LTH Home

The Purple Pig

The Purple Pig
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 2 of 5
  • Post #31 - February 14th, 2010, 3:22 pm
    Post #31 - February 14th, 2010, 3:22 pm Post #31 - February 14th, 2010, 3:22 pm
    We hit The Purple Pig last night for a very late dinner following August: Osage County (highly recommended, BTW).

    At about 11:30 we were seated with no wait. They were out of several things but what we did have was just outstanding.

    Beet and goat cheese dishes are pretty cliche at this point, but the salt roasted beats with goat cheese at Purple Pig is a truly phenomenal dish. The beets were almost candy-like (but certainly not cloying) and the whipped goat cheese served as a perfect compliment to the flavor of the beets. This is probably the best beet preparation I've ever had. From the "smear" section of the menu we wanted the brandade but they were out, so we went with the pork liver pate instead. The pate was really solid. It was rich and had a nice, distinct liver tang.

    We had another couple of dishes that were new to us. One was the salami panini which also had black olives and (I think) goat cheese. I think this dish is like $7 or $8 but you basically get two full size panini. This was a great sandwich, but a little bit more food than I was looking for. The other new dish was the Wagyu sirloin tip. Great, great dish. Delicious meat, served on the rare side of medium rare, with just the right amount of sea salt sprinkled on top. The meat was finished with a bone marrow vinaigrette that gave the dish a really unique and rich flavor.

    I couldn't avoid getting the Sicilian Iris again for dessert. I'm obsessed with it, and I'm ok with that.

    I think we had one more dish in addition to what I described above as well as a quartino of wine. Our check came to $79 after tax but before tip. That's an insanely good value for the quality of food.

    I fell in love with The Purple Pig on my first visit, and my second visit has only served to confirm my feelings. Just a great, great restaurant.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #32 - February 21st, 2010, 1:50 pm
    Post #32 - February 21st, 2010, 1:50 pm Post #32 - February 21st, 2010, 1:50 pm
    Second visit, and I finally figured it out: this is stoopid cuisine. You know, like, if a bunch of frat boys, in the drunken splendor of an epiphany, decided to open up a haute-peasant restaurant? Yes, just dump butter and olive oil on a bunch of fried shit and you're golden, right? Seriously: we had prosciutto balls that seemed dreamed up from sick fantasy dreamed up in your grocer's freezer section (Totino's, perhaps?); lardo crostini that had been buttered and olive oil-ed BEFORE putting the fat on; squash chunks that were coated in brown butter AND olive oil (not a pool at the bottom but a veritable lake~!) AND cheese; and a fried pig's ear dish that was like carbonara--if you removed the pasta part and just had bacon and a runny egg (and some shreds of fried kale, I guess).

    Next time I'm kicked out of Excalibur, I'm so there.
  • Post #33 - February 22nd, 2010, 5:57 pm
    Post #33 - February 22nd, 2010, 5:57 pm Post #33 - February 22nd, 2010, 5:57 pm
    chezbrad wrote:Second visit, and I finally figured it out: this is stoopid cuisine. You know, like, if a bunch of frat boys, in the drunken splendor of an epiphany, decided to open up a haute-peasant restaurant? Yes, just dump butter and olive oil on a bunch of fried shit and you're golden, right?

    Even is 100% accurate I'm undecided if the above makes me want to try the Purple Pig more or less. ;)

    Probably more.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #34 - February 22nd, 2010, 7:10 pm
    Post #34 - February 22nd, 2010, 7:10 pm Post #34 - February 22nd, 2010, 7:10 pm
    chezbrad wrote:Second visit, and I finally figured it out: this is stoopid cuisine. You know, like, if a bunch of frat boys, in the drunken splendor of an epiphany, decided to open up a haute-peasant restaurant? Yes, just dump butter and olive oil on a bunch of fried shit and you're golden, right? Seriously: we had prosciutto balls that seemed dreamed up from sick fantasy dreamed up in your grocer's freezer section (Totino's, perhaps?); lardo crostini that had been buttered and olive oil-ed BEFORE putting the fat on; squash chunks that were coated in brown butter AND olive oil (not a pool at the bottom but a veritable lake~!) AND cheese; and a fried pig's ear dish that was like carbonara--if you removed the pasta part and just had bacon and a runny egg (and some shreds of fried kale, I guess).

    Next time I'm kicked out of Excalibur, I'm so there.


