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The Purple Pig
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  • Post #91 - January 7th, 2011, 10:41 am
    Post #91 - January 7th, 2011, 10:41 am Post #91 - January 7th, 2011, 10:41 am
    I like more acid in my food than many chefs use, but when you have white anchovies that have been marinating forever in vinegar, you don't need to combine them with very sour blood oranges and make a tart vinaigrette on top of that. The core ingredient is already an acid bomb, so do something to balance it.
    ...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 #92 - February 19th, 2011, 7:42 pm
    Post #92 - February 19th, 2011, 7:42 pm Post #92 - February 19th, 2011, 7:42 pm
    Purple Pig has been nominated as a Great Neighborhood Restaurant. Please post your comments here. Discussion continues through March 7.

    Thanks,

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

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  • Post #93 - February 20th, 2011, 12:16 am
    Post #93 - February 20th, 2011, 12:16 am Post #93 - February 20th, 2011, 12:16 am
    My goodness I'm conflicted over this one.

    Why Purple Pig should be a GNR: I think they're among the best in the pork/wine genre that's emerged over the last year or two. They're serving food on Michigan Ave. that you would never think would be served on Michigan Ave. (marrow, pig tails, etc) and they do it extremely well. It's among my favorite restaurants to open recently. The Sicilian Iris is one of my favorite desserts. I find the service to be (for the most part) friendly and enthusiastic.

    Why Purple Pig shouldn't be a GNR: The weak part of service, I've found, is at the bar. Every time I've eaten at the bar I've found the service to be some combination of sloppy and indifferent. My main argument against is mainly based on what a GNR "should" be. Purple Pig is not a neighborhood restaurant. It's not a hidden gem. It's not a place "discovered" by LTHForum. I think that most reports on the place are positive, but does it really "resonate with the Community"? I don't know.

    I was fearing this nomination, and I'm interested to see how this discussion will play out.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #94 - February 20th, 2011, 10:37 am
    Post #94 - February 20th, 2011, 10:37 am Post #94 - February 20th, 2011, 10:37 am
    From the moment that happy_stomach and germuska wandered in during the soft opening and reported back on the porky nuts, this restaurant generated some real excitement on LTH. I count it as my favorite new restaurant that has been open while they day, and if you read through the posts here, a number of other posters state that it is one of (if not the) best recent openings as jesteinf notes below.

    First, I love the antipasti. My first visit was a perfect spring moment in May when the antipasti menu featured favas, asparagus, spring peas and all other manner of verdant seasonality. Additionally, these ingredients were treated with care, paired well with other flavors, and dressed in a light and refreshing acidity that served as a complement to the heartier dishes on the menu. The spring peas were pared with perfectly cooked rock shrimp and the asparagus salad was shaved and served with peccorino and toasted walnuts, a salad so delicious and simple I immediately started making it at home. I can honestly say that these dishes helped awake my the bright and light parts of my palate from wintry hibernation. This meal got me as as excited for the coming season as the melting snow and intermittently warming days.

    Nearly everything they are putting out in their smear section is fantastic. Everything is helped by the olive oil basted, salted, and plancha-seared bread that goes beneath it. But once you start slathering on whipped feta and vegetable du jour, it is really a joy to savor bread treated and married so well.

    There are, of course, richer dishes that I still remember. The first time I had the nekbone gravy, it was so good we had to immediately order another one. The chicken thigh with smashed potato dish is a winner. I fondly remember a seared scallop with spiedini and chickpea special in the fall.

    I have not had a dessert there that rises to the level of the savory foods, but that is a trifling quibble.

    Now to address points raised above. I have eaten alone at the bar early on a weeknight and found the service to be perfectly pleasant. I also have have found the bartenders to be enthusiastic and helpful. In the midst of a weekend crush, I ordered a wine by the glass at random while we waited for our table. Despite being busy, the bartender explained a few peculiarities about the wine and offered me a 1/3 pour or so to try it first. These are the types of service touches I'll remember. Do they have difficulty managing the crowds at high volume times? Sure, it's not a big place, but I have not experienced front of house gaffes that people describe above..

    Lastly, let's take on it's location. Personally, I don't want to grade on a curve for location. Some hesitate to laud suburban spots that are good for the area, but do not stand up to comparison with stronger places elsewhere. It is nice that the Purple Pig is just off of Michigan Avenue and helps to serve as a reasonable dining destination there, I would choose some dishes at PP were it located in Uptown, Greektown, Chinatown (or any of the towns). I think it stands alone as a great restaurant. Period.

