Stopped by with the family, since it's very close to home. Much improved over Cordis, which seemed ambitious at first but never really had a personality you could figure out. I'm not going to go out on a limb and say the food is fantastic, but I found it to be better than average for a bar and I think the odd neighborly charm of the place is darn impressive for a brand new venture.
The Piggery is physically and figuratively very open and inviting, with the owners and staff having some connection to long-gone Biasetti's and what seems to be a natural understanding of what works on this particular corner of the old neighborhood.
A lot of big screen TV's and sports fans, sure, but the menu and vibe are quirky -- not just the Big-10 bar serving sliders and wraps (though they probably have both). The theme of the menu, if there is one, could be called bowling-alley Avec.
Pork items include -- ham off the bone sandwich with 2 fried eggs (evocative of Diner Grill next door), pork "pot roast" that one in our party said was good, pork meatballs in gravy, and pork patties with maple syrup, which I think are sausage patties. Split pea with ham is a regular item and pretty good. Ditto dragon-turdish house-made jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cream cheese.
The baked ribs are fairly identical to Biasetti's. I'm serious about BBQ, but I have no problem eating these because they taste OK and unlike other non-BBQ baked ribs actually taste like something without sauce (they appear to be marinated in something sweetish (apple juice?) and have a simple dry rub). The lack of guile and irony is impressive in light of the kinds of places that have pork-centric menus these days (nealy all of which I love, BTW). Sides (you get 2 with an entree) include well-prepared wilted spinach or green beans, but also thick-sliced bacon (nod to Peter Luger? nah) and the pork patties I mentioned. If you'd like ribs with a side of bacon and some sausage on the side, this is your spot. The place will be a boon because I have a kid whose favorite food in the world is unsauced ribs and bacon. Decent beer selection and, like I said, a really nice staff.
It's good to see a new place that doesn't sully the odd charm that this fringe of Wrigleyville maintains with the Ten Cat, Long Room, Diner Grill, Snappy's, Ginger's, Globe, Resi's, Orange Garden and eevn the vastly improved Machu Pichu -- not an Iowa Hawkeye flag to be seen, yet.
1625 W. Irving Park Rd.
Chicago, IL 60613