Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Chicago Eats: Girl and the Goat, Au Cheval, The Gage, Eataly, Longman and Eagle

Hold on to your stretchy pants, folks. It's a Chicago take-over on the blog for the next three posts, because Mr. H and I just traveled for an epic culinary adventure that just has to be shared.

We shopped, took in the sights, did a couple of the classic Chicago tourist attractions (hello, Shedd Aquarium and River Architecture Tour), and ate our faces off at some of the city's best restaurants. Way too much to pack into just one blog post, so I'm breaking out two of the biggest food adventures into separate posts. Today, you're getting a rundown of the "other" food stops we enjoyed on this trip.

It will start with the famous Girl and The Goat, from Top Chef fame chef Stephanie Izard.
I watched her on the show, have heard nothing but rave reviews of her restaurants, and boy did it live up to expectations. It's small-plate style, intending for you to select 2-3 shareable dishes per person.

We had a group of four at this meal, and dug in to dishes like the Wood Grilled Broccoli with rogue smokey bleu and spiced crispies (probably the BEST broccoli I've ever had), Sweet Corn Pierogies with charred scallion sour cream, sweet corn-tomato, and chimichurri, and the Squash Blossom Crab Rangoon (pictured below) with almonds and chive yogurt.
Mr. H and I took a walk on the "wild" side of the menu and enjoyed the Goat Belly and the Duck Tongues (pictured below) with tuna and black bean poke, crispy wontons, and piri piri.
Overall, the atmosphere, drinks, and food all lived up to the hype and I'd happily dine there again. Maybe the best food of our trip?

The burger at Au Cheval is called "best in the country" by many, so we had to check it out for lunch one day. Located right across the street from Girl and The Goat!
Even for a weekday early lunch, the wait was just over an hour (very small and VERY popular restaurant), and it was about two hours after putting our name in before we had our food. But, once we were in, we did have prime seating at the bar with a bird's eye view of all the burger makings!
We started with an order of the Roasted Marrow Bones ($18.50) with beef cheek marmalade and toast. I'm sure that slowed down the burger process, but it was worth it.
Ok, now someone please explain to me why a "Double" on the menu is actually THREE patties? The patties aren't big and thick, so we thought we were fine ordering the Double Cheeseburger ($14.95), but it was three patties instead of two and I had to remove one to really enjoy the proportions of the toppings. Newbies, like us, need some education before ordering.
Look, it was a darn good burger, and I'd eat it again in a heartbeat. But do I think it was the best burger I've ever had and worth the hype and wait? Not really. But go check it out for yourself, because yes, it is a really good burger and cute spot.

Saturday brunch was a stop at The Gage (right across the street from Millennium Park and "The Bean"). Mr. H and I split the Scotch Egg ($9) with whole grain and dijon mustards. A little softer outer layer than I'd like, but overall good.
Mr. H then ordered the Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich ($17). We had planned on doing some sharing, but it was huge, the chicken was too thick for my personal taste, and it was kind of a sloppy mess. But, my Eggs Benedict ($15) was quite good and saved the day for me. Does that hollandaise look like Velveeta or nacho cheese, or is it just me?
Saturday shopping took us to our first trip to Eataly! This Italian eatery and food market is just jaw-dropping and drool-worthy. I wanted to take it all home. Check out their list of locations, and do yourself a favor and stop in if you visit a city with one.
I know this post it loooong, but I didn't want to do too many posts about Chicago and bore you to death. The two upcoming ones deserved their own posts, so you'll have to wait for those. But there's one more stop to talk about.

Longman and Eagle came highly recommended by many. This hipster spot with modern farm-to-table fare and nose-to-tail eats (plus whiskey and craft cocktails) reminded me of Cleveland's (and our favorite) The Black Pig.
We waited for a table on the outdoor patio, and it was an absolutely gorgeous, cool summer night that was worth clinging onto as the season winds down.

This restaurant also is all about small plate sharing, and we ordered a couple of things at a time to build a meal as we went. One of the first to come out were the Broiled Oysters (pictured below) with crab butter, chive, and lemon pepper pearls ($4 each). That crab butter was to die for.
We also snacked on the Crispy Octopus, Heirloom Tomato with Ricotta and Ham, Sweet Corn Tortelloni, and the Smoked Trout Brandade (pictured below) with Brie, pickles and baguette ($16).
It was an absolutely heavenly meal, and competed with Girl and The Goat for best food of the trip. It's in an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood, they serve food until 1AM, the whiskey list is longer than I've ever seen, the craft cocktails are delicious, there is a popular tiki bar within walking distance called Lost Lake, and I highly recommend checking it out if you find yourself in Chicago.

Phew, that was a LOT. But soooo worth sharing. Stay tuned for two of the most memorable and epic food experiences, ever.

Girl and The Goat
809 W Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Au Cheval
800 W Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607

The Gage
24 S Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603

Eataly Chicago
43 E Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Longman and Eagle
2657 N Kedzie Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647


Julia said...

I’ve been DYING to go to The Girl and the Goat and your meal looked incredible. Actually all your meals looked incredible. Can’t wait to read the rest of your chicago posts!

Bite Buff said...

It really did live up to the hype and I’ll go again next visit!

Michelle @ And Then We Tried said...

The grilled broccoli and pierogies sound sooooo amazing! My friend lives down the street from Girl and the Goat and Au Cheval, so I'll have to it them up next time I visit!