small roll (about the size of a 12" softball) came with a small dish of creamy liver butter and sort of a plum compote. In the way I adjust to other enterprises breaking out accessories and charging for them separately, I suppose I could get used to this. I figure I'll pay for it anyway, but at least this way I have the option of skipping it if I'm uninterested. It was worthwhile, but since I'm paying, I skip it for another starter next time.

    Image
    Cave Brothers mozzarella with sungold tomatoes, yellow plums, watercress and purple beans
    It was a salad. A lovely fresh and crisp one, particularly the slivered beans, but a salad.

    Image
    Chilled sweet onion soup with poblano-sorrel oil
    Though a slightly different preparation, I echo Lancelac above. This was absolutely delicious, sweet and creamy with a little punch from the pepper and herb. No dairy of any kind, far as I could tell. Probably my favorite of the night.

    Image
    "Crispy pig face" with chimichurri, daikon and baby arugula
    If so, a close second. Kind of like an unusually succulent schnitzel. A great meaty, herbacious blend of flavors with crisp texture. The chimichurri had a nice bit of spicy punch. Winner.

    Image
    Skirt steak a la plancha with wilted romaine, chiogga beets, pickled vegetables and salted goat milk caramel
    Then, dishes with problems. Though my ladylove dug it, this just didn't do it for me at all. It reminded me of an Americanized Thai beef salad that sat in a container for a while. Plenty of sweet and sour, but none of the balancing punch of chiles or pungency of fish sauce. And you'd never know the beef was seared on the plancha. Miss.

    Image
    Crisp skate with grilled calamari, garbanzo beans, grilled radicchio, capers and tomato aioli
    Another miss. Biggest problem was that the panko-coated skate was soggy, limp and barely warm, so it had absolutely no texture at all. That there was no sense of smoke or char at all on the calamari was a significant, though lesser, sin. Maybe this could come together, I'm not sure. But it was executed poorly.

    Image
    Soft shell crab with sweet corn, lime and chili aioli
    Still troubled, but better. Beautiful crab, nice and crisp and perfectly seasoned. Delicious sweet fresh corn. Problem was that the lime was overpowering. Way too much just killed it. Well, not entirely. But it sure got in the way.

    Image
    Rabbit rillettes in crisp rice crepe with ginger "giardinare", pureed sweet garlic, carrots and spigarello
    A strong finish. Perhaps not as sharp as it could or should have been, but very enjoyable. Rabbit rillettes rolled in rice crepes that were soft in places and crisp in others. An intentional contrast, I think, and one that worked. Great broth, garlic wasn't overpowering, and the vegetables were fresh and delicious. A really enjoyable dish that could've used just a little more crisping, I think, to put it over the top.

    Image
    Goat cheese bavarois with berries and crisp oats
    Light and delicious, very subtle sweetness. It let the cheese come through. I dug it.

    Image
    Corn "nougat" with plums and bacon
    Really, just a corn ice cream as far as I could tell, with corn kernels, crumbled corn bread, diced plum and bacon. Very nice, except for the fact that the nougat arrived half melted. But otherwise very tasty.

    So, you know, hit and miss. I really enjoyed the soup, pig face and rillettes. The steak and skate were total throwaways for me. But a lot of these seem like they might pop once they're tightened up a bit, particularly the skate. There's good stuff here. I suspect it'll get better with a little time.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #24 - July 17th, 2010, 9:27 am
    Post #24 - July 17th, 2010, 9:27 am Post #24 - July 17th, 2010, 9:27 am
    Dmnkly wrote:But a lot of these seem like they might pop once they're tightened up a bit, particularly the skate. There's good stuff here. I suspect it'll get better with a little time.


    Indeed, Mike G has it right: go in the fall, once the restaurant, you know, finds itself. Stephanie does not yet appear comfortable cooking in this mien, and many of the dishes comprising the opening menu are significantly scaled-down interpretations of her original vision for the restaurant; she's going to need some time to get rolling again, it would seem. Other than the cilantro oil-drenched cauliflower, nothing I had was less than decent, but everything was erratic: The goat and doughy flatbread on the goat pizza render the cherry sofrito mute; the kohlrabi salad, while tasty, is overdressed to an Olive Garden degree; the citrus in the yogurt overwhelms an interesting dessert of potato donuts, preserved eggplant, figs, and potato chips. In the lamb ribs with avocado and pistachio picada, the scallops with veal and marcona almond butter, and the rabbit rillettes with ginger giardinaire, each dish allowed one perfect bite of supreme cohesion and complexity; yet this same synergy would elude every other bite, and the compositions, on the whole,seem less composed than a cluster of nice ingredients that were not connecting. This was, to put it mildly, frustrating.

    Time and tightening, yes.
  • Post #25 - July 21st, 2010, 11:33 pm
    Post #25 - July 21st, 2010, 11:33 pm Post #25 - July 21st, 2010, 11:33 pm
    Well, what a (somewhat) difference a week makes.

