The Best Restaurant I’ve Ever Been To…

I’m fortunate to have been able to travel all over the continental U.S. and in those travels have made sure to check out many restaurants. I’ve eaten some fantastic meals over the years, but once has always stuck out to me. People always ask me the best restaurants I’ve ever been to.

There’s no debate in my mind. It’s Girl & the Goat in Chicago, IL.

It’s a popular restaurant and one of the most well-known spots in Chicago. There was a lot of hype and praise, but Girl & the Goat certainly lived up to it. The restaurant is owned by Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard’s and she puts a unique twist on New American cuisine harmonizing Eastern and Western influences into fun, innovative plates. Everything is served in sharable plates, so come hungry and bring someone who shares a passion for food.

Girl & the Goat is located in Chicago’s West Loop. It’s packed at essentially every hour of the day. Making reservations far in advance is a must…. I’m talking months out, sometimes. If you’re lucky, the restaurant also operates on a walk-in policy, where you can sit in the bar and lounge area but even that gets packed.

When we visited Girl & the Goat, we planned our trip out two months in advance. At two months out, their Friday and Saturday reservations were booked and the only time we could get in was on a Sunday night at 10:45 p.m. In Wichita, 99% of the restaurants are closed on Sunday nights. But in Chicago, the place was packed.

Once we were seated, we got right to ordering because they were closing at midnight. They did tell us though not to rush as they were still seating people right up to 11:30 p.m. From there, we had one of the best date nights of our lives.

While in Chicago, we dined at a ton of places, but Girl & the Goat was the true gem of our entire Chicago dining experience.

I’ve had oysters in many cities, and these were the best ones I’ve ever had. The ponzu mignonette was a fantastic pairing with the oyster. I should have ordered a second round. This was my favorite of all the dishes.

Raw Shigoku

The duck tongue was also spectacular. This included duck tongue mixed in with tuna and black bean poke. We both loved this dish and it ranked as one of our favorites. The goat carpaccio, while not a favorite Megan’s, I enjoyed. Carpaccio isn’t for everybody. But if you can get over the texture, it’s truly wonderful. The next dish was the wood oven roasted pig face which as seen below has two pictures, the before and after. This may have been Megan’s favorite dish. It was almost like eating the best breakfast in the world. The pig face was blanketed under a sunny side egg, drizzled in tamarind, cilantro, and red wine-maple syrup.

Our last entrée was crisp braised pork shank. By this time, we were really starting to get full. The pork had a crispy outside but was tender on the inside. It was such a hearty and filling dish. We tried to finish it, but failed. We were incredibly stuffed.


Duck Tongue

Goat Carpaccio

Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face (before)

Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face (after)

Crisp Braised Pork Shank

Then our server gave us a dessert menu and we somehow found some room. We tried the blueberry bourbon baba. This had bourbon ice cream, whipped cream and blueberry jam. To no surprise, we had zero problem finishing this.

blueberry bourbon baba

The service and food were beyond perfection here. Given everything we had heard about Girl & the Goat, our expectations were so incredibly high, and they surpassed it. I desperately need to find a reason to travel to Chicago again strictly for this restaurant.

Happy Dining,

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