    It's true that if you order the richest-sounding stuff on the menu, you eat rich-sounding stuff. The fried prosciutto balls were filling? The lardo crostini was fatty? The pig with egg had both pig and egg?

    I totally agree that The PP has a heavy hand with butters and oils, and every dish I've tried has benefited from it. I had the squash described above a little while ago, and while it was nothing like the above description, it did taste very buttery. Not only was there no pool, lake, or even small puddle of fat at the bottom of the dish, said dish was completely dry. That's because the squash pieces had absorbed all that tasty butter and the edges had crisped up as a tasty result of butter-roasting.

    There are lighter dishes too, including a delicious lemon-dressed salad with arugula, treviso, grapefruit, hazelnuts, and a small sprinkling of tangy feta. I recommend ordering this, or something like it, as it served as an excellent offset to the richer dishes. We also had sepia grilled a la plancha, dressed with simple olive oil and lemon. There were some fried rosemary leaves used to finish the dish, and I thought they worked great - the strong herbal flavor was there, but the frying had removed the medicinal taste some people find off-putting with rosemary. The molluscs themselves were tender and fresh-tasting, with some nice charcoal flavor from the grill.

    I've had one or two things I don't love at The Purple Pig (pig ears exemplify the fact that just because you can serve something, doesn't mean you should), but on the whole it's hard not to be very happy to have it a short walk from work. I'm already a bit of a regular, I guess - and I don't see that changing.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #35 - February 27th, 2010, 2:31 pm
    Post #35 - February 27th, 2010, 2:31 pm Post #35 - February 27th, 2010, 2:31 pm
    Had lunch here Friday, around 11:30. It was not busy at all when I came in, but near the end of my meal, the place was filling up. I'd probably recommend coming here either for lunch or a late-night meal. I was told that 5 - 9 pm are the busiest times to come, and if I recall correctly, they're open until midnight. I wish this place had been around the last time we stayed overnight in the city, because our late-night meal at Bijan's just didn't cut it.

    Sat at the bar, great vantage of the saute station, and if you sit around the corner, you can watch them fry stuff.

    While I understand where chezbrad is coming from, I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing.

    For example: when I went, I ordered the butternut squash and beets with goat cheese (the cheese definitely made it on that dish) to start, and then the pig ear and octopus.

    The pig ear was fried and very salty and a bit much for lunch, but as a late night snack? I don't think I could think of anything I'd want more.

    The octopus was cooked wonderfully, very simple with oil and couscous on the side. I've had octopus too many times (most recently at Cafe Spiaggia) where I just wasn't that impressed with the way it came out. Here, it was tender, flavorful, and just enough for me. If you're splitting a round with 4 or more people, you're not going to get more than a bite or two out of it.

    For dessert, I ordered the gianduja soft serve with espresso on top, and have to concur with the other posters - it melted too quickly, especially with the addition of the espresso, which left me drinking it out of the cup it was served in, as opposed to spooning it out. I don't think it was worth the price; I'd probably try the butterscotch pudding, or something else next time.

    I also had a fantastic and reasonably-priced glass (er -- several glasses :oops: ) of a red Spanish wine. There was a lot more on the menu I wanted to sample, though. I want to come with a group of 3 or more to try more items -- I'm definitely going back to delve into the smears and the cheese menu.

    This place is fun, in my opinion, and the service was accommodating, helpful and very friendly.
    -- Nora --
    "Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want." ~Gael Greene
  • Post #36 - February 27th, 2010, 6:48 pm
    Post #36 - February 27th, 2010, 6:48 pm Post #36 - February 27th, 2010, 6:48 pm
    I am dying to try this place based on all the wonderful reviews I've heard and read. I have a question though... I understand the premise is wine but I am more of a beer or cocktail person. Do they have those available for the not super wine drinkers? I'll drink wine if that's all there is but I would much prefer a Goose Island Matilda, Dogfish Head (anything) or a scotch :oops:
    Redhdbest
    ____________
    Life is a cabaret my friend!
  • Post #37 - February 28th, 2010, 10:38 pm
    Post #37 - February 28th, 2010, 10:38 pm Post #37 - February 28th, 2010, 10:38 pm
    I noticed they had about half a dozen beers on tap, all imports from what I could tell, but nothing I can remember off the top of my head. Three of them were German brews. I have a feeling you'd find something to your liking here.
    -- Nora --
    "Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want." ~Gael Greene
  • Post #38 - March 1st, 2010, 12:32 pm
    Post #38 - March 1st, 2010, 12:32 pm Post #38 - March 1st, 2010, 12:32 pm
    The only domestic draft (as of last weekend, at any rate) hails all the way from Munster, IN -- Robert the Bruce Scotch Ale, which is as fine a beer as any if you're picking one domestic. But yeah, the others on tap were from Italy or Germany with maybe another 6-8 beers available in bottles, most of which were imports again if I'm remembering correctly. As for whiskies, it looks like they had a full bar so I'd assume some of the bigger labels to be available.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #39 - March 1st, 2010, 6:09 pm
    Post #39 - March 1st, 2010, 6:09 pm Post #39 - March 1st, 2010, 6:09 pm
    I had a nice lunch at the bar at Purple Pig today. I enjoyed three of the four dishes, although all three were heavy on the vinegar/acid and one was a puzzle: I wish that I had been warned to order better, especially two of the dishes didn't indicate their heavy vinegar base. Still taken as individual dishes they were impressive.

