Girl and the Goat: Worth the Wait!

When people think of Chicago they think of the windy city and of great food! Personally, I think that both of these are certainly worth taking into consideration, especially the dining portion! Since I have lived in the city of Chicago I always make it a point to try new restaurants that I have not been to. My latest addition to the list is the Girl and the Goat. This awesome restaurant is located in the West Loop smack dab in the Randolph Restaurant Corridor. It is easily accessible from the River North area via taxi, if you are staying with us at the Hampton Inn & Suites it will probably take you about 10 minutes via cab.

I would strongly recommend that you have a reservation before you go to this restaurant and be warned that when you try to make one, they will probably be booked for months! Now you are certainly able to just show up and put your name on the list but the wait is at least 45 minutes if not longer. We had a reservation that was made 4 months prior to the selected date for dinner!! Now this certainly took me by surprise, this was my first restaurant where I had to make reservations so far ahead. You are probably thinking one of two things right now; this must be an amazing restaurant to be booked so far in advance or is this really worth my time?! I assure you that this restaurant is so busy because it is absolutely worth your time! The chef who created the restaurant, Stephanie Izard, won top chef several seasons ago and has really made a name for herself here in Chicago with her $1.5 million dollar restaurant-The Girl and the Goat. If you don’t like crowded places then this might not be the spot for you, but if you are just looking to be surrounded with great friends and looking to have dinner in a rockin’ environment then certainly check this out!

When we sat down we were immediately greeted by our waitress. As it was our first time there she was more than happy to explain how the Chef envisioned the dining experience. Because there were four of us she recommended that we order anywhere from 8 to 11 dishes. At first we thought that this would be a ridiculous amount of food and we were hesitant to order that much, but she did reassure us that we would be full, as the portions were designed to be small in order to enjoy the flavor of each bite. As we ordered our entrees we were pleasantly surprised by the aromas and the infused flavors of each individual dish. One of my favorite dishes was the Sautéed green beans. This dish contains a fish sauce vinaigrette with cashews; for a person that is not crazy about green beans I was surprised I could not get enough of this dish. I highly recommend this dish to anyone that is eating at this amazing restaurant.

Sauteed Green Bean

Wood Fired Oysters

One of the many flatbreads available


Date Night: A review of Shaw’s Crab House-Fresh Seafood in Chicago

It was date night last Friday night and Shaw’s Crab House: Fresh Seafood in Chicago was the spot which is just around the corner from the Hampton! We walked up the stairs toward the host stand where we were welcomed graciously and introduced to the maitre’d who showed us to our table. As we sat down, she waited for us to remove our jackets and get situated before handing us the menus. She made sure the table was in order and made sure we were comfortable before departing back to the host area which was much appreciated.

Jose, our server, approached our table welcomed us to the restaurant. His eye contact, friendliness, and casual professionalism made us feel very welcome and excited to start the experience. Jose did an excellent job going through the wine list, appetizer options, and entrée recommendations. He took his time describing the presentation and preparation of several of his favorite recommendations in each of the categories. His salesmanship, honesty, and overall knowledge of the menu were apparent and made us feel very confident with our drink and dinner choices.

We started with Shaw’s Oyster Sampler – twelve fresh oysters including six different varieties of oysters from across the United States including oysters from British Columbia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Prince Edward Island situated on a large bed of freshly shaved ice and circled around three lemon wedges, a small silver ramekin of dark red cocktail sauce, and a small silver ramekin of red wine vinegar and shallot sauce. Very unique and flavorful overall – interesting mix of various textures and flavors. The oysters paired very well with the red cocktail sauce with horseradish and with the flavor of the red wine vinegar shallot sauce. Overall, a great unique first dish.

Shaw's Chicago Oyster Sampler

Shaw's Chicago Oyster Sampler

For an entrée I ordered the Oven Roasted Florida Red Grouper. Large pumpkin seed crusted filet of Florida Red Grouper served next to an orange delicate squash puree sitting in a pool of lemon butter sauce on a large white plate. The preparation of the grouper was excellent with a very tender, warm, flaky interior and a very unique pumpkin seed crusted exterior. The delicate squash puree added a great sweetness to the dish as well as a very unique color combination. The lemon butter sauce paired very well with both the grouper and the squash puree and brought the flavors of both together nicely. Overall, a very seasonal and unique dish! We would most definitely order this again.

We finished our meal by sharing Small taste portions of raspberry pie, pecan pie, key lime pie, and crème brulee served with several small dollops of whipped cream on a long rectangular plate. A great dessert option overall – the raspberry pie and whipped cream were very refreshing and sweet. The pecan pie had an excellent balance between sweet and savory and was very decadent overall. The key lime pie was very light and refreshing and the small dish of crème brulee was very rich and flavorful. Great dessert option!