Girl and the Goat
809 West Randolph Street
Girl and the Goat has made a huge splash in the Chicago restaurant scene. Head Chef and winner of Bravo's season 4 of Top Chef, Stephanie Izard has created a menu that is imaginative, but won't take you too far from home. The rustic ambiance and dim lighting is warm and inviting, and the constant chatter of satisfied guests can be heard until the late hours of the night practically every day of the week. We made our reservations more than a month in advance, and while we have heard that they accept an occasional walk-in, we wouldn't recommend chancing it. This is a great place to take friends for a special occasion, or whenever you are in search of a truly memorable meal.
To Eat: We loved every single dish we tried, but thought the wood oven roasted pig's face was exceptional. Though the name is a little scary, we promise you won't regret trying this dish made with a sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, and red wine maple potato stix.
Lastly, don't forget to check out Little Goat Bread! It is right across the street and offers a great spot for late night diner style eating, and also fresh baked bread. Yum!
1800 N Lincoln Ave
If you're looking for a location for a classy business party or a fancy birthday dinner, this restaurant is just the place. With long tables and waiters everywhere, no matter how large your group is you won't be kept waiting. Though it is a bit on the pricey side, Perennial Virant is worth the expense for a special event!
To Eat: Here you have the option of getting larger plates to share. We chose a couple of starters and a sharing plate. The Butternut Squash Panna Cotta really stood out on our taste buds and the Diver Sea Scallops were definitely a hit in our party!
To Drink: The list of wine, beer and cocktails at this restaurant is diverse yet the perfect size to make your choice an easy one. Though we do not have a specific recommendation, we are sure that your decision will be a fabulous one!
2024 N Halsted St
If you love Spanish cuisine like we do, here is our #1 Chicago pick. The best part of Spanish food is tapas, hands down. They are light but so full of flavor, and come hot or cold in many varieties. It is tough to find authentic tapas that do justice to the ones you will find on a trip to Spain, but this spot pulls it off. We love the lively atmosphere, which makes it perfect for friends, families, or any group looking for a fabulous Spanish meal. In keeping with Spanish tradition, we recommend making reservations for later in the evening and starting out with a pitcher of sangria. The waiters do an excellent job of ensuring that your table is never bare, but always clean.
To Eat: As a starter, we recommend the "jarras and house-made bread". We ordered the eggplant option and it was to die for. Next, choose your tapas. There are options for seafood lovers, meat lovers, and vegetarians alike. We are sure that they are all equally delicious but we chose the gambas al ajillo (shrimp), champinones rellenos (manchego-stuffed mushrooms), and we also love patatas bravas which can be found at virtually every restaurant in Spain. For dessert, we highly recommend the Churros. Nearly every table in the restaurant had a hot plate of these babies.
To Drink: One word: Sangria. This is definitely a staple in Spain and if you have never tried it, you are missing out. Luckily, this problem can be easily remedied by heading to Ba-Ba-Reeba ASAP to try their amazing sangria in many flavors. We loved the passion fruit.