You’d expect there to be some misses, maybe a hiccup or two on the opening night of any restaurant – especially one with such a hype leading up to its opening. Mayne a dish or two needs some work or exclusion from the menu. Or possibly someone forgot to prep an item, leaving it to be done a la minute.
Service errors, lack of menu knowledge and long ticket times are all fair game in my experience. Fortunately, this was as far from the case at Girl and the Goat’s new sister restaurant – Little Goat (820 W. Randolph St.). From the moment we walked in the door, we felt welcome and were treated as though we were already regulars.
The space had a modern feel with plenty of 50’s diner decor tastefully thrown in here and there. Very sleek, very clean. Large booths that seat up to six formed the perimeter of the dining room with several more in the center. A large sky light will provide plenty of natural light during breakfast and lunch hours. The staff was friendly even with our arrival nearing midnight on opening night – but they serve until 2AM!
We sat at the counter with a clear view of the extra long open kitchen hot line. We were greeted by Dawn who recommended a number of their signature dishes. We were completely overwhelmed with the selections before us. Little Goat serves breakfast all day, sandwiches, burgers featuring a variety of protein, full dinners and more. You could literally dine here twenty times and not make it through everything they have to offer.
We started with an order of their Macho Nachos. We’ve been on a nacho kick lately and decided to put these to the test. We were told they made the wonton style corn tortilla chips in house, the pulled pork was slow cooked and extremely flavorful and the cheese sauce was the real deal – a bechemel crafted with local cheddar.
Topped with pickled peppers, avocado and some sour cream, these are rich and robust. Every chip was covered with toppings and for twelve bucks, we were very happy with the portion. They took time and care in slow cooking the barbecue pork, it was so tender pulling apart effortlessly with a fork.
The assembly of the ovular shaped pile of yummy was done with an eye for detail and I believe a lil’ bit o’ love. Not your traditional nacho, but absolutely a must try on one of your earlier visits. Don’t be ashamed to use a fork, even though nachos are made to be messy, you’ll need every tool at your disposal to craft the perfect bite.
Another highly recommended item was the house Reuben. Their version featured house cured corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and a unique corned kimchee between two slices of home made pretzel rye.
The bread was delicious. Sliced just the right thickness, toasted just right – every good “sammy” starts with killer bread. The proportions of each topping were spot on though a bit more meat couldn’t have hurt. A flavorful, gooey and tender Reuben that I’d be happy with any day of the week.
We ordered a tater as well. Shredded hash browns with a light and creamy goat cheese basically folded into the spuds. Delicate and really unique, this worked better than one would imagine. All about the execution and, of course, attention to detail.
Lastly, we couldn’t leave without trying a signature dessert. They offered pies, cakes, ice cream, all the good stuff. But at the top of the menu, an item caught our attention. Fluffer Nutter. Their version of this childhood classic starts with a doughnut that’s been “stuffed” with peanut butter ice cream. On this evening they topped it with a fresh blueberry compote and finished with a charred meringue on top. It was sinful. So rich and decadent, it was gone in four to six bites. We were stuffed. Content. In states of pure bliss…call it a day.
So after a few delays, much hype and almost a year of anticipation, we have our Little Goat – and it’s without a doubt a winner in my book. In fact, it mirrors the restaurant concept I’ve always envisioned opening myself – a diner well some. Excellent service, killer food and a clean attractive atmosphere. While you may be greeted with a wait many nights, you can always mosey on next door for a drink at their bar…which will eventually feature a completely separate menu I might add.
I’m hungry. Lets eat!