Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Purple Pig

My friend Joan and I attended a Yelp elite event at Red Door earlier in the evening, but the event was overcrowded. They must've let too many people onto the guest list because the venue could only comfortably seat half of the people who showed up. The food was delicious but we could only grab a few nibbles and a cocktail each, so we brainstormed where to go for dinner afterwards and settled on The Purple Pig. This restaurant has been on both of our bucket lists for awhile, and it's also was the last restaurant that I really wanted to visit before leaving Chicago.

We were quoted an hour and fifteen minute wait, and had our eyes peeled on the bar area hoping that something would open up, but everyone was loitering with their drinks. Luckily for us, we were offered a table in less than 45 minutes.

The huge menu

Decisions, decisions

We had too much trouble choosing, so we just asked for recommendations. Because we weren't too hungry (they recommend 2-3 plates per person), we decided to just order the three most popular dishes on their menu.

Roasted Bone Marrow with Herbs: this was my first time trying marrow at a restaurant (I've only had my mom's spareribs with marrow, Asian style). It was weird initially but it grew on me, and I was attached and sad that it was almost all gone by the time I started on my third slice of bread. It was delicious, although I felt terribly guilty eating it because it's literally just fat and carbs.

Pig's Ear with Crispy Kale, Pickled Cherry Peppers & Fried Egg: the pig ear pieces taste like chicharones (fried pork rinds). I liked this dish the least out of the three that we ordered. It was only lukewarm and was very salty with a hint of vinegar. This was Joan's favorite though.

Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Mashed Potatoes: the waiter described this dish as "iconic" and it was probably the best thing we had that day (or at least it ties with the bone marrow) but it didn't wow me. The pork shoulder was fork tender, and it reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner. 

Overall, the food was good but not fantastic. Purple Pig is fancy man food: tons of fat, pork, and more fat. I definitely needed some sort of palette cleanser afterwards, but they were out of the lemon panna cotta from the dessert menu. Everything else looked crazy heavy, so I settled on some fruit after getting home. I can't help but compare this restaurant to Girl and the Goat (similar price range, entree size, tapas style, and cult following) and GATG wins hands down as the more delicate, creative option.

Completely unrelated, but not something you see every day

500 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 464-1744

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