Field of Science

Visit to a Foodie Friend in Chi-town

It was just a brief spring break get away to Chi-town to visit the new digs of some friends who are in the process of relocating from college town to a Lake Shore Drive highrise. The Phactor couldn't live that way; rural roots go too deep. To celebrate our visit we dined at the Girl & the Goat run by famed Chef Stephanie Izard. It's located on Randolph St. between Halstead and Green in the old Chi-town produce market area, which is quite picturesque. A little produce is still distributed, but it's become a neighborhood for trendy restaurants. Girl & the Goat has a small plate menu which lets you try lots of different things from three different categories: veggie, seafood, & meat (goat). In general we gave the food very high marks; a few things were outstanding, a few were very, very good, and maybe two could have been improved with some small changes. Here's our sampling: Sauteed green beans & cashews in a fish sauce vinaigrette (great taste but wrong time of year for green beans which were slightly tough), chickpea hummus, goat feta, sesame & romesco fritters (wow!), large scallops seared in brown butter & garnished with goat sausage crumbles, shitake & winter squash slices (pictured - double wow!), fried wellfleet oyster with egg salad & capers (yum!), seafood (mussels, buttom clams, rock shrimp) fidoes in a saffrony sauce with pasta (oh, yes!), goat masala pizza (artisan goat cheeses, house yogurt, rapini, cipollini, & basil (it's to die for! Mrs. Phactor's favorite dish), roasted pork shank with truffled apples, spaghetti squash & truffle tapenade (pork was outstanding, something you'll judge all roast pork against, but the tapenade & spaghetti squash were just lost). And the Phactor would be remiss if he did not mention that his Old Fashioned cocktail was the best he's ever been served, anywhere (the secret may be that they use orange bitters - experimentation my follow). The atmosphere was busy, but nice; very good wait staff (you have to love psychic waitresses who just seem to know what you're thinking). All in all quite worth a visit next time you're in town. Girl and the Goat may be one of the 10 best restaurants in Chi-town all things considered, one of which is that a botanist can afford this, once in awhile.

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