Little Goat, Big Plate – West Loop

Little Goat Cappucino

As a fan of Girl and the Goat (I wrote about my last trip here) I had wanted to try out Little Goat  since it opened in late December. We arrived at just before 2pm on a cold March Friday and it was packed. Luckily there were two seats at the diner bar waiting just for me and a friend. A woman in a purple old-timey diner waitress uniform greeted us as soon as we sat down. I thought they were cute but I could understand if one would prefer to look at them versus wear. This was confirmed when a server said, “…yeah, we looooove them.” Despite being busy the service was great with no less than 2 people checking in on us throughout our stay. Continue reading

Cozy Winter Night @ Girl and the Goat & The Aviary

It’s been a couple of years since I have been to Girl and the Goat, Stephanie Izard‘s wildly successful restaurant.  Having great memories I was excited to go back. I usually don’t have the patience to get reservations at places like The Aviary but I was lucky my friend Dana did so off we were after dinner.

It’s not news that The Girl and the Goat is a great restaurant.  I was curious to see if the food was at the same level it was two years ago. As expected, when we arrived early it was already full. The mood is energetic, loud and crowded but comfortable at the same time. We scored some seats at the bar and waited for the walk-in table to open up. The server’s laid-back nature was coupled with extensive menu knowledge and patience to know when to cut through our chatter and questions.

Every bit was as I remembered and satisfying, definitely worth the wait. The chickpea fritters, roasted cauliflower and the chicken were the standouts in terms of flavor and being perfectly cooked. I did convince the table to get the Pig Face dish, I still liked it but it was met with mixed reviews. This was mainly due to not being able to mentally get over the name of the dish.

Chickpea Fritters – stewed chickpeas, pickles, red onion, crave brother’s mozzarella

Roasted Cauliflower –  pickled peppers, pine nuts, mint

Hen Of The Woods Mushroom Ragout – sweet potato agnolotti, shroom creme fraiche, capers.

Escargot Ravioli –  bacon, tamarind-miso sauce (not pictured)

Ham Frites – smoked tomato aioli, cheddar beer sauce

Wood Fired Walter’s Chicken – yuzu harissa, fried pickles, brussel slaw, grilled naan

Girl and the Goat Ice-Cream

Girl and the Goat Ice-Cream

We took the short walk to the Aviary in Fulton Market. It was a much-needed constitutional as you can see we over-served ourselves at dinner. The Aviary creates beautifully complex drinks that are really works of art; innovation is the name of the game. Exactly what you would expect from Grant Achatz of Alinea and Next fame.  It is not for your every day ($16 – $30 each drink) and I suppose the hard to get reservations adds to the feeling of exclusivity of the experience. It’s the perfect place for a date, entertaining out-of-town guests, any official celebration, and in our case a group of 4 looking to indulge and be impressed. In hindsight, it may have been a better idea not to eat a 10,000-calorie meal beforehand, as the drinks are meals unto themselves.

Although the drinks and in turn The Aviary are serious and complex they are also fun and interactive. I felt like Willy Wonk must have created the Rob Roy that consisted of scotch served in a bag of lavender air that you must break before drinking. I had the root beer mainly because I love to say the word sassafras but it was a delicious balance of caramel and Fernet.  The egg nog was a perfect winter night drink warm, rich and cozy. Did I mention it had fresh truffles?!

Rob Roy – lavender air, Pedro Zimenez 1985, scotch

Root Beer – sassafras, caramel, Angostura, Fernet, rum

White Truffle Egg Nog – fresh truffle, egg, Jamaican rum

Persimmon – Gewürtztraminer, Blanc de Blanc, cognac

In the Rocks (second edition) – Benedictine, vermouth, cognac, rye

scotch with lavendar air, lavendar bitters, cognac ice egg, egg nog

We all experienced full sensory, visual and taste satisfaction and enjoyed a hearty slumber that night.

The Weekend | 6th Annual Andersonville Dessert Crawl, Circus In The Parks & More

Beautiful weather this weekend makes just being outside enough of an activity but for those of you looking to combine food or entertainment with the outdoors here are a couple of ideas.

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The Andersonville Dessert Crawl is this Sunday from 2-5pm at the Swedish American Museum. This year there will be 3 routes to choose from:- Candy Cane Route

– Gumdrop Route

– Lollipop Route

Restaurants include M Henry, Ann Sather, Vincent, Swedish Bakery and many more.  Tickets and a complete list of restaurants for each route can be found here. Does not look like any route will leave you hungry or unsatisfied.

6th Annual Andersonville Dessert Crawl.

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Circus In The Parks was created by Midnight Circus a troupe of performers and the Park Advisory Council to bring their show Chicago and to raise money for an ailing park that was about to become downsized. The show was a success and continues to grow and is in parks throughout Chicago.

All proceeds from the Circus in the Parks will be split between all participating parks to fund their local parks improvements. To date over $160,000 has been raised by this one-of-a-kind community event.

This weekends show will be October 8th & 9th at Mt. Greenwood Park  on 3724 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL. Ticket and showtimes can be found here.

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Of course the Chicago Marathon is this Sunday. It will be a perfect day to be a spectator (for those of you not running) and cheer everyone on.

For some indoor activities:

Quay is serving a strawberry mascarpone tiramisu and will donate 20% of proceeds from the dessert go to benefit the H Foundation in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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– “Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats & Drinks” – Stephanie Izard’s, of Girl and the Goat and Top Chef winner fame, new cookbook is available for your reading pleasure. Great gift for yourself or anyone that loves food. Hmm…my birthday is coming up, wink, wink.

Link to book info and details, here.

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Chicago Gourmet 2011 Is Almost Here

Rick Bayless

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Chicago Gourmet. Chicago‘s premier food and wine event is fast approaching. Over 50 chefs including, Rick Bayless (Topolobamo/Frontera Grill/Xoco), Stephanie Izard (The Girl & The Goat), Graham Elliot Bowles (graham elliot/Grahamich), and Ted Allen a food and wine expert will be on hand.

Millennium Park will once again be hosting. There will be live cooking demonstrations, seminars, and the 2011 Gran Cru which will feature wine tastings and Chicago’s top sommeliers. As this is the premier food and wine event the ticket are priced to match. Get your tickets now, last year did sell out. The two-day event will be Sept. 23-25.