You know how when you spend a lot of time planning a party and the day finally arrives and you have this irrational fear that no one will show up? Chris Nugent, who will open Goosefoot with his wife on Dec. 11, has those thoughts. But with his pedigree (he most recently helmed the kitchen at the acclaimed French restaurant Les Nomades), it's more likely than not his party will fill up pretty quickly.
Nugent and his wife, Nina, have spent the last few months completely overhauling the intimate storefront space on Lawrence Avenue off the beaten path from the more populated Lincoln Square stretch along Lincoln Avenue. But as soon as you walk in, you are no longer standing on a gritty, busy thoroughfare. The warm space quickly softens any angst you may have felt from the traffic outside. You're greeted by three small Rodin sculptures that remind Nugent of his childhood trips to the artist's museum in Pennsylvania and enveloped by the room's welcoming gold, light gray, chocolate brown and dark wood color tones.
Goosefoot's 34-seat room will offer only tasting menus, and will begin service with a $90 eight-course menu featuring dishes like roasted quail with spiced beluga lentils, ginger and compressed apple; chestnut soup with pancetta, root vegetables, white Alba mushrooms and truffle essence; roasted loupe de mer with lemon tapioca, French spices and confit leeks; and Angus beef from CDK Farms served with heirloom carrots, the namesake goosefoot, cumin and shallot jus.
Nugent is sourcing his ingredients generally from small farms including Genesis Growers and Three Sisters Garden. "We're a contemporary American restaurant that's looking to utilize the markets of Chicago and around the U.S.," Nugent said. He will eventually offer a 12-course menu option and the restaurant is currently, and will likely remain, BYO.
This being a chef-driven restaurant, Nugent will be in the kitchen every night, accompanied by Misael Sanchez, "my saucier that worked with me for about three and a half years and has been side by side with me," at Les Nomades, Nugent said. "I have good support here."
Goosefoot is accepting reservations now through its website via OpenTable. Don't wait too long; you don't want to get shut out of the party. And if you want to see a little more of what to expect, watch this video, which was created by Nugent's niece in Brazil.
· Chris Nugen Leaving Les Nomades; Opening Goosefoot [~EChi~]
· Goosefoot [website]