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Little Goat Disappoints; Boarding House is Uninspired

Little Goat
Little Goat
Photo: Zagat

Little Goat follows diner fare traditions a little too closely with a menu full of "pitfalls." David Tamarkin writes that "lifeless" mashed potatoes dry into "hard clumps" on the plate, "limp" fries wilt under "bland" goat chili, a plate of trout is "uninspired" and shrimp are "overcooked." There are "wonderful moments" as well like a breakfast burrito with "bright, vibrant flavors," and a classic cheeseburger "which tastes like a Big Mac would if a Big Mac had good beef, crisp lettuce, crunchy onions, etc." Still, Tamarkin's "disappointment with Little Goat runs deep" and he wishes it would separate itself from the mold of typical diners.

The rustic food at Table, Donkey and Stick is "so satisfying and well-executed" that it makes the Alpine-inspired concept "seem appealing, not limiting." Julia Kramer tries a plate of "standout" charcuterie with "subtly smoky" strips of venison loin, "gorgeously rich" duck-liver mousse and "delicate" slices of pheasant galantine. A braised beef shank is "rich and rustic" while the beet soup is an "enigma" that's "beautiful in a dark, haunting way." Dishes that miss include a "humdrum" roasted trout, "intensely fatty" veal breast, and roasted sunchokes and squash that's "roughage served, quizzically, cold." [TOC]

Mike Sula thinks that The Boarding House is "simply, a large-format wine bar on a grand scale" with a menu "built from a formula that largely fails to match the sense of discovery that the wine list inspires." The poutine dishes fail to impress while the fried chicken with buttermilk biscuits is "regrettably underseasoned." A series of "incompatible and formulaic entrees" that are a "bloated, dull affair" includes a "stringy brick" of short rib with sweet potato puree and "lukewarm" slabs of red venison and poached persimmons in pureed parsnip. Desserts fare better like a sugar pie with the "density of Chinese moon cake" and an oatmeal cookie sandwich with a maple-bourbon filling, half dipped in chocolate. [Reader]

Flour & Stone brings Brooklyn-style pizzas to town that are worth a try according to Lisa Arnett. Each pie has a "substantial handle of crust that's puffier and chewier than a traditional New York slice" and comes with a red or white sauce. The Vegetable pizza is full of "high-quality" toppings that avoid the "mushiness as some veggie pizzas do" while the margherita is a "damn good cheese pizza." For Streeterville residents, it's a new spot that offers a pizza option a "notch above the usual delivery joints." [RedEye]

The Boarding House

720 North Wells Street, , IL 60654 (312) 280-0720 Visit Website

Little Goat

820 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607 312 888 3455