    I continue to struggle with exactly how to define a GNR. Here are the three that I'm feeling at this moment. Has it generated excitement on LTH? Would I go out of my way for the food? Would I recommend it to out of towners? Well, Purple Pig is probably the restaurant I recommend to most to out of town visitors. I think it fills all these criteria handily. I wholeheartedly second the nomination.
  • Post #95 - February 23rd, 2011, 12:11 pm
    Post #95 - February 23rd, 2011, 12:11 pm Post #95 - February 23rd, 2011, 12:11 pm
    I hit the Purple Pig for the first time last night and had a very nice dining experience. We sampled about a dozen plates and half a dozen wines. Each wine we had was notably food-friendly. Highlights of the meal, ranked:

    1. Pork neck rillette with mostarda
    2. Butternut squash arancini
    3. Octopus
    4. Artichokes with salami and asiago
    5. Fried anchovies with fennel salad
    6. Mortadella crostini

    Will gladly return to the Purple Pig for a half bottle of wine and a few strategically chosen small plates next time I'm in the area.
  • Post #96 - February 24th, 2011, 10:54 am
    Post #96 - February 24th, 2011, 10:54 am Post #96 - February 24th, 2011, 10:54 am
    jesteinf wrote:My goodness I'm conflicted over this one..I was fearing this nomination, and I'm interested to see how this discussion will play out.

    Like you, I think the food at Purple Pig is outstanding, based on a lunch there. But while there are people who live in high-rises nearby, the commonly understood meaning of neighborhood when it comes to Chicago--as in, "you've got to get out in the neighborhoods to know the real Chicago"--does not include Michigan Avenue or The Loop. So--also like you--I have trouble with a Great Neighborhood Restaurant designation for this restaurant.
  • Post #97 - February 24th, 2011, 11:17 am
    Post #97 - February 24th, 2011, 11:17 am Post #97 - February 24th, 2011, 11:17 am
    riddlemay wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:My goodness I'm conflicted over this one..I was fearing this nomination, and I'm interested to see how this discussion will play out.

    Like you, I think the food at Purple Pig is outstanding, based on a lunch there. But while there are people who live in high-rises nearby, the commonly understood meaning of neighborhood when it comes to Chicago--as in, "you've got to get out in the neighborhoods to know the real Chicago"--does not include Michigan Avenue or The Loop. So--also like you--I have trouble with a Great Neighborhood Restaurant designation for this restaurant.


    But, if you find yourself stuck around there, PP is a welcome respite from the hotel/chain food that is commonly found in the area. In that sense, it's a gem.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #98 - February 24th, 2011, 11:25 am
    Post #98 - February 24th, 2011, 11:25 am Post #98 - February 24th, 2011, 11:25 am
    stevez wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:My goodness I'm conflicted over this one..I was fearing this nomination, and I'm interested to see how this discussion will play out.

    Like you, I think the food at Purple Pig is outstanding, based on a lunch there. But while there are people who live in high-rises nearby, the commonly understood meaning of neighborhood when it comes to Chicago--as in, "you've got to get out in the neighborhoods to know the real Chicago"--does not include Michigan Avenue or The Loop. So--also like you--I have trouble with a Great Neighborhood Restaurant designation for this restaurant.


    But, if you find yourself stuck around there, PP is a welcome respite from the hotel/chain food that is commonly found in the area. In that sense, it's a gem.


    You're both right and that's what makes this so tricky.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #99 - February 24th, 2011, 11:34 am
    Post #99 - February 24th, 2011, 11:34 am Post #99 - February 24th, 2011, 11:34 am
    stevez wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:My goodness I'm conflicted over this one..I was fearing this nomination, and I'm interested to see how this discussion will play out.

    Like you, I think the food at Purple Pig is outstanding, based on a lunch there. But while there are people who live in high-rises nearby, the commonly understood meaning of neighborhood when it comes to Chicago--as in, "you've got to get out in the neighborhoods to know the real Chicago"--does not include Michigan Avenue or The Loop. So--also like you--I have trouble with a Great Neighborhood Restaurant designation for this restaurant.


    But, if you find yourself stuck around there, PP is a welcome respite from the hotel/chain food that is commonly found in the area. In that sense, it's a gem.

