Dining

New Kid on the Block

Stephanie Izard opens her American Chinese restaurant, Duck Duck Goat, in Chicago's West Loop
Duck Duck Goat
Photo: Galdones Photography/Duck Duck Goat

"It was smooth. Not anticlimactic in a bad way; it just went really well," Stephanie Izard says about yesterday's opening of her new restaurant, Duck Duck Goat.

The Girl & the Goat chef's new project is what she and her team are calling a "reasonably authentic" Chinese restaurant that mixes and matches familiar Chinese American dishes, like egg rolls and scallion pancakes, with recipes she picked up on a trip to China, like glutinous rice dumplings and hand-pulled noodles. "We're trying to showcase authentic and American" takes on Chinese cooking, Izard explains.

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It's a project that's been in the works for more than two years, spurred by a Chinese dinner in the private dining room at Little Goat. As Izard and her husband snacked on leftovers the next day, the idea for an American Chinese restaurant was born, something smaller and perhaps less ambitious than Duck Duck Goat—but then a two-week trip to mainland China and another two weeks in Taiwan changed that. "We decided we wanted to dive deeper into the cuisine," Izard says.

So, "I taught myself to make dumplings and noodles." Fittingly, the long menu (which includes some pictures, in a nod to old-school style) offers dishes like slap noodles with shrimp, goat sausage, eggplant and mushrooms; goat lo mein made with house-made egg noodles; and numerous dumplings, including ones stuffed with shrimp and peanuts. And, of course, this being a Stephanie Izard restaurant, there's plenty more goat throughout the menu.

There are also little moments of playfulness built into the restaurant. To end the meal, the team had planned to make fortune cookies, but after some trouble with them during the friends-and-family, they've switched to making Chinese almond cookies that come with pins carrying fortunes like "You will come across lots of money, but it will all be nickles."

Find Little Goat here, or in our DINE app.
Find Girl & The Goat here, or in our DINE app.

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