It's my first restaurant review ever on Sage & Slingback and I would like to dedicate this post to my adorable foodie friend Poorna (Poo to us), the food connoisseur of our group. No one understands the flavors and the science of food better than you my friend. Thanks for adding spice to my life through your shining presence and charm. I am privileged to have a friend like you in my life, so let's eat and drink to that!
Year 2008, A New beginning!
Chicago girl Chef Stephanie Izard wins the "TOP CHEF - Season four" contest aired on Bravo, thus making her the only girl in the history of the show to win the title. Winning the reality show was only the beginning. In 2010, this curly haired chef partnered with the owners of Boka, a top restaurant in Chicago to open an all American eatery called 'Girl and the goat" in the city’s West loop. Her fifteen minutes of fame became the launching pad for a restaurant, now a celebrity brand worth $1.5 million. This restaurant seats up to 130 people. Within two months of its opening , "Girl & the Goat" became one of the most talked about restaurants in Chi-town. Known for Stephanie's bold and exciting cooking style (yes folks, she gives the words masala and curry a whole new meaning) and the use of simple yet unusual ingredients, it is now one of the most sought after restaurants in Chicago. People have to wait for months to get a reservation.
It was during this time that a few of my foodie friends and I decide to try out this much hyped eatery. After many, many phone calls, Poo finally managed to get a reservation for all of us.
Having tried some of the best eateries in town , I feel that my "Girl and the Goat" dining experience has by far been one of the best . I can still recall the taste of the chickpea fritters, the roasted cauliflower, the sautéed beans and the cheese stuffed peppers that we ate. And to top it all, Stephanie’s presence in the restaurant that night truly elevated our dining experience. We ate, drank and ordered many plates as we celebrated Stephanie the girl, and her goat. It was a lovely evening and the restaurant lived up to its hype!!.
With Top Chef - Stephanie Izard.
Year 2012, A new project!
"LITTLE GOAT”, Stephanie's newest project and a spinoff of her wildly successful restaurant "Girl and the goat" opened its doors to Chicago on Dec 29th, 2012.
Just across the street from its flagship location, it is a complete diner and is open from 7am to 2am. Breakfast is served all day along with lunch and dinner. It also houses a café called "Little goat bread" inside it, offering coffee , deli items and breads. Besides the main dining hall and the cafe, there is also a cooking classroom and a private dining area on the top floor. No reservations are accepted. As a result the place gets very crowded and you can easily gauge the kind of fan following Stephanie has.
Jan 21st, 2103 – It was Martin Luther's day and the temperature in Chicago, a bone chilling minus five degree Fahrenheit. But how could one resist good food? It had been a month since the diner opened and we didn't want to wait any longer. So, bad weather notwithstanding, Poo and I coordinated the outing and a bunch of super hungry friends headed to the city early that morning to try out the new eatery.
Little goat is hot,hot,hot. A warm, vintage inspired green and caramel colored vinyl wall welcomed us. The entire place was abuzz with solo diners, foodie friends and families thus giving it a typical diner feel.The open kitchen, old school stools and the cozy booths all added to the diner decor.
A centrally located skylight at the restaurant promises ample sunlight but if you get a table right under and the brightness is too disconcerting, then, no worries. The super friendly waiters will walk up to you right away with a box full of retro sunglasses. You can take your pick and continue looking cool and enjoy your dining experience.
The menu has more than 75 items with some great twists on traditional dishes and the prices aren't that big either. The monstrous size of the menu will definitely make you want to come back for more.
The young waitresses are attired in aubergine colored dresses and aprons.
We ordered the 2 most popular dishes on the menu, the Goat milk latte and the tempura fried onion rings with pickles. The "curry mayo" dip that accompanied the tempura was to die for, a great start to a cold morning!
A big hit with the Indians for sure. Eggs inside a paratha served with Avocado Bean salad.
A whole new twist on mashed potatoes...crunchy!!
Clearly my favorite dish, the tangy Blood Orange meringue pie. Don't miss this sweet treat!
Now taking you to the other section of the diner, "The little goat bread". This bakery/ café is headed by the bread guy "Greg Wade" and is enclosed in glass so that the guests can see the action. Fresh bread is made daily for both "Little goat" and "Girl and the goat".
Stumptown coffee, handpicked by Stephanie during her research trip to Columbia is prepared at the adjacent coffee bar. The fresh baked treats from the bakery are served in a sit down setting. Guests can also shop throughout the day for coffee, bagels, croissants, sandwiches, soups and of course fresh baked loaves of bread.
The "Little bakery bread" shop sells Stephanie's famous "FLAVOR" sauce and her cook book " THE GIRL IN THE KITCHEN" and all the little goat knick knacks.
With such a large menu to choose from, I am sure I will be visiting "Little Goat" again this summer, where I will be enjoying my beer & sandwich from the roof terrace. BTW, Stephanie just spilled some details on her next project that she is working on, a chicken fast food and she is definite that it will not be called " Girl & the Chicken" !!