Naoto has been wanting to eat at Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat for years. Our neighbors have eaten there a few times and have raved about it so much. Naoto has been trying to get us a reservation for awhile now…he was especially anxious to eat there after we ate at Little Goat and had such a delicious experience.
Last Friday, we were able to go after one of his co-workers offered up her reservation to us. (Thanks, Missy!) So at five o’clock on a Friday night, we sat down to a dining adventure at the Goat. My favorite part was the cocktails. Don’t get me wrong–the food was AMAZING–but my cocktail, the Foghorn, was the scene-stealer (pictured above with Naoto’s boring beer). The Foghorn is, according to the menu, “SanFrancisco’s answer to the Manhattan”. It is made with gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur and orange bitters, garnished with an orange peel. So simple, but when it’s the right mix of quality ingredients and good proportions, simple can be so good! It was sweet, but not too sweet and no one ingredient overpowered the others–a perfect drink in my book. I also enjoyed the Charlie Ross cocktail (gin, sugar and bitters)…so tasty!
The menu at Girl & the Goat is separated into three parts: veggies, fish and meat. It is a small-plate restaurant, where you order several things and share a few bites of each thing. I like this style of restaurant, because if something is underwhelming, it’s good to know something new and different will be showing up at the table soon. But, at Girl & the Goat, nothing was underwhelming.
We ordered six dishes (pictured in order below): Squash Blossom Rangoon (crab and yogurt inside a lightly fried squash blossom), Kona Kompachi Crudo (raw fish with aioli and pork), Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon (salmon with a peach panzanelle salad), Roasted Cauliflower (pure heaven, with pine nuts), Sweet Corn Goat Cheese Wontons (goat cheese wontons served with tiny heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn and popcorn!) and Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face (pork cheek served with a fried egg and potatoes). Every dish was really creative and interesting, but my favorite was probably the most simple–the cauliflower. Naoto and I roast cauliflower pretty often around here, and it’s pretty delicious, but it’s nothing like this. I can’t stop thinking that they must really have a secret to making it so good… I’m glad Naoto let me eat most of the cauliflower, and because of his generosity, I only had a bite of the pig face. He was crazy excited to eat Girl & the Goat’s most popular dish. Of course, we had to get coffee and dessert. Naoto got the Miso-Butterscotch Budino (a creamy miso and butterscotch pudding with cashews, pineapple and bacon toffee on top). After this dessert, and the other miso dessert at the Little Goat Diner, I’m convinced that Naoto has the utmost respect for Stephanie Izard and her skills with this Japanese ingredient. I ordered the Goat Cheese Bavarois (brown sugar cake topped with blueberries, caramel krispies and goat cheese). I would tell you that the creamy goat cheese was the best part of this dessert, but then I’d be leaving out how amazing the brown sugar cake was, and the blueberries, and the caramelized krispie gems…What I liked best about Girl & the Goat was that it’s a casual restaurant…no white tablecloths or pretentious servers…it’s just incredibly creative food in a comfortable atmosphere. We definitely want to go back again…the menu changes all the time, so it would be fun to go back in another season to see what’s new. And to get another Foghorn.