    I started with the Shaved Brussel (or Brussels, take your pick) Sprouts with Pecorino Noce and Parmigiano Reggiano. I expected a hot dish of sprouts and cheese, but it was a cold cheese and cabbage salad with a vinegar dressing. A surprise and a pleasant one.

    Image

    This was followed by the Endive and Arugula Salad with Covadonga Bleu Cheese & Orange. The dish was beautifully composed, and I ate it without looking at the menu. When I reached home and wanted to refer to the dish, I had to wonder. I know that this is what I ordered, I know it is what the waitress thought that I ordered, I think that it was what I paid for. But I wonder. This was a dish without (much) orange, the blue cheese was certainly not a roquefort, and it was served with vinaigrette and croutons. Perhaps it wasn't quite mixed greens with feta, radishes, and red wine mint vinaigrette (there was no mint), but I am now puzzled. It was a fine salad, but it wasn't what I expected then or now. Perhaps someone can help a less than fully organized food blogger.

    Image

    My main course (a la Planca) was the Chicken Thigh Kebabs with Fried Smashed Potatoes and Tzatziki (the website lists it as $9, but it is selling now for $11 - a restaurant week special???). Of course with Tzatziki, I realized that this dish would have an acidy tang, but as others have pointed out, it is excellent and worth repeating.

    Image

    I was disappointed by my Olive Oil Soft Serve in Brioche. The brioche was more of a role, not buttery or layered, and, while the soft serve had oil oil drizzed over it, it tasted like vanilla soft ice cream. A real disappointment.

    Image

    Perhaps the Purple Pig is not at the level of Publican, but it makes a very nice addition to the downtown dining scene.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #40 - March 2nd, 2010, 12:04 pm
    Post #40 - March 2nd, 2010, 12:04 pm Post #40 - March 2nd, 2010, 12:04 pm
    redhdbest wrote:I am dying to try this place based on all the wonderful reviews I've heard and read. I have a question though... I understand the premise is wine but I am more of a beer or cocktail person. Do they have those available for the not super wine drinkers? I'll drink wine if that's all there is but I would much prefer a Goose Island Matilda, Dogfish Head (anything) or a scotch :oops:


    I forget the exact beers they had on tap when I ate at the Purple Pig a few weeks back. While the draft list was not long (perhaps 6-8 beers), I was pretty impressed. They had a 2-3 Italian beers I hadn't heard of, another 2-3 German beers, 1-2 American microbrews, and something basic like a Stella. I think the beers rotate pretty frequently as they said the Italian beers were fairly rare.

    While not as extensive as the wine list, I thought the draft beers were very well chosen.
  • Post #41 - March 2nd, 2010, 9:03 pm
    Post #41 - March 2nd, 2010, 9:03 pm Post #41 - March 2nd, 2010, 9:03 pm
    I really liked the beets. I thought the pistachios and salt made it work.
    The pig tails were good but I didn't like the whipped ricotta and rapini.
    No complaints considering what else is in the neighborhood... ENO, etc.
    "Yum"
    -- Everyone