    No argument there. The only question is whether it's a "neighborhood" gem.
  • Post #100 - February 24th, 2011, 4:59 pm
    Post #100 - February 24th, 2011, 4:59 pm Post #100 - February 24th, 2011, 4:59 pm
    Some posts on this thread were moved to Site Chat under GNR discussion 2011
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #101 - February 24th, 2011, 5:14 pm
    Post #101 - February 24th, 2011, 5:14 pm Post #101 - February 24th, 2011, 5:14 pm
    For the reasons stated here, I do not support The Purple Pig for a GNR.
  • Post #102 - February 24th, 2011, 9:22 pm
    Post #102 - February 24th, 2011, 9:22 pm Post #102 - February 24th, 2011, 9:22 pm
    Thanks for nominating The Purple Pig for a GNR...reading this thread inspired me to head to dinner there tonight, and my dining companion and I had a great time. I can understand why some people/publications have named it one of the best new restaurants in Chicago.

    When I think of a GNR, I'm envisioning an under-appreciated place that would benefit from the power of LTHForum. It's probably a place that doesn't get a lot of weekday traffic and is a bit off the beaten path. While Purple Pig was--undoubtedly--fantastic, I don't know if it was a GNR. At 5:30 on a weekday, tables were already at a premium. By 7:30, when we left, there was already a wait. While the food certainly qualified it as a GNR, I'm not sure that the traffic did. Have we ever considered having GCR (Great Chicago Restaurants) in addition to GNRs?

    (FWIW, we got the fried brussels sprouts, a few cheeses, pig ears and bone marrow. All were great. With a few glasses of wine, the total cost was about $150 for two people.)
  • Post #103 - February 24th, 2011, 9:28 pm
    Post #103 - February 24th, 2011, 9:28 pm Post #103 - February 24th, 2011, 9:28 pm
    chgoeditor wrote:(FWIW, we got the fried brussels sprouts, a few cheeses, pig ears and bone marrow. All were great. With a few glasses of wine, the total cost was about $150 for two people.)


    WOW, that seems super $$$ for pigs ears and marrow bones. For $150 I would expect Foie Gras and prime steaks....
  • Post #104 - February 24th, 2011, 9:36 pm
    Post #104 - February 24th, 2011, 9:36 pm Post #104 - February 24th, 2011, 9:36 pm
    I don't think it was the pigs ears and marrow bones that was pricey. It must have been the wine. My wife and I shared 4 small plates and a $36 bottle of wine and got out for just over $80 with tip.
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #105 - February 24th, 2011, 9:43 pm
    Post #105 - February 24th, 2011, 9:43 pm Post #105 - February 24th, 2011, 9:43 pm
    jhawk1 wrote:I don't think it was the pigs ears and marrow bones that was pricey. It must have been the wine. My wife and I shared 4 small plates and a $36 bottle of wine and got out for just over $80 with tip.


    No prices posted on their online menus. We had:
    3 cheeses (definitely $17 bucks for the combo)
    1 fried brussels sprouts
    1 fried pigs ear
    1 bone marrow
    2 8 oz cavas
    1 8 oz Italian red (don't remember which one) + 2 5 oz servings of the same red

    Wine alone was about $50 before tip. Total was about $110 before tip. ($108 if I recall.)
  • Post #106 - February 24th, 2011, 9:46 pm
    Post #106 - February 24th, 2011, 9:46 pm Post #106 - February 24th, 2011, 9:46 pm
    $40on a $110tab is generous. Nice to see someone's making up for that 2-cent tipper D-Bag that's been in the news lately
    ...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 #107 - February 24th, 2011, 9:53 pm
    Post #107 - February 24th, 2011, 9:53 pm Post #107 - February 24th, 2011, 9:53 pm
    Kennyz wrote:$40on a $110tab is generous. Nice to see someone's making up for that 2-cent tipper D-Bag that's been in the news lately


    Milking that one for all it is worth I see...
  • Post #108 - February 24th, 2011, 11:17 pm
    Post #108 - February 24th, 2011, 11:17 pm Post #108 - February 24th, 2011, 11:17 pm
    Kennyz wrote:$40on a $110tab is generous. Nice to see someone's making up for that 2-cent tipper D-Bag that's been in the news lately


