You’ve probably never been to a diner where you knew the chef by name. But look for The Little Goat to pioneer a new tradition when it opens in late spring 2012. Owned by culinary queen Stephanie Izard, who once again teams up with the Boka Restaurant Group (as she did with Girl & The Goat), this highly anticipated West Loop venture aims to be a chef-driven concept serving classic American fare. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, when it comes to cocktails, Izard’s all about the classics as well. Her preferred poison is “a perfectly crafted” Manhattan, which she likes to drink at The Whistler(2421 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-227-3530).
“The Manhattan reminds me of hanging out with my sister, mom, and Aunt Murle,” Izard tells us. “We used to drink them while playing card games in Aunt Murle’s trailer in North Carolina. When I first sipped it, I thought I was drinking an ‘old lady’ drink, but now I know I was just getting exposed to what a great cocktail is supposed to be—and moving past my vodka-tonic phase.”
Though The Little Goat is not slated to open until next year, Izard’s keeping busy with the “Goat Tour,” a 17-city event that has the Top Chef winner hosting dinners at some of her favorite restaurants, with proceeds benefiting her charity of choice, Share Our Strength. It’s also an opportunity for Izard to promote her newly released book, Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats, and Drinks, which details her extensive travels and the recipes inspired by them.
The Whistler’s Manhattan
Courtesy of head bartender/co-owner Paul McGee
2 oz. Rittenhouse rye or Wild Turkey rye whiskey
1 oz. Carpano Antica vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve with Luxardo Marasche cherry.