Last week, Dan and I had a very exciting date night planned (I take credit for this one too – and it was even better than Revolution Brewing, if you can believe it.) Since we are both huge fans of Top Chef, and the Chicago season was the first we watched together – we were VERY invested in the triumph of Stephanie Izzard. So, five months ago, I made reservations for us to try out Girl & The Goat:
When we were seated for our meal, we were stunned and ecstatic to find that they had given us the “tasting seats” RIGHT next to the open kitchen:
The view was wonderful, and it got even better as we noticed that Stephanie herself was standing RIGHT BEHIND US! I almost died. Then, she came over and talked to us! Dream come true right here, ladies and gentlemen. She was funny and nice and I loved her.
The menu offers a variety of smaller tapas-type plates to encourage lots of variety in ordering to share. Dan and I of course decided to take full advantage of our experience by ordering the weirdest things on the menu.
We started with goat empanadas:
Approximately five seconds later, the plate looked a lot more like this:
This dish was creamy without being too rich, and the spice was just unnaturally good. I was sure this would end up being my favorite course of the evening. We took a momentary break to order some more wine, which came in individual carafes, which I love. Dan had red and I stuck with white. I would love to tell you what we ordered, but I was understandably sidetracked at the time and can’t remember!
Ready to dig back in, we tried the baby octopus ceviche:
The past few times I have had octopus, it has been so chewy that I came to dislike it. This dish, however, did NOT hit me that way at all. It was tender and flavorful. I didn’t even mind the lima beans floating around in there, and I generally do not care for those little guys.
Up next was escargot ravioli:
Never having tried escargot, I had no idea what to expect, but of course, these tasted lovely. They were probably the richest item on our “tasting menu” so it was definitely a good place to stick them in. Once we placed our full order, our waitress made the call about when each item should come out based on texture, spiciness and richness. She was right on the money!
As we waited for our next surprise, one of the line cooks in the kitchen threw us a free treat! It was a refreshing salad with fennel and blueberries. Unexpected and very sweet:
I love the taste of fennel but never think to put it in anything I cook. That should change, and soon!
Our next treat was lamb heart. I honestly had no idea what to expect, never having had the heart of any animal. This was tender and smoky.
The rich creamy sauce made this dish fairly rich as well, but the strawberries somehow evened it out. The whole dish worked nicely and just left me in anticipation of what was to come …
No words. Just … yum. The egg and the texture and the crunchiness on top and the … dear LORD this was amazing. This was by far my favorite course. Until we hit dessert…
We started with one of the most amazing Ports I’ve ever had! The picture obviously doesn’t do it justice. It’s sweet and tart and heavy and syrupy and delicious.
This set the mood perfectly for our dessert of choice (we had a hard time making a decision) …
Pork fat doughnuts filled with chocolate ganache. There is little else in this world that could taste so wonderful. It melted in my mouth and left the most amazing impression of the whole experience for us to walk out with. We were two of the happiest campers that ever lived.
I am definitely gunning to head back here as soon as is humanly possible.