    www.chicagofoodies.com
  • Post #42 - April 13th, 2010, 6:55 pm
    Post #42 - April 13th, 2010, 6:55 pm Post #42 - April 13th, 2010, 6:55 pm
    Spring has arrived at the Purple Pig, and I made a superb, relatively light meal out of three of the latest offerings: peas with farro and mint, ricotta/ sweet pea arancini, and a veritable boatload of fantastic favas served with hard boiled egg slices and crispy prosciutto bits. All fantastic tastes of the season that were perfectly executed. Though The Purple Pig doesn't bill itself as an Italian restaurant and I don't think there is a single pasta on the menu, it's hard to think of many places more genuinely Italian in cooking style.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #43 - April 21st, 2010, 7:38 pm
    Post #43 - April 21st, 2010, 7:38 pm Post #43 - April 21st, 2010, 7:38 pm
    Bought a friend here for lunch today; when we arrived at 1 pm, it was busy, but there were still tables open, so no wait, thankfully. Neither of us were exceptionally hungry, so we agreed to order three dishes and split them. We started with the Prosciutto Bread Balls. I wasn't necessarily expecting to like this, as I'm not generally a fan of smoked pig products, namely, bacon, but the prosciutto in this was very subtle - my friend likened these to falafel, but not really. These came with a side of savory maranara. My only complaint about these was that they were tiny - circumference-wise, barely larger than a dime, and it only came with five (we split the last one). After that, we got a three cheese plate - a manchengo, a buffalo bleu cheese, and the third which escapes me, but all were fantastic. They even offered and bought out additional bread for our cheese -- much needed, since they only give you four little pieces with the initial order. Finally, we had the Chicken Thigh Kebabs with Fried Smashed Potatoes and Tzatziki, as pictured in GAF's post. Again, I was on the fence about ordering this, but ended up loving it. The potatoes and tzatziki had a wonderful lemon flavor to them which meshed really great with the tart yogurt, and the chicken was perfectly tender with just the right amount of crispy skin to give it texture. After ordering that, I conned myself into ordering dessert - we got the Nutella panini, which was OK, but after eating all the toasted, buttered bread with the cheese, it wasn't enough variety, honestly. I probably should have gone with the butterscotch pudding or skipped altogether.

    In the end, though - still loving this place! It's a bit cramped, honestly - we were practically sitting on top of the people next to us (I should have requested a bar seat, since there were a few open. Ah well.) Great lunch, though.
    -- Nora --
    "Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want." ~Gael Greene
  • Post #44 - April 21st, 2010, 7:48 pm
    Post #44 - April 21st, 2010, 7:48 pm Post #44 - April 21st, 2010, 7:48 pm
    GreenFish wrote:We started with the Prosciutto Bread Balls. I wasn't necessarily expecting to like this, as I'm not generally a fan of smoked pig products,..

    Though the word prosciutto can sometimes be used to describe any kind of ham - cured, smoked, raw or otherwise - prosciutto - as the word is most commonly used - is not a smoked product. It is cured and dried. That might be why you liked it more than you expected to.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #45 - April 21st, 2010, 8:20 pm
    Post #45 - April 21st, 2010, 8:20 pm Post #45 - April 21st, 2010, 8:20 pm
    You're right, though I should have specified I am sometimes picky about ham as well, though I have no problems with pork. It's the smoke flavor that turns me off the most, though. I will keep that in mind when I am considering prosciutto as an ingredient. :D
    -- Nora --
    "Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want." ~Gael Greene
  • Post #46 - April 21st, 2010, 8:33 pm
    Post #46 - April 21st, 2010, 8:33 pm Post #46 - April 21st, 2010, 8:33 pm
    GreenFish wrote:You're right, though I should have specified I am sometimes picky about ham as well, though I have no problems with pork. It's the smoke flavor that turns me off the most, though. I will keep that in mind when I am considering prosciutto as an ingredient. :D

    Pancetta should be to your liking, too. It's basically rolled and herbed bacon, without the smoke.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #47 - April 25th, 2010, 8:20 am
    Post #47 - April 25th, 2010, 8:20 am Post #47 - April 25th, 2010, 8:20 am
    Nice article about the Bannos family in today's Tribune - http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/ ... 1220.story
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #48 - April 25th, 2010, 9:30 pm
    Post #48 - April 25th, 2010, 9:30 pm Post #48 - April 25th, 2010, 9:30 pm
    Image

    First time I ever had pig tails -- vastly more meaty than expected, delicious. And big.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #49 - April 26th, 2010, 9:09 am
    Post #49 - April 26th, 2010, 9:09 am Post #49 - April 26th, 2010, 9:09 am
    I visited Purple Pig with the wife on Friday for lunch. I had been once before with the Loop Lunchers and this was wife's first time.

    We loved the beets, goat cheese, pistachios. That was a standout for sure. The brussels sprout dish was no longer on the menu but I can understand since it is spring, but I had wanted to give it a try.

