One should always jump at the chance to visit Chicago (unless it’s winter time) because it’s a food lover’s dream. The number of restaurants on the “must visit” list is a long one, especially since the city is home to a lot of America’s best restaurants. I mean, Alinea is there. Even though my visit to n/naka was a bit overwhelming, I’m looking to knock Alinea off my list because ::spoiler alert:: I’d like to eat that sugar balloon in the first episode of Chef’s Table Season 2.
Last week I was sent on a work trip to chi town and I planned my meals accordingly. On the first night, we visited Girl and the Goat. It’s still my favorite restaurant so far and lucky for me the menu was different from when I last visited a year ago.
Here’s what we ate:
chickpea fritter – garam masala yogurt. sugar snap peas. asparagus. sheep’s feta.
pinn oaks lamb tartare – english pea tapenade. tuna aioli. dill crackers.
goat empanadas – miso-blue cheese aioli. squash-apple slaw. – this was my favorite. The empanada was perfectly crisp and the goat inside tender. Ours was topped with strawberry and surprisingly it was an amazing combination.
petit verdot blend. girl & the goat . 2012 . walla walla
While we were at Girl and the Goat, some people at our table let us know that the line for Au Cheval, which was basically across the street was always an hour long. Apparently their burgers were worth the wait. The next day we went there for lunch. Since we already snacked during the 1.5 hour wait, my coworker and I split the cheeseburger with bread and butter pickles and thick cut peppered bacon. It was good, but really, really heavy as one could expect. I’m glad we visited but probably won’t be returning. On another spoiler note, did you guys notice Grant Achatz eating here in that episode of Chef’s Table?
Chicago has a lot of desirable food establishments that New York has. I didn’t realize Magnolia Bakery was one of them. We made a stop there for some coffee and cupcakes. This one reminded me of the kind Kristen Wiig’s character made in Bridesmaids. Pretty and delicious.
Another favorite is the Purple Pig. We went during an odd hour in the late afternoon and got seated promptly. It’s the type of place you need to go to at 11 am or 3 pm. They don’t take reservations and people always want to eat there.
Here’s what we ate:
Antipasti: Calamari, Fregola, Radishes, Cucumbers & Pistachios
Smears: Pork Neckbone Gravy with Ricotta
A La Plancha: Squid stuffed with Prosciutto
All in all a good trip with plenty of Garrett’s Popcorn and Eataly gelato in between.