    I'm rounding and estimating in my head. I think the total pre-tax (but with alcohol) was in the $110. We each paid different amounts, so maybe it was a $130 tab total. Sorry if my math is inaccurate, but I do generally tip at least 20 percent (maybe 15 percent if the kitchen is slow).
  • Post #109 - February 25th, 2011, 11:22 am
    Post #109 - February 25th, 2011, 11:22 am Post #109 - February 25th, 2011, 11:22 am
    I heartily concur that the Purple Pig deserves to be a GNR. I've eaten there probably 10 times, and with the exception of a flaky soft-serve machine (it's been working on maybe half of my visits, making the affogato a rare treat) and one service gaff (which was affably and eagerly corrected by management) everything has been superb. The meat gets most of the press, but the vegetable preparations are some of my favorites. Whether its Brussels sprouts, cauliflower or lima beans, they are treated with just as much care as the marrow bones or mortadella.

    As for the question of neighborhood, GNR Ginza is just a couple blocks away.
  • Post #110 - February 25th, 2011, 5:00 pm
    Post #110 - February 25th, 2011, 5:00 pm Post #110 - February 25th, 2011, 5:00 pm
    kl1191 wrote:As for the question of neighborhood, GNR Ginza is just a couple blocks away.

    Over the last couple of days I've had occasion to change my mind (imagine that--being susceptible to reasonable arguments!), and I now would support Purple Pig for a GNR. This is because Michigan Avenue is a neighborhood--a neighborhood for very, very rich people who live in the Trump Tower and elsewhere, but nonetheless a neighborhood--and therefore PP is in a neighborhood. Demographic patterns have shifted since the old definition of "Chicago neighborhood" applied, and whole areas where few people used to live, like the Loop, Museum Campus area, and Michigan Avenue, now have more people living in them. We shouldn't deny them their right to call themselves a neighborhood just because they're millionaires.
  • Post #111 - April 5th, 2011, 1:45 pm
    Post #111 - April 5th, 2011, 1:45 pm Post #111 - April 5th, 2011, 1:45 pm
    I get a kick out of the way The Purple Pig applies its share-plates concept to solo diners. At lunch today, I ordered and then the bartender put an empty plate with some utensils in front of me. When my Tripe alla Parmagiana* arrived, the runner presented the small crock of ragu on a larger plate which contained bread pieces for dipping/ smearing. He placed that crock/ plate combo behind my empty plate, more than a full arm's reach away from me. I took a few seconds to reposition the items in a more practical way, unfortunately getting a good dollop of ragu on my sleeve in the process. I've tried to resist this nutty serving method before, but it just doesn't work. So I've learned to chuckle along with the flow.


    *crazy good dish even though the kitchen tries every trick in the book to get rid of any actual tripe flavor (such as poaching in vanilla-scented water). A bit remains, and provides a mildly funky undertone to the acidic, herbaceous tomato ragu.
    ...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 #112 - April 10th, 2011, 10:15 pm
    Post #112 - April 10th, 2011, 10:15 pm Post #112 - April 10th, 2011, 10:15 pm
    Attempted to finally get to grahamwich before closing, but missed out by a good 15 minutes. No matter, off to Purple Pig!

    Menu was smaller than the previous 3 or so times I've gone and they had run out of bone marrow for the day.

    But I love Purple Pig, and always willing to try some new stuff. so with my Peroni ordered, it was time to start my meal
    Image

    Potato And Speck Croquettes with Calabrian Chili Aioli
    Image

    Lardo Crostini
    Image

    Coppa
    Image

    Image

    Mortadella, Balsamico & Pistachio
    Image

    Milk Braised Pork Shoulder & Mashed Potatoes
    Image

    I'm always amazed at how good the pork shoulder is. I have yet to go a visit where I didn't give in and order this delight.

    edit: The tab for this meal was something like 43 dollars split between two. I've been there where the total was 100 or so, but this place can be done on the cheap.
    Last edited by incite on August 17th, 2011, 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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  • Post #113 - May 5th, 2011, 6:11 pm
    Post #113 - May 5th, 2011, 6:11 pm Post #113 - May 5th, 2011, 6:11 pm
    Went to the Purple Pig for the second time this week. The first time was amazing-- partly because we sat outside on a gorgeous summer day, having just found an apartment somewhat nearby, so the mood was super happy. This time my husband and I went with his parents, visiting from abroad. We arrived right at 6pm on a Monday, and it was pretty much full already. We grabbed the end of the big table in the tent outside, the host didn't even offer a wait for sitting inside, even though it was actually quite chilly. The heaters did OK, but there was a serious draft, so we were all a little cold through the meal.