    The restaurant is, thankfully, beginning to find its legs: it's already eliminated several dishes, and the sausage-making is coming online; in addition to the bread and oyster supplemental menu, they now also have a section for "animals," which apparently collects all dishes involving off cuts or sausages. I had two "best thing you've eaten lately" off this menu:

    Smoked fatback w/bourbon, pickled onions, and biscuits (of the hard tack variety): the fat was in a mason jar; its texture was of whipped butter. You spread it over the biscuit, put a few rings of onion on top, and shake out some drops of bourbon from the bottom on the jar = insta-sandwich. Tasted like the collective sense impression of my whole meal at Cochon earlier this year in a single bite.

    Goat belly confit w/peanuts, cilantro, and black garlic vinaigrette: This was a clever play on the cold beef (e.g., maw, tendon, tripe, whatever) in chile oil dish we all know and love, with the black garlic amping up the sweetness and smokiness of the composition. Just a really nicely balanced dish.

    The pasta dish? Not so much. A lot of mush, even with summer squash and all sorts of other things floating about. The harissa more salt than spice. It gets a man thinking: there seems to be an inverse relationship at G&G between the number of ingredients in a dish and its efficacy/quality. Might I suggest that for right now, and maybe for the next month or so, that you stick with what is most focused and allow Stephanie to self-edit? She's getting there, I think.
  • Post #26 - July 22nd, 2010, 12:44 am
    Post #26 - July 22nd, 2010, 12:44 am Post #26 - July 22nd, 2010, 12:44 am
    I have to say that while I am intrigued, the thought of mixing all that goat and swine is downright disgusting to me. Pork is pork. It is a satanic feces eating beast but delicious. Goat is goat, basically an over-grown vegetarian rat, but again it's own thing. Mixing the two? Well two wrongs don't make a right. I'll be at Girl and the Goat as soon as I get my next paycheck.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #27 - July 23rd, 2010, 8:52 am
    Post #27 - July 23rd, 2010, 8:52 am Post #27 - July 23rd, 2010, 8:52 am
    Had dinner at G&tG last night.

    The room wowed us. I’m a little shy to fess up to being overly impressed with atmospherics, or anything other than the food, but I totally dug the fireplace grills over the bar, the charred cedar wall (not, as I suspected, a reference to the Chicago Fire but rather a continuation of the fireplace theme), the comfy dark tones, it’s a very pleasant room (some will, of course, hate it because it does have personality – and for the same reason, others, like me, will love it for the same reason). Here’s a shot of the room from the Belly Cam:

    Image

    There was nothing on the menu that seemed a retread of anything we’ve had anywhere else in Chicago, not one “oh, that again” feeling. There was a helluva lot of inventiveness in the ingredient mix, and everything we had seemed to be well-executed .

    Bread: though I share Dom’s concern about “monetizing” (though that sounds more sinister than “charging for”) bread, we had the Stecca (long, nicely browned rolls), which was very good and came with garlic olive oil and delicious anchovy butter (anchovy seems a pull-through theme on the current menu). It was only $4, and given the reasonable pricing of other items on the menu, did not seem like a burden to the bill.

    Shaved Kohlrabi: Salad has always seemed to me more work than it’s worth, but I’m glad my daughter wanted to order this one as it was finely cut and included fennel, blueberries and evalon, a mild goat cheese I hadn’t had before (and which did not, as posted earlier in this thread by Lancelac, dominate the dish -- FWIW, the folks at G&tG read your comments here, and they do take criticism to heart, so it's possible the dish was modified based in part of posts like Lancelac's). With toasted almonds, there was a lot going on in this salad.

    Sauteed Green Beans: fish sauce vinaigrette was a good touch, adding some depth and continuing the fish motif that started with the butter. We kept nibbling at these beans throughout the meal, which was fairly protein-heavy (by our choice; no tofu,though).

    Fried Pemaquids (pic below): these medium-sized oysters were delicately fried and served with a few touches of egg and capers, another interesting combination of flavors but still a relatively simple dish. I’m finding that I’m tending to prefer simplicity, and I agree with something Mark Mendez said to me, and excuse me if I quote at length from this truly imaginative and brilliant chef: “And as you get older, you realize, it takes more courage to put two or three things on a plate than it does to put twenty things on a plate, because if you screw one of those things up, it’s really obvious that you made a mistake, or you don’t know or aren’t very good at what you do. And that’s something I learned from another chef but I didn’t really get it. That’s one of those Zen Buddha moments that you have, where, when I worked for Paul Bartolotta he said “Think of what you can take away from a dish to make it better instead of add.” And I didn’t really understand that, and it took me like twenty years to kind of really understand that. And now I totally get it.” I think I do, too, though some might consider cooking an oyster to be an unnecessary elaboration.

