The James Beard Award-winning Stephanie Izard is one of Chicago’s most well-known chefs, and that’s not because of her distinction as the first female to be named Bravo’s Top Chef back in 2008, but rather her diverse culinary imprint on the city.
With the mighty Boka Restaurant Group, Izard has opened a slew of buzzy establishments over the years that locals love, including Girl & the Goat, Little Goat Diner, Duck Duck Goat, and the bakery Sugargoat. Cabra, Izard’s cevicheria-inspired hangout on the roof of The Hoxton hotel, in Fulton Market, has a particular panache—especially in highly coveted warm weather, when the lounger-lined pool patio acquires the carefree sheen of a beach club shindig.
Like Girl & the Goat, which sprouted a popular Los Angeles location in the Arts District last year, Cabra now has a West Coast outpost at the Hoxton, Downtown LA. But the original, going strong since 2019, keeps warranting return visits.
Any time of year, guests are treated to panoramic views of Chicago from all angles in the dining room, a glass-walled, greenery-filled space by the prolific global design firm AvroKO that melds teal-colored tiles and round velvet banquettes with bursts of burnt orange and Peruvian ceramics and textiles.
It all makes for an entrancing backdrop to bright, shareable dishes like the hot chorizo and queso dip, shrimp tacu tacu over a pigeon pea rice cake, goat empanadas, and one of the must-order citrusy leche de tigre-marinated ceviches. That’s before succumbing to the chocolate tres leches cake with tamarind caramel.
A classic Pisco Sour is a Cabra go-to, but the Lime in De Coconut (Tanqueray gin, coconut, banana, lime, ginger ale) and the rummy Takes Two to Mango, heightened with Tajin and the Peruvian yellow chile pepper, aji amarillo, conjure sunny Latin America just as magnificently.