    Two of us were just eating vegetarian, and two were eating everything. We got the beets with feta, peas and faro (the one without bacon, even though they brought the bacon one first), asparagus salad, fried hard-boiled egg and pork rillette spread and the razor clams (?). I think that was all for the first round, but then we were still hungry, so got another beets, peas and faro, an order of the whipped feta spread, and the octopus. The vegetarian food was extremely good, although I had to order the feta to get toast to get some bulk and actually feel full! But after the second round, we were pretty full. Loved the beets and the peas and faro.

    Service was mixed. Our server was friendly but scattered, she brought the wrong dish once, and walked away while we were trying to order more food. The bussing staff was amazing and more helpful than the server, really. I know we were a "cheap" table since we weren't drinking, but I thought it was pretty clear that she wasn't very interested in us.

    Our tab worked out to about $100, so $120 with tip. Not bad for 4 people, but when you consider that 3 of those people had (a big) lunch at Hot Doug's, and 3 of us didn't drink, it's scary for me to think how much we could have spent if the guys had been REALLY hungry, or if we'd all wanted to drink. I suspect it could have doubled without much effort, and then it's getting a little silly. By the end of the meal, we were also getting jostled by the people waiting for tables, who were standing in the tent to stay warm. Understandable, but it was pretty distracting from our meal!

    I think we'll go back midweek in the middle of the day again, enjoy a glass of wine and a few dishes in the sunshine, but this isn't going to be our regular neighborhood restaurant.
  • Post #114 - June 19th, 2011, 9:50 am
    Post #114 - June 19th, 2011, 9:50 am Post #114 - June 19th, 2011, 9:50 am
    We went to the Purple Pig last Sunday night pretty late for us (10 PM) after a concert at Orchestra Hall. One of the reasons we went there was that it's one of the few places near the Loop that's still serving that late. Business was booming! Three contiguous bar seats opened up fairly soon upon our arrival, so we took advantage of our good fortune and dined at the bar.

    Among other things, the Jamon Serrano with fried egg and mushrooms was out of this world. And the bread pudding for dessert was similarly cosmic.

    During the last round of GNR nominations, there was some discussion as to whether The Purple Pig is a neighborhood restaurant. From the look of most of the customers who were there late on a Sunday night--young, casual, urban--I got the (indefinable) sense that most of them had dropped in from not all that far away, supporting my sense that at least at certain times on certain days, the place is a neighborhood restaurant.
  • Post #115 - June 19th, 2011, 10:17 am
    Post #115 - June 19th, 2011, 10:17 am Post #115 - June 19th, 2011, 10:17 am
    During the last round of GNR nominations, there was some discussion as to whether The Purple Pig is a neighborhood restaurant.


    How silly is this? Wherever it's @, it's someone's neighborhood.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #116 - October 16th, 2011, 8:08 pm
    Post #116 - October 16th, 2011, 8:08 pm Post #116 - October 16th, 2011, 8:08 pm
    And my weekend GNR hat trick is complete: Aroy Thai, Wiener and Still Champion, and capped off with the Purple Pig.

    Very nice meal with friends: a couple we go out with all the time, and my college roommate and his son.
    Lots of interesting and tasty food. Best thing of the night is the "Iris" desert -- a fried brioche donut-y thing.
    But I'm getting ahead of myself. We ate through maybe 1/4 of the menu without hitting any really challenging things -- we'll save the pig's ears and tails for another meal. Great cheeses, good wine, loved the lamb milanesa, scallops, fried melrose peppers, tenderloin with porcini... I know I'm leaving a few stars out.

    If I had to compare it to anything else I've been to, it would be Avec: Communal tables, small plates, big flavors.
    I hadn't been here before so I never weighed in on the GNR, but I have no problem: In that neighborhood, that's the place I'd want to go back to. Definitely better than a lot of the stuff on Michigan Avenue and River North, this is the place I'd send people going to this neighborhood to.

    It's only going to get harder to get into: I'd guess this is one of the last weekends they'll have the tables under the awning with space heaters -- it was chilly as it was.

    Happy tummy wants nap now.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #117 - December 1st, 2011, 7:50 pm
    Post #117 - December 1st, 2011, 7:50 pm Post #117 - December 1st, 2011, 7:50 pm
    Another satisfying meal at PP this past weekend.

