I’ve become one of those people that takes pictures of their food. Not just any food, but exceptionally delicious food. I won’t bore you with pictures of my turkey sandwich for lunch, but I will make you drool blogging about my dinner at The Purple Pig on Monday night.
The Purple Pig is a tiny restaurant located in downtown Chicago on Michigan Ave. Walking in, I could already tell this was going to be amazing considering it wasn’t even 6 pm and there was a 45-minute wait. With an open kitchen and communal tables, the restaurant/bar was bustling and modern.
The menu is adventurous, the wine list was never-ending and the prices were extremely reasonable. Ryan and I had cocktails, appetizers, salad, cured meats and two entrees for under $100, which is amazing considering the quality of the food. Between you and me, I would have paid more.
We started with salt-roasted beets with whipped goat cheese & pistachio vinaigrette. I could have eaten this dish for dessert it was so good. The whipped goat cheese was almost like a whipped cream, and the nuts gave it a crunch that I loved. Our kale and romaine caesar salad with hard-boiled quail egg and house-cure anchovies came at the same time as the beets. I’ve never tasted anchovies before, but I took the plunge on Monday, and it wasn’t too bad! The kale and lettuce tasted like they were freshly picked from a garden right before we were served. If I lived in Chicago, I would be eating that salad three times a week.
We tried two plates of cured meat, one Prosciutto and the other I can’t recall the name, but it was similar to a salami. If you love cured meat, this is the place to try it. You can also get a Pig Platter which is a sampler of cured meats. I love Goose the Market, but The Purple Pig gives our local Indianapolis store a run for its money!
Now onto the A La Plancha portion of the meal, aka the main dishes (thank goodness for our incredible server who gave us the full rundown on everything we needed to know before ordering). All items on the menu are small plates of sorts and great for sharing. We sat at a table that had two other parties of people at it, and they were complete strangers that had shared their food with each other…another awesome advantage to the communal tables.
Per our server’s suggestion, we ordered the milk-braised pork shoulder with mashed potatoes and the house-made veal mortadella sausage with kale, beans and preserved cherry tomatoes. The pork shoulder meat was tender and flavorful, I was sad I had to share it with Ryan because I would have been happy eating the entire thing. It was gourmet comfort food!
The veal sausage was equally impressive, juicy and having the perfect flavor. The steamed kale was amazing as a side to the meat. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. We were so full that we couldn’t even attempt dessert, but I wouldn’t be opposed to trying the Panino con Nutella or bread pudding next time I’m in Chicago. And there will be a next time for me at The Purple Pig.
Next time you’re in Chicago, you must try The Purple Pig. You can thank me later.
Today’s Think Kit blog prompt: “Try something totally different. Have something for lunch or dinner you don’t normally eat. Make up a new recipe. What did you come up with?”