Girl and the Goat, Chicago

When a restaurant has 4.5 stars with over 3500 reviews on Yelp (a discussion for another day) and the chef is a Bravo’s Top Chef winner you really have to find out what it is all about! Girl and the Goat books up way in advance so we had a 4:45pm reservation on a Friday night, which worked out perfectly.

The surprisingly large space is rustic and warm with lots of wood and neutral colors. We were seated at a small two-top facing the open kitchen. The menu is a small plates concept divided into vegetarian, fish, meats, breads, oysters, and goat categories. We started with cocktails and I had one which I still dream about. It was called ‘The Earhart’ and was made with ceres vodka, yellow chartreuse, maraschino, lemon, and lavender bitters. The herbal undertones of the yellow chartreuse were enhanced by the lemon and aromatics of the lavender bitters. It was perfect!

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Purple Pig, Chicago

Deviled Egg with Arugula and Capers

We moved here in early August and since the weather was still very pleasant we made several visits to the city and did ‘touristy’ things in those early weeks. On one of our visits we came across The Purple Pig when we were wandering on the Magnificent Mile. Given the name and our love of pork we were curious. At ~2pm on a Monday afternoon the wait was 2 hours! So, we didn’t wait but put it on our list of places to check out.

On a random Friday in September we decided to check it out for lunch. Rather than deal with a wait (they don’t take reservations) we got there when they opened at 11:30am and were the third party in line. Well, as you can imagine, given all of this hype The Purple Pig really had to impress!

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Tapas in Barcelona

Earlier this year, G and I were lucky enough to spend a week eating in and exploring Barcelona! It is a fantastic city and I am finally getting a chance to write up my copious notes into blog posts. I thought I’d start with some thoughts on tapas as they are ubiquitous in Barcelona!  There are tapas bars all over the city; some small quaint hole-in-wall joints to larger, stylish restaurants.  Tapas are small dishes which were originally provided free with the purchase of drinks.  Now they range from the traditional small bites to small plates style dishes.  Tapas are a great dining option because you can sample several flavors and items and not have a huge meal, especially when you are on the go.  During our week stay in Barcelona we were able to try several tapas bars and I thought I would highlight three of our experiences.

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