The Vegetarian and the Goat

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Girl and the Goat is one of the top restaurants in Chicago which means it is very hard for riffraff like me to get a table.

BUT! I may  have discovered the key to getting in . Arrive just as they open (4:30 pm) on a weekday and they’ll most likely be able to squeeze you in before a real reservation. Or at least sit you at the bar or lounge.  We got there around 4:40 and they said we can grab a table in the dining room as long as we were done before 6.

Mega score!

Mama Foodie was in town and was eager to try Stephanie Izard’s restaurant. Last time she visited Chicago she tried to steal one of their paper menus. I thwarted her, of course. The audacity. It’s not like I have  Barrelhouse Flat menu on my bookshelf right now…

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As you just saw, I didn’t need to be worried that my vegetarian stomach would have to subsist on garnishes alone. The menu is broken up into V (vegetables), F (fish), M (meat), Breads, Oysters, Goats, Desserts and Drinks. We looked through the whole thing and all 3 of us decided that we would feel perfectly happy sampling a few vegetarian dishes and, of course, a bread and spread.

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D.B. Cooper cocktail and Zucchini bread with olive butter and hummus

A pretty boozy and slightly expensive cocktail, but I tell you, I’d pay much more for that bread. It was decadent, yet light and fluffy. WAY too little to share with 2 other people.

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sweet corn goat cheese wontons
sungold tomatoes . apricot . ratatouille

Look! Popcorn on top! Miraculously it stayed crunchy while we ate. This dish was pretty sweet with the candy-like corn, juicy heirloom tomatoes and creamy goat cheese. The wonton element was just a tad doughy but the ratatouille definitely made up for it. Who doesn’t adore the right combination of savory and sweet?

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roasted beets
green beans . white anchovy . avocado creme fraiche . bread crumb

I was lured by that “avocado creme fraiche” when it came time to select our dishes. But I don’t think I actually got that much as it was scooped up by my two fellow diners… thank you mother and spouse.

However I did enjoy the combination of roasted beets and breadcrumbs with the spicy frisee. I’ll have to try to make something like this sometime.

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wood grilled broccoli
rogue smokey bleu . spiced crispies

Ok people. You have not had broccoli until you have this broccoli. It is out of control.

They had just the right crunch and a smoky woodsy essence that was just sigh inducing. THEN a crisp bleu cheese sauce type thing underneath it all and the whole dish was topped with spiced crispies. We were debating what we all thought these crispies would turn out to be. They turned out to be flavorful, toasted Rice Krispies basically. Added a great taste and texture element. Go eat this broccoli please.

Girl and the Goat was just the first stop on our mini West Loop tour as we had a gift card to RM Champagne and were saving room. Which I completely regret doing. I wish I would have tried that cauliflower and falafel at G&G.

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Pretty candelit fireplace in RM Champagne

Honestly, RM Champagne was a bust. It is beautifully decorated and I’m sure it would be fun to sit outside on a cool summer night and enjoy a glass of good champagne under the twinkle lights. However, I know nothing about champagne and ordered a cocktail which was nothing special. The dishes we ordered were on the lower end of mediocre , especially following Girl and the Goat.  Their desserts looked pretty and tasted fine. However, A doughy bland leek tart and cold flatbread does not a happy food dance make. Sorry RM,  but in such a foodie town you really need to step up your meals.

Who, besides Marie Antoinette, can survive on champagne and cake alone?,

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