    My favorite thing to eat there, though, is the crispy pig ear, kale, egg salad. I think it's one of the most delicious, prefectly balanced bites of food you will take. The textures of the pig ear and kale, combined with the richness of the egg and the spicy-vinegary bite of the peppers...so good! Wife was skeptical but she thought it was awesome.
  • Post #50 - April 26th, 2010, 8:30 pm
    Post #50 - April 26th, 2010, 8:30 pm Post #50 - April 26th, 2010, 8:30 pm
    Dave148 wrote:Nice article about the Bannos family in today's Tribune - http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/ ... 1220.story


    Enjoyed the article.
    While the young Chef learned a lot growing up around the food business, it seems someone forgot to teach him that you don't wear a hat at the dinner table.

    Sorry it's a pet peeve of mine
    Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
    Woody Allen
  • Post #51 - May 5th, 2010, 9:54 am
    Post #51 - May 5th, 2010, 9:54 am Post #51 - May 5th, 2010, 9:54 am
    I need a little advice. I've got a bday dinner coming up on Saturday that I am trying to plan. There's 12 of us and we are looking to eat at peak time- 8ish. Its between Purple Pig and Old Town Social. Which place would better accommodate this group? I see on their website that PP doesn't accept reservations, while OTS has an event and party submission process. I would also veer toward the cheaper option. Thoughts? Thanks!
  • Post #52 - May 5th, 2010, 10:00 am
    Post #52 - May 5th, 2010, 10:00 am Post #52 - May 5th, 2010, 10:00 am
    Jefe wrote:I need a little advice. I've got a bday dinner coming up on Saturday that I am trying to plan. There's 12 of us and we are looking to eat at peak time- 8ish. Its between Purple Pig and Old Town Social. Which place would better accommodate this group? I see on their website that PP doesn't accept reservations, while OTS has an event and party submission process. I would also veer toward the cheaper option. Thoughts? Thanks!

    For a party of 12 at Purple Pig on Saturday at 8pm, I'd imagine you'd have to either get there at 6ish and put your name down, split up, or have a backup option. It gets jam-packed, and waits for parties of 2 are in the 1-hour-range around 8pm on Saturdays.
  • Post #53 - May 5th, 2010, 10:08 am
    Post #53 - May 5th, 2010, 10:08 am Post #53 - May 5th, 2010, 10:08 am
    Khaopaat wrote:
    Jefe wrote:I need a little advice. I've got a bday dinner coming up on Saturday that I am trying to plan. There's 12 of us and we are looking to eat at peak time- 8ish. Its between Purple Pig and Old Town Social. Which place would better accommodate this group? I see on their website that PP doesn't accept reservations, while OTS has an event and party submission process. I would also veer toward the cheaper option. Thoughts? Thanks!

    For a party of 12 at Purple Pig on Saturday at 8pm, I'd imagine you'd have to either get there at 6ish and put your name down, split up, or have a backup option. It gets jam-packed, and waits for parties of 2 are in the 1-hour-range around 8pm on Saturdays.


    On a Saturday night at peak time, the only places I would dream of going with 12 people are hole-in-the-walls that are never crowded. The Purple Pig is probably the worst place in Chicago for such a thing.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #54 - May 5th, 2010, 10:18 am
    Post #54 - May 5th, 2010, 10:18 am Post #54 - May 5th, 2010, 10:18 am
    Kennyz wrote:On a Saturday night at peak time, the only places I would dream of going with 12 people are hole-in-the-walls that are never crowded. The Purple Pig is probably the worst place in Chicago for such a thing.


    CND Gyros it is!
  • Post #55 - May 5th, 2010, 10:19 am
    Post #55 - May 5th, 2010, 10:19 am Post #55 - May 5th, 2010, 10:19 am
    Jefe wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:On a Saturday night at peak time, the only places I would dream of going with 12 people are hole-in-the-walls that are never crowded. The Purple Pig is probably the worst place in Chicago for such a thing.


    CND Gyros it is!


    Now that's a great idea!
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #56 - May 5th, 2010, 10:28 am
    Post #56 - May 5th, 2010, 10:28 am Post #56 - May 5th, 2010, 10:28 am
    Jefe wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:On a Saturday night at peak time, the only places I would dream of going with 12 people are hole-in-the-walls that are never crowded. The Purple Pig is probably the worst place in Chicago for such a thing.


    CND Gyros it is!

