Every week the New York Times travel section gives readers easy tips on how to navigate a city in 36 hours. This Sunday, Chicago gets the 36 Hours In treatment and, not surprising, it’s pretty food heavy. Fortunately there’s no cliche talk of deep-dish pizza and Chicago hot dog’s, rather they hit upon more of our new hot foodie destinations, including Girl & The Goat, Gilt Bar, Xoco, Longman & Eagle and Terzo Piano, which is almost a footnote as part of the Art Institute blurb.
A pleasant surprise in the article is the inclusion of Big Chicks, the often-packed, always-lively Uptown gay bar tucked among grungy convenience shops and hair-weaveries on Sheridan Road. With all the great spots in town, we couldn’t imagine having to narrow the list, but the article does a great job of highlighting unique spots in various parts of the city.
Is his first post in eons on his Hungry Mag website, food writer Michael Nagrant writes up a pretty sharp-shootin’, snarky review of the Girl and the Goat. We’re not sure if this is a tongue-in-cheek look at the restaurant, pulling together comments and observations from around town over the last few weeks or if he’s truly bummed he didn’t get an autograph from celeb chef Stephanie Izard. It is pretty funny that he referred to owner Kevin Boehm as George Michael and love that he called out just how insanely hard it is to get a reservation (and not to bust his cover, but we saw him there around 8 p.m. on a Thursday, not the “midnight” reservation he writes about. Just sayin…). In the end, he did give the restaurant three stars, but would’ve given four if not for the server dressed in all black he thought “was a hipster ninja about to cut me down with a Chinese star.” Ah, good times in food criticism.
We don’t know about you but we are R-E-A-D-Y for the Girl & The Goat to open. The anticipation of Stephanie Izard’s restaurant has had everyone’s panties in a bunch and we’re thrilled to report that the official opening date is this Monday, July 12. Foodie stopped by the restaurant Wednesday night and we believe people will think it was worth the wait. This is definitely not a review, rather our first impressions of the Goat.
What started with one restaurant and a cell-phone booth is quickly growing into one of Chicago’s hottest restaurant empires. The Boka Group, which currently owns Boka, Perennial and Landmark (all of which always have excellent offers on Foodie) and will be opening the Girl & The Goat with Stephanie Izard in the next few weeks (fingers crossed!), recently took over the River North space that housed Tizi Melloul. Boka Group co-owner Kevin Boehm told Chicago mag’s Dish last week that they’ve always “loved this location, and so we were always interested if the space ever came up. We are still working on what we are doing there conceptually.” So there’s no news on what sort of restaurant it’ll be, who will helm the kitchen or when it’ll open, but we’ll keep you posted as we get news.
Foodie took a trip to Stephanie Izard’s hotly anticipated new restaurant the Girl & The Goat and we can happily report that it’s beautiful. Izard, her partners (Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of the Boka Group) and their design team, 555 International, have thought of everything. From the reclaimed wood, exposed brick, half-wall of glass, sliding ladder (yes, there’s a sliding ladder!), reclaimed fireplaces above the bar and more, people will be talking about the Goat’s aesthetics as much as the food.
When you first enter the West Loop space near the corner of Halsted and Randolph you feel like it’s been there forever. The rustic feeling captures a sense of a lived-in space but the elements like the African walnut bar, the natural burlap wall treatments (by Wolfson Earth Finishes) and the floor-to-ceiling windows let you know this is a fresh, new place.