I would like to preface by saying that every time we told someone from Chicago that we were going to have dinner at Girl & the Goat, their eyes got really round and they started talking about how amazing it is and how impossible it is to get reservations. By the time it came to go to dinner, I was pretty excited. I can happily say that my expectations were exceeded.
The atmosphere at the restaurant was not what I was expecting–-the word that comes to mind is “trendy.” After dining at Tony’s earlier this week, I expected this restaurant to have a similar character. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was loud music playing and everything was very relaxed. I think the modern feel of the restaurant contributed to the great dining experience.
|Baby octopus salad|
Joining us for dinner tonight were Callie Brown, the NorCal Admissions Officer for U of Chicago, and three students from U of Chicago: Mario, Ian, and Bella. Although I didn’t get a chance to talk with Mario very much, he seemed like a great guy from what little interaction we had. (We were seated at opposite ends of the table so it was difficult to converse.) Bella, an econ major, was very friendly and told us about her new internship. I did get a chance to talk to Ian–-I was excited to find that he wants to travel to Japan. Clara and I were fortunate enough to go to Japan on a school trip last summer, so I enjoyed talking to Ian about Japanese culture.
I was really lucky in that I was able to sit near Callie, who was friendly and seemed happy to talk with us. We discussed U of Chicago a bit more, although we had already covered a lot during the info session. She told me about her experience playing varsity soccer at U of Chicago, which I found interesting because soccer is a big part of my life at the moment and I’ve been wondering how that will transition into college. Callie and I also shared travel experiences, and found that we both liked nature, animals, and new cultural experiences.
I was glad to have the chance to talk to her in more detail, because it was very reassuring to hear her perspective about the college admissions process. Talking with her reminded me of the amazing position that I’m in, as I have so much freedom to apply wherever I want and then study whatever interests me in college. Too often I find myself worried about the college application process instead of excited for the four great years that are to come, and Callie helped remind me why I want to go to college so badly.
The dining style at Girl & the Goat was a little unusual, but I liked it because it reminded me of Chinese banquets with my grandparents, where everything is ordered family style. Our waitress advised us to each pick one dish that we liked, and then she would bring two orders of each and we would all share everything. We took her advice and together complied a list including items such as pig face (Callie’s pick), escargot ravioli, baby octopus, goat empanadas, and beef tongue. I especially enjoyed the pork ribs, the pork shank, and the green beans. Both pork dishes were ridiculously tender, juicy, and flavorful. The flavor of the green beans, or at least the flavor of the sauce, somehow reminded me of Chinese food from back home. It was a little like finding an old friend in a new place, but with food.
The shared dishes method of eating ensured that we got to enjoy all the different flavors that Girl & the Goat has to offer while preventing us from getting so full as to feel uncomfortable. Our meal finished off with a selection of desserts. I chose goat cheesecake because I assumed that it would be a specialty, as it included goat cheese. It was the best cheesecake I’ve ever eaten. Girl & the Goat was a unique dining experience that I will use to measure up against fancy dinners in the future, and if I find another comparable experience I will be happy indeed.