    Gyro melts, broasted chicken, & plentiful cheap beer, in what would essentially be a private room? Sounds like a pretty awesome birthday to me, actually.
  • Post #57 - May 19th, 2010, 6:52 am
    Post #57 - May 19th, 2010, 6:52 am Post #57 - May 19th, 2010, 6:52 am
    My wife and I were fortunate to make it to The Purple Pig last night (jam-packed for a blustery Tuesday night, 1hr. wait at 7:30 for a table for two).

    I'm not sure I have much to add to the chorus of praise for the food. We split four dishes and enjoyed each of them: rock shrimp with spring peas and mint, fried sardines with fennel and lemon vinaigrette, pork rilletes, lamb chop with favas/feta/olives. I loved all four and was most pleased with the lamb chop: a flavorful, fatty, meaty juicy shoulder chop with great char flavor. The side salad of favas, feta, and kalamata olives only enhanced the great piece of meat. The Purple Pig has pulled off the best plate of Greek food that I've had in Chicago (although I haven't yet been to Taxim).

    I do think the place has some "front-of-house" issues. Everyone I encountered seemed overwhelmed, amateur, and clumsy at service. Overall, it wasn't a big problem, except for a poor interaction I had with our bartender (whom I think was actually the floor manager, not a regular bartender). While waiting for a seat, I had his attention and asked him for a mild aperitif. I told him I usually enjoy Campari and ice and I'd like a liqueur that he thought I might enjoy (I saw that they had an ample liqueur selection). He said, "I'll make you a negroni", to which I replied, "No. That's a cocktail. I don't want that," followed by a confusing, clumsy exchange in which I tried to explain to him that I wanted just liqueur and ice. The same guy spent a ton of time acting flustered, stressed out, and loudly verbally annoyed at customers who were sending back drinks. I should have just flagged down the other guy who was obviously a pro bartender.

    The most interesting thing to me about The Purple Pig is its location and what it represents. A restaurant of this style setting up smack-dab in the middle of the Mag Mile is making a pretty strong statement. Its location and success represents to me the pinnacle of the Chicago-gastropub trend. I do not mean "pinnacle" in the sense of them being the best, but rather they're setting themselves up as a flagship for a style of restaurant in Chicago that is weaving itself into the fabric of the city. From big-time stalwarts like Avec and The Publican to neighborhood spots like Kith & Kin and Longman & Eagle to night-out hot-spots like Old Town Social, this is a trend that is succeeding wildly on a lot of different playing fields, and with good reason. The Purple Pig is set up as the Gino's East of the Chicago gastropub: the go-to spot for tourists and business travelers who want to experience a part of Chicago's restaurant culture without taking a trip on the el or an expensive round-trip cab ride. It's the pinnacle in the sense that there's no higher profile to take, no bigger stage for the Chicago gastropub. The Gage tried this, and they do succeed in some respects, but went too far into white tablecloth territory to really be the flagship. The Purple Pig really seems to have embraced the concept wholeheartedly.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #58 - May 19th, 2010, 8:36 am
    Post #58 - May 19th, 2010, 8:36 am Post #58 - May 19th, 2010, 8:36 am
    As much as I love The Purple Pig, I'm not a fan of the service at the bar. I've stopped in for a few solo dinners at the bar and the service has either been incredibly slow (like I'm not even there) or just plain sloppy (no plate, napkin or silverware until I asked...bread not served until after I had received my first plate of food). I really wish they'd work on this.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #59 - May 19th, 2010, 9:11 am
    Post #59 - May 19th, 2010, 9:11 am Post #59 - May 19th, 2010, 9:11 am
    eatchicago wrote:The most interesting thing to me about The Purple Pig is its location and what it represents. A restaurant of this style setting up smack-dab in the middle of the Mag Mile is making a pretty strong statement.
    Yes, and one that I hope ends up really meaning something over the long haul.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #60 - May 19th, 2010, 9:34 am
    Post #60 - May 19th, 2010, 9:34 am Post #60 - May 19th, 2010, 9:34 am
    jesteinf wrote:As much as I love The Purple Pig, I'm not a fan of the service at the bar. I've stopped in for a few solo dinners at the bar and the service has either been incredibly slow (like I'm not even there) or just plain sloppy (no plate, napkin or silverware until I asked...bread not served until after I had received my first plate of food). I really wish they'd work on this.


    Interesting. I've had nothing but good service at the bar, though it can indeed be slow to get a drink during busy times.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more