Funny how things work out, almost as if everything is in alignment. We just returned from a week’s vacation in Chicago. Our son, Ry, is an aspiring chef. He will graduate early this December with a bachelor’s degree and then wishes to attend culinary school. We planned our vacation partly so Ry could check out Cordon Bleu in Chicago. Ry is also a baseball nut and a bicycle nerd, so Chicago sounded like a good match.
Early on I bought tickets for the Cubs/Phillies game on Tuesday night. We also had a copy of Chicago Magazine listing the best of the new restaurants. Obviously, the aspiring chef was put in charge of choosing restaurants, and Ry identified a “Girl and the Goat” as a must do. I only wish he had thought of making reservations at the time!
On Monday morning, we made a personal appearance at GATG seeking reservations during our stay. We were politely informed that the restaurant was booked solid for the week but they did accept walk-ins every now and then as tables became available. Not being especially fond of waiting in line, we accepted the bad news and went off in search of other Chicago culinary delights.
Tuesday night was reserved for the Cubs game. And lo and behold, Stephanie Izard, the Girl of “Girl and the Goat”, the chef and owner, the Iron Chef champion, was the special guest who led the crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. My son recognized her name instantly and couldn’t believe it! My wife and I began to think, “This is a sign; this must be some kind of sign…..”
With renewed confidence, we planned a second visit to GATG. This time, we would also bring a baseball and ask Stephanie to sign it. Not only might we get her autograph, but it would give us an edge in reserving a table for dinner!
Late Thursday afternoon we arrived at GATG. The restaurant was packed, and the bar was already overflowing with people waiting and hoping to get a table. This would be difficult, and for a few minutes – er seconds – I felt a little guilty about having a baseball in my pocket. Was it a bribe of sorts? Was I trying to impress Stephanie? Myself? My family?
Nahhhh, I was just being me – trying to be clever. I approached the reservation desk and presented the bait – er, the ball. But Stephanie had left just 10 minutes earlier and would be out of town the rest of the week. There would be no ball signing tonight; no special pictures with Stephanie and the family; no chef’s table in the restaurant; no Dad saves the day and the world is a better place to live in!
Ah well…..my wife and I took this as another sign, “We will just have to come back to Chicago and dine at GATG some other time; maybe this means Ry will go to culinary school in Chicago?”
When we returned home, I contacted Stephanie via the Internet and relayed the story. She is now awaiting a package from us with the baseball to sign. I have the ball neatly placed in a box, addressed, and ready to mail.
But this presents quite a dilemma for a St. Louis Cardinals fan. If the chef/owner of the “Girl and the Goat”, an upscale trendy restaurant in Chicago, returns a signed baseball to a Cardinals fan, will the curse of the Goat be lifted forever? Will the Cubs win the World Series? Is this all it takes?
The fate of the Cubs rests with Stephanie, me, and the United States Postal Service.
I thought long and hard about it. Forgive me Cardinals fans – I dropped the baseball in the mail to Stephanie this morning.
Tag USPS……it’s up to you and Stephanie!