The one weakness of the extraordinary BYO restaurant Goosefoot, other than the persistent scarcity of reservations, has sprung from the work incumbent on the diner to track down wines that can compare to the great food. Granted, avoiding the usual restaurant markup on wine is worth some amount of trouble, but the best practice—call the restaurant, take copious notes on their recommendations, go to the wine store, seek help in translating recommendations to purchases, lug the bottles to the restaurant—tries the less-oenophilic and probably results in suboptimal pairings.
Chris Nugent, Goosefoot’s chef/owner, is giving himself and everyone else a birthday present (he’s 41 today) by opening Goosefoot Food & Wine (2654 W. Lawrence Ave., Lincoln Square, 773-942-7522), a wine, cheese, chocolate, and dry-goods store next door to the restaurant. “We have a wine pairing program on the menu,” Nugent says. “People who work at the shop can walk you through your dinner.”
Michael Gustaitis, who owns Wine Sellers of Saugatuck, curates the wine selection, with a little-of-everything philosophy and an eye toward the Goosefoot experience, as with stocking plenty of sparklers. “Nina [Nugent, Chris’s wife and the host] says everyone brings in a sparkling wine,” he says. The store will also offer plenty of half bottles, hopefully averting the situation where a couple trying to follow a recommendation for white Burgundy won’t have to choose a different varietal or decide if they’re too lightweight for a whole bottle. (Ahem.)
In addition to wine and some beer, the shop has a baking section, a selection of cheeses, and a chocolate lab. That’s laboratory, by the way, not Labrador.