    Dana and I were able to sit down at the Chef's station with no wait on Sunday.
    Image

    We tried to order all new dishes, but couldn't help but getting a few of our favorites. New items included:

    Whipped Feta with Cucumbers
    Image
    Like many of PP's dishes, a lot of food for a small price.

    Prosciutto Escarole Bread Balls
    Image

    Least favorite dish. Unusual consistancy - so much so that we actually didn't finish
    Image

    Pork Sweetbreads fennel & apricots
    Image
    Though I don't enjoy apricot, the salty fried sweetbread and sweet apricot was a perfect marriage of flavors.

    As previously mentioned, we had to order a few of our favorites.

    Pig’s Ear crispy kale, pickled cherry peppers & fried egg
    Image

    House Cured Lardo Iberico
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    Milk Braised Pork Shoulder mashed potatoes
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    Unsure how any visit can go without this dish

    Desserts were also familiar

    Sicilian Iris ricotta & chocolate chip filled fried brioche
    Image

    Affogato espresso over soft serve
    Image

    Image


    The Purple Pig continues to be one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago.
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  • Post #118 - December 1st, 2011, 8:44 pm
    Post #118 - December 1st, 2011, 8:44 pm Post #118 - December 1st, 2011, 8:44 pm
    That fantastic picture of Bannos, JR really captures what I think of him. The dude isn't just a terrific cook; he's also a passionate, sometimes hard-ass teacher that takes what the people around him are doing very seriously. I stopped cooking professionally because of guys like him, but I have immense respect (and still a little fear).
    ...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 #119 - July 23rd, 2012, 11:06 am
    Post #119 - July 23rd, 2012, 11:06 am Post #119 - July 23rd, 2012, 11:06 am
    We had lunch here last week. We were seated right away on 11:45am on a Friday, but the room soon filled up, as did the patio. I suppose the word is out!

    We shared a nice rabbit salad filled with lots of herbs (the parsley and mint were especially good) and black truffle vinaigrette.

    Next up was a "jowl" JLT with pork jowl, a slice of heirloom tomato, and lettuce, on bread, with a runny egg on top. The best breakfast sandwich ever?

    We finished the meal with fried sweetbreads, served with apricot jam and fennel. A winning combination, that I never would have thought out!

    I always seem to find at least one item on the Purple Pig menu that surprises me, in a good way.
  • Post #120 - April 26th, 2013, 7:38 am
    Post #120 - April 26th, 2013, 7:38 am Post #120 - April 26th, 2013, 7:38 am
    So I was sitting in the Crimson Lounge at the Hotel Sax one night during my last trip to Chicago and I was getting hungry. I had a few beverages in me and I was tempted to just order from their menu (which I think is just from Bin 36) but I decided to venture out to the Purple Pig. I am so glad I did. I spent 5 days in Chicago and had some great meals but this was the highlight.

    I took a seat at the bar and perused the menu. The beer list leans light European, which is unique but kind of frustrating at the same time. There are some great Chicago-area brewed beers that would fit nicely into their menu, any of the Goose Island Belgian Ales, Revolution's awesome Saison, and Two Brothers Domaine DuPage Ale. The one choice that I wanted (Saison Dupont), they were out of, so I decided to have a glass of Chianti Classico.

    I asked the bartender what she would recommend and she said this pea dish they just put back on the menu for spring. It was a mix of sugar snap peas, regular peas, and pea shoots with a mint based dressing and some bacon. The salad was topped with some pecorino cheese. It was amazing how something so simple was so incredibly delicious. It was so good that I told the guy eating next to me, who was perusing the menu, that he had to order it.

    I then had the Pig's Ear with Crispy Kale, Pickled Cherry Peppers & Fried Egg. Another killer dish and my favorite one of the evening. I expected the pigs ears to be a bit chewy but they were Julianned so perfectly that they practically melted in your mouth as you chewed them. The fried kale held up well to the egg and the pickled peppers added a nice contrast.

    Still hungry, I ordered another glass of wine and Pork Tripe Ala Parmigiana with Pork Skin Breadcrumbs. It was served with a piece of grilled bread. I probably should have chosen something lighter because about halfway through the dish I hit the wall. A great dish that would be better shared then devoured by one. I ate it slowly but finished it all because it was delicious.
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