Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Birthday Feast at Little Goat Diner – Amazing

It’s my birthday and it’s a tradition to enjoy lunch with my friends from work. I wanted to go to someplace new and have wanted to try Stephanie Izard’s Little Goat Diner for some time. It’s been open for almost a year and none of us had tried it! We’ve been enjoying its satellite operation, Little Goat Bread, at the Chicago French Market, but our visit to Little Goat Diner was long overdue.

Little Goat Diner
Anyone living in or visiting Chicago would be remiss if not dining at Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard’s Little Goat Diner (820 W. Randolph St., Chicago, 312-888-3455). They don’t take reservations so we opted for a late lunch at 1 p.m. When we arrived, we were offered immediate seating at a communal table but chose to wait for a booth, about 10 minutes, no biggie.

The meal was so worth the wait and then some. It was fabulous. I knew that we were over-ordering but couldn’t help it. Everything on the menu sounded delicious and the prices were reasonable.

We started with the Hot Crab Dip, a throwback to the ‘60s, with creamy cheesy (cheddar and cream cheese) lump crab and Ritz crackers. What a kick! For our second course, we split an amazing Pork Belly Butternut Salad (fried pork belly, shredded butternut and Kohlrabi squash, spiced pecans, crisp wonton and sherry vinaigrette). Loved it.

Fish Tostadas
We could have stopped here, but oh no. We each ordered entrees. My Fish Tostadas (crisp whitefish, shallot aioli, chickpeas onion salad, Harissa vinaigrette) were beyond wonderful and now set my standard benchmark. I dare anyone to make ones as good as these. They were that good. Lightly battered fish, housemade tostadas, pure yumminess.

Los Drowned
Lee had the waiter’s recommended Los Drowned (braised beef, avocado, butter case cheese, pickled peppers and onions, spicy mayo, hoagie). I sampled the juicy beef which cut like butter; great flavor. 

Tuna Melt
The tuna melt was unlike any I had ever seen. The menu description, Albacore tuna, Nicoise salad, cheese sauce, sourdough bread, didn’t do it justice. If you like tuna melts, this is the granddaddy of them all. The side of smoky fries was different. I’m not a big fan of the hickory flavor but the fries were yummy nonetheless and my companions loved them.
Lee Barrie and Cindy Kurman Barrie

Now we’re all really full, but in a good way. As Lee says almost every day, “my diet starts tomorrow.” Of course, tomorrow we’ll indulge in leftovers from Little Goat Diner. Lee’s diet might start the day after tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath.

Pork Belly Butternut Salad

Smoked Fries

Cindy Kurman Barrie, Lee Barrie & Petra Quiceno

Little Goat Diner

Little Goat Bakery

Little Goat Bakery

Girl in the Kitchen, Stephanie Izard

Photos by Cindy Kurman
For more information and to check out the complete menu, visit Little Goat Diner.

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