Gettin My Goat

Michael Nagrant / 09.02.10

Who names their restaurant after a bestiality porn video? I mean, c’mon Stephanie Izard, don’t you have PR people who are supposed to vet that stuff? You’re practically best buds with Spike from Top Chef. Dude clearly watches lots of seedy stuff – he could have given you the heads up that a Google search for your restaurant would be illegal.

Of course, this is probably calculated, what with your penchant for double entendres – i.e. the Escargot and Goat Balls on your menu – which disappointedly are not goat testicles, but Romesco covered meatballs. After that, am I really to believe that your pig face appetizer is really made of pig face? For that crispy disc looks like a crab cake and there’s nary a snout or an ear in sight. Plus you’re always trying to tell everyone you want to “make their whole mouth happy.” I believe that was somewhere in Traci Lords’ mission statement.

But I digress. Phil Vettel says you have a “fanaticism for balance that a Wallenda might envy”. I beg to differ. I came to your restaurant hoping to get an autograph, and maybe even to clip a lock of your hair when you walked by, but you didn’t even leave the pass. You sat there all night paying attention to your cooks and tasting all the dishes that came your way. What kind of faux-humble act is that? Who do you think you are, Graham Elliot? You’re a celebrity chef. You’re supposed to make out with babies and get hammered with your customers at the bar.

Oh, but you leave that to your business partners Rob Katz and George Michael. I hope you sent Michael to a food safety and sanitation course, because, as you know he has a penchant for rest stop bathrooms. Oh, my bad. Wait, my intern just told me that’s not George Michael, it’s owner Kevin Boehm. I got distracted by the dreamy stubble.

Well, listen, even if he winks at me, it’s not gonna make me forget about the fact that you charge me for bread. I mean who do you think you are? Every other restaurant in town gives me the same loaf of sourdough from a certain local bakery, ahem Red Hen, and I like it. Ok, yeah, yeah, you got a really expensive brick oven, and firewood doesn’t grow on trees. Ok, fine, but still Alinea has their own bread baker and they give me custom bread for free. I only have to pay $185 dollars for the rest of my meal.

Oh, and you’re always talking about pork, pork, and pork, but then you go and make all these vegetable dishes, like a dreamy black olive mezzalune and shisito peppers covered in parmesan-miso sauce (I know a Jalapeno popper when I see it). If I wanted to eat vegetables, I’d call my mother.

Of course, I almost do not know all of these things, because I could only get a reservation for midnight on Tuesday – thankfully you make a bad-ass braised tongue with salsa verde, i.e. fancy chilaquiles, because when I was done throwing down your excellent Maker’s 46 Old Fashioneds, I was too hammered to drive my Porsche to Arturo’s, and it was almost breakfast time.

I do appreciate that you valet parked my Porsche on the sidewalk for everyone to see. It would have been a nice touch if my car hadn’t been blocking the entrance. For when I saw those charred wood walls in the middle of your dining room, I thought I was at a Great White concert, and the whole place was going up in flames. Imagine the panic I felt with my face pressed up against the plate glass front window and Steve Dolinsky’s autographed head shot as I tried to escape.

One of your servers tried to help me. She kept screaming in my ear that “Chef Izard is so great and she recommends that you exit through the back door.” I didn’t really pay any attention, because she was dressed in all black and I thought she was a hipster ninja about to cut me down with a Chinese star. Just for that I’m taking away another star.

-3 Stars
Girl and The Goat
809 W Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607