    Image

    Seared Scallops: we liked the combo of soft and delicate sea creature paired with soft and delicate veal and a camponata, which added a vegetal note and touch of spice. This was probably my favorite dish of the night, not terribly complex, but very satisfying (perhaps because not terribly complex; cf; Mendez, above).

    Escargot and Goat Balls (pic below): sounding like a dish named by sometime pornographic-punster Phillip Foss, this dish intrigued us – particularly with the promise of bagna cauda (more anchovy!), but it didn’t quite come together, and it was about at this point in the dinner that I started noticing that there was a lot of salty flavors on my palate. Now, I’m the kind of guy who likes to actually see grains of salt on my steak, but I felt like maybe there was a little too much salt in some of these dishes (could have been happenstance or the kind of dishes we were ordering).

    Image

    Ham fries: good crispy fries, but just a hint of ham. The spuds are fried in rice bran oil then tossed with ham fat. Great concept, but much like Hot Doug’s duck fries, I strained to discern the meat flavor.

    Pig face: love the name, and the arugula was a good balance to the richness of this dish. There’s a lot of fat on a face, especially maybe a pig face, and this was a very rich dish, full of good flavors. Each order has two maybe 3.5 inch diameter disks of fried hog visage, and it was a lot to take at the end of a meal, but we ate it all.

    Grave regrets: we forgot to order the Pan Fried Shishitos (a type of pepper that is sporadically hot, that I don’t think I’ve ever had) or the Rabbit Rilletes (which I really wanted to try and just forgot to). There’s many items on this menu that promise unpredictable flavor combinations that I wanted to sample, but I may have blown my chance as it seems the plan is to change the menu quite often (some of the dishes already mentioned in this thread were not on last night's menu)

    Ms. Izard seemed all business – she had her back to the room most of the time, which is fully understandable; the place has been packed (booked through mid-September), and she’s got a lot of mercurial menu items to manage.

    G&tG smells good, like pork, hit me as soon as I walked through the door, and you’d better be ready to take it home with you (my shirt has been scented with pig meat, and I hung it where it will lend porkulence to my office throughout the day).

    Co-owners Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm were in the house, and they were very hands-on, seeming to have a grip on the crew and the crowd. I have immense regard for both of these restaurateurs who I feel are just beginning to make their mark on the Chicago food scene (four restaurants…with one more coming in November, about which I could not wrest much more info than the opening date, though it’s known it will be in the old Tizi Melloul space).

    An added bonus to eating at G&tG: our own Dippity-do-da-egg is a server. And on that note, our server, Christina, was everything one could want a server to be: friendly, not pushy in any way, attentive and, perhaps most importantly, knowledgeable about every item on the menu. My daughter mentioned after the meal, “I love it when you can trust the server,” and we could.

    G&tG can do a goat leg for $100. Have to order in advance. Might be a good LTH event.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #28 - July 23rd, 2010, 10:47 am
    Post #28 - July 23rd, 2010, 10:47 am Post #28 - July 23rd, 2010, 10:47 am
    David Hammond wrote:the place has been packed (booked through mid-September)

    There is availability sooner than that, depending on how flexible you are with dates and times. Right now Opentable is showing early seating times for two people on four of the days of July 28-August 3 (including Saturday the 31st) and late seatings for two of those days. And there's quite a bit of availability for August 8 and later. But if you absolutely must have that prized 7:30 slot on a Friday or Saturday, then yes, you're looking at mid-September or later.
  • Post #29 - July 23rd, 2010, 11:18 am
    Post #29 - July 23rd, 2010, 11:18 am Post #29 - July 23rd, 2010, 11:18 am
    David Hammond wrote:Grave regrets: we forgot to order the Pan Fried Shishitos (a type of pepper that is sporadically hot, that I don’t think I’ve ever had)

    FYI, in my experience, shishitos are pretty much universally hot (I mean not hot, but not a lot of variation). Are you thinking of Padrón peppers, or do I not know my shishitos?
    Last edited by Dmnkly on July 23rd, 2010, 11:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #30 - July 23rd, 2010, 11:19 am
    Post #30 - July 23rd, 2010, 11:19 am Post #30 - July 23rd, 2010, 11:19 am
    Great meal at G & TG. My friend and I tasted some of the dishes mentioned in Dmnkly's earlier post.

    • "Fat Bread" with liver butter
    • Pork belly
    • Cauliflower with cilantro oil
    • Escargot with goat meatballs
    • Beef tongue
    • Tempura-style soft shell crab with sweet corn, lime and chili aioli
    • "Crispy pig face" with chimichurri, daikon and baby arugula
    • Corn "nougat" with plums and bacon (dessert)
    • Goat cheese bavarois with berries and crisp oats (dessert)

    A eminently enjoyable feast of contrasting flavors and textures. The service was impeccable - enthusiastic and informative, but also unobtruisve - this was especially impressive given how long the restaurant has been open.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more