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The Early Word on Duck Duck Goat, Stephanie Izard's Chinese Palace

Diners are lauding the Top Chef's interpretation of Eastern fare

Duck Duck Goat
Duck Duck Goat
Anthony Tahlier

The Menu: Billed as "reasonably authentic" Chinese cuisine, the menu shows that Stephanie Izard has done plenty of research for her new restaurant. As a result, Joseph Hernandez of the Tribune calls it an "inviting ode to a cuisine she has wholeheartedly embraced." With dozens of options split across several sections, it's "amazing but overwhelming too," according to Saba A. on YelpLily F. suggests going with a large group "so you can try as much of the menu as you can."

The Food: Izard's hand-pulled noodles are a crowd favorite. The silver needle noodles with clams and bacon are the "piece-de-resistance" of Kevin C.'s meal, with the "aroma from the soup instantly [reminding him] of the clam soups in Taiwan." Similarly, the "stellar" beef slap noodles are "thick, chewy and coated with umami packed unctuous deliciousness," Cathy F. writes. Amanda Topper of the Ghost Guest agrees, describing the "unreal" texture of the noodles as "thick and super doughy, yet springy, and absorb[ing] every ounce of flavor."

Seafood fried rice is another popular dish, eliciting a "must do for the table" from Saba A, but Shuang Z. "can't really tell the difference" between it and the "cheap ones" in Chinatown. She's also disappointed by shrimp wonton bathing in a "too salty" blueberry broth, which also has a "strange flavor." Brandy B.'s Chongqing spicy chicken is unevenly executed, coming to the table "over charred on the outside & slightly under cooked on the inside." It's quickly remedied, though, by a complimentary order of forbidden goat fried rice. For dessert, Topper loves the "standout" Taiwanese pineapple cake with cashew candy, cashew ice cream and a "holy sh*t"-delicious soy caramel.

The Drinks: Hernandez describes the beverage program as "wide-ranging as the food." It includes unique spirits like duck fat-washed bourbon, according to Daniel I., while Saba A. says "you won't go wrong" with the "20th Century" cocktail. Topper enjoys the "smooth, refreshing, and not overly sweet" "Not Your Fortune Cookie" drink but for $13, Chris B. wishes "they actually filled up the glass a little more."

The Interior: The West Loop space is an "immersion into Chinese culture itself, divided into five spaces with distinct designs evoking Izard's travels and Chinatowns throughout the country," Hernandez writes. Kevin C. thinks there's "definitely an East-meets-West aesthetic, but very tastefully done." It really "brings you into China ... [with] nothing like you've seen in Chicago," according to Saba A. However, Chris B. reports that the ambiance also features tunes from "Missy Elliott, Madonna and other similar jams."

Overall: Diners overwhelmingly think Duck Duck Goat is an outstanding experience. It reminds Lily F. of dishes in "undercover food stalls in China and jank hole in the wall delicious Chinese restaurants." Topper calls it a "well-oiled machine, with no flaws in service or food." Finally, Cathy F. says it offers "all of the pungent, spicy, savory, umami packed richness of what you love about Chinese food but none of the greasiness or over-fried-ness."

Duck Duck Goat

857 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 902-3825 Visit Website

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