Tag top chicago restaurants

Parties That Cook’s Chicago Team Treat: An Evening at Girl & the Goat

This blog is brought to you by Parties That Cook’s Chicago team! In lieu of Chicago’s traditional cookbook club this quarter, PTC lead chef David Avila recently hosted fellow PTC chefs Heidi, Molly and Brandy at Chicago’s hottest restaurant: Girl & the Goat. David runs the restaurant’s prep kitchen five days a week, so he treated the girls to an evening of delicious food and offered nuggets of insider information about the history and creation of each dish.

David said the Girl & the Goat team does all their own pickling – and a lot of it! He has even been out to the local farms, such as Slagel Family Farms, where Girl & The Goat sources meat and produce from. Sounds like the definition of farm-to-table dining.

After delivering a bottle of vodka and bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to the kitchen chefs, Heidi, Molly and Brandy sat and sipped cocktails. They then enjoyed two delicious breads made just for them: A hearty pretzel bread with a perfectly crunchy crust paired with a horseradish butter and a “corny” corn bread with a sweet and spicy corn relish. One of the restaurant’s owners stopped by their table and gave them the scoop on “Top Chef” winner Stephanie Izard’s new retro-inspired diner opening this fall, “The Little Goat”. Talk about getting the VIP treatment!

Then the food started coming.

Of course, Heidi, Molly and Brandy let David order for them. They nibbled on bites of pretty much everything. First up was the Roasted Cauliflower with pickled peppers, pine nuts, and mint. Yum! The girls also got a taste of the Grilled Edamame with smoky blue cheese and rosemary. The consensus was that the smoky blue cheese melted over the edamame put it over the top in the best way. The Squash Blossom Rangoon with crab, chive yogurt and toasted almonds was delish, as was the Chickpea Fritters with eggplant-tomatillo caponata and mozzarella. The texture of the fritters was amazing and the fact that they sat on top of a bed of mozzarella made the dish that much better!

The Seared Tuna came up next – served with a delicious crumbled lamb sausage, grilled blueberries and pepitas. Yes, I said grilled blueberries! David explained that the grilling is done by putting a cooling rack on a hot grill and then “spilling” the blueberries on the rack. This was Heidi’s favorite dish of the night, while Brandy’s favorite was the Kalbi style beef ribs. She further explained, “It melted in my mouth and was served over the cutest corn coblettes and topped with charred okra.” There was more, including some oysters that were to-die-for, but if you couldn’t guess by the photos, it’s time to move on to desserts.

The group ordered all four desserts offered that night. They enjoyed the Chocolate Bouchon with a foie fluff and the Brown Sugar Cake with goat cheese mousse of the most perfect texture, but the highlight hands down was the Pork Fat Doughnuts with house-made honey yogurt and lemony eggplant. While eating, Molly shared the tale of a former job where she had to serve homemade donuts from a machine every night. Though she would normally curse a doughnut, she scraped the plate on this one.

All in all, it was an amazing experience and Heidi, Molly and Brandy thank David and the staff at Girl & the Goat for a wonderful night.

I’d like to thank Heidi, Molly and Brandy for a wonderful blog!

Dine About Chicago PTC Style: Our Favorite Chicago Restaurants

After doing a roundup of some of our favorite restaurants in the Bay Area, we decided it would be a great idea to ask our Chicago counterparts for their most frequented and most favorite.

Avec – a very popular, therefore very crowded, restaurant. Many reviews say it is worth the wait and the communal tables add a new twist on the old restaurant environment.

Blackbird – Noted for its innovative menu and small but solid wine list.

North Pond – With a gorgeous view and knowledgeable staff, this would be a great place for a special occasion or visiting guest.

Adobo Grill – This is a great location to get something different than your usual Mexican food, but also a good spot for a delicious margarita!

Piccolo Sogno – This upbeat joint has great appetizers as well as an array of wines served by the glass.

Big Star – These homemade and creative dishes are served at a great price!

MK – Great food in an intimate atmosphere that’s not too packed together.

Fronterra Grill – This restaurant works with top notch ingredients and serves up some delicious Mexican dishes along with great margaritas and a wide selection of Mexican beers.

Custom House – Our chefs love the Braised Short Rib!

The Publican – a pork and beer lovers dream!

The Avenues – They have a fantastic 15 course tasting menu, set in the beautiful Peninsula of Chicago.

Everest – Our chefs see this as one of their favorite staples.

Sola – Awesome food and drinks. The room has great sound as well – you can hear the person sitting across from you.

Spring – This restaurant has great food, drinks AND service. A few of the PTC favorites are the Seared Maine Sea Scallops, braised oxtail, wild mushrooms, sweet soy, and baby bok choy.

Spacca Napoli – The service is great – your pizza comes out 5-10 minutes after you order them. All of their pizzas are made in the in-house wood burning Pizza oven. The pizza special with porcinis and truffle cheese is a favorite.

Mixteco – Great mole and it is BYOB!

Any or all of these restaurants are great options to show visitors, try out for the first time, or put on your regular list of restaurants – as tested and proven by our own Chicago foodies!