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Smash-hit restaurant from Stephanie Izard of Top Chef, where for once the hoopla is well deserved.

Our Review

Stephanie Izard never had anything to prove to Chicago. Long before she conquered Top Chef, she was mistress of her domain at Bucktown's Scylla. This did nothing to still the relentless if entertaining preopening hype stream for G&G, which only served to heighten the anxiety: would Steph really pull it off? But the second you spin through the revolving doors of her Randolph Row restaurant, you're blasted with a besotting roasty meatgust issuing from the wood oven at the back of the room. And there in the rear, backlit by kitchen light and open flame, is the Top Chef herself, sweating in front of the exposed line and expediting orders. Unorthodox but not off-putting combinations are Izard's thing: shaved root vegetables and blueberries in anchovy-buttermilk dressing, smoked goat pizza with sour cherries. She's particularly fond of mammalian garnishes on fish dishes; on one visit, a hiramasa crudo sprinkled with crispy lardons and drizzled with Peruvian chile aioli was one of the most delicate things I put in my mouth. Committed restaurant-goers are by now comfortable with the whole beast, but Izard's efforts with the fifth quarter are truly original—the braised beef tongue with masa, salsa verde, and rough sauteed greens is a beautiful orchestration of taste, texture, and temperature. This is one of those rare instances where the hoopla is entirely justified. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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