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  Purple Pig - A Pork and Vegetarian Delight
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  • Purple Pig - A Pork and Vegetarian Delight

    Post #1 - February 19th, 2011, 8:06 pm
    Post #1 - February 19th, 2011, 8:06 pm Post #1 - February 19th, 2011, 8:06 pm
    The Purple Pig has been open just over a year and has become my go to restaurant for simple, fresh, creative cooking. What constantly amazes me is how the Purple Pig can use three or four ingredients to create something wonderful like Butternut Squash with Pumpkin Seeds, Brown Butter & Ricotta Salata and Salt-roasted Beets with Whipped Goat Cheese & Pistachio Vinaigrette. They bill themselves as "Cheese, Swine & Wine", but what they do with vegetables is what for me puts them a step above their counterparts. Finally there's a place where I can indulge my porcine love, but still dine with vegetarian friends.

    Kennyz says: 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.

    Independant George says: The spring peas with farro was astonishingly good for something so simple. Served cold, with just the slightest touch of acid, it was the perfect intermission between servings of salty piggy.

    They have become my choice of restaurant after the opera or symphony as they are one of the few places that keep late night hours downtown. I have bought more than one out of town guest to sit at the line and watch the food being made and plated. The cooks from Jimmy Banos on down are always warm and gracious, explaining dishes and often offering a taste of something we hadn't thought of ordering.

    elakin says: PP has established itself as one of our favorite restaurants. despite the fact that it's inconveniently located for us, and despite the fact that we usually have to wait around a half an hour even though we almost always go on a Mon or Tue night. we'll be back again soon.

    elakin: What I enjoyed most, however, was the overall vibe of the place. I've read a lot about how people just strike up conversations there and end up sharing food, and we honestly weren't expecting that or looking for it to happen, but it did end up happening; we were engaged in conversation with the folks on both sides of us, and we all ended up sharing sips of drinks and bites of food. It felt very authentic, unforced, and spontaneous, but it's clearly the result of an intention on the part of this establishment to foster an environment in which this will happen.

    But what about meat, you say? Never fear, the marrow bones are rich and oozing gelatinous goodness ready to be spread on toasted bread, the chicken thighs with smashed potatoes and tzatziki are crispy and a perfect foil to the tzatziki and the milk braised pork is as good as anything I've had in Italy. Jimmy's stint with Mario Batali shows in his respect for this dish.

    More than one dish made the top 10 list of people like ronnie_suburban, msmre and alessio20 and the raw corn salad that boudreaulicious and I had at the Green City Market BBQ last summer was one of the most amazing corn dishes of the year.

    Purple Pig (main discussion thread) embodies what LTH looks for in a GNR, local people, dedicated to putting out good, fresh, locally sourced food with warm atmosphere and lively ambiance.

    The Purple Pig
    500 N. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611
    312-464-1744
    http://thepurplepigchicago.com/
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #2 - June 17th, 2013, 1:21 pm
    Post #2 - June 17th, 2013, 1:21 pm Post #2 - June 17th, 2013, 1:21 pm
    I know that The Purple Pig is up for GNR renewal, and I definitely think it should be renewed.

    Where do we bring our friends in for conferences who want to eat near their hotel? The Purple Pig.
    Where can you find real food amid the Disneyland that is the Mag Mile? The Purple Pig.
    Where did my DH want to eat after leaving Northwestern Hospital, finally allowed solid food? The Purple Pig.

    It's not just tourists who go there, I would venture it's not even mostly tourists. Last few times we've been we've been next to natives. We know you can go in and sit at the bar first come/first served (most helpful if you are a singleton, since you're quite likely to find a seat). We know to go and leave our name and THEN run that errand at the Apple store, or the Consulate, or the sale at Nordstrom, or wherever you need to be for a while where a glass of wine and some wonderful food will bring you back from the frazzled state you're in.

    Any place that makes a tongue dish that I like, this is truly a GNR.
    (ask my about my intro to tongue some time :P )
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #3 - June 17th, 2013, 1:30 pm
    Post #3 - June 17th, 2013, 1:30 pm Post #3 - June 17th, 2013, 1:30 pm
    My lone visit to the Purple Pig left me (and my dining companions) in awe. It is more than worthy of the city once called Hog Butcher to the World.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #4 - June 17th, 2013, 7:27 pm
    Post #4 - June 17th, 2013, 7:27 pm Post #4 - June 17th, 2013, 7:27 pm
    Purple Pig is absolutely terrific, I agree. I don't go there often enough, largely because of parking/location/crowds but every time I go, I love it and can't wait to return.
  • Post #5 - June 17th, 2013, 9:52 pm
    Post #5 - June 17th, 2013, 9:52 pm Post #5 - June 17th, 2013, 9:52 pm
    I love Purple Pig, but I've noticed that the meat dishes never quite measure up to all the other dishes.
    www.justnoms.com
    Rate the Food, Not the Restaurant
    @justnoms_com
  • Post #6 - June 19th, 2013, 6:21 pm
    Post #6 - June 19th, 2013, 6:21 pm Post #6 - June 19th, 2013, 6:21 pm
    mdpilam - While I agree that PP's vegetable dishes are usually stellar, I don't think I'd give short shrift to meat dishes there. Of course, almost no meat dish there is strictly meat, but I've enjoyed the neck bone gravy, milk braised pork shoulder, and the chicken thigh kebabs on multiple occasions. They were excellent on each trip.

    That's not to mention the always great scallop spiedini and other fish dishes there.

    I think that the stars of the show are often the seasonal antipasti and the smears section (with that fantastic plancha grilled bread), but it's not like they're falling down on the job on the carne section of the menu.

    Needless to say, I am still a very enthusiastic supporter of this restaurant's continued GNR status. Does it need our help for recognition? Hell no. Is it still slinging fantastic food that excites me every time I manage to get over there? Yes, absolutely. Chicago kid makes good on building a Mediterranean foothold in an old FedEx/Kinko's in the midst of an overpriced, touristy culinary desert? GNR in my book all day.
  • Post #7 - June 19th, 2013, 6:33 pm
    Post #7 - June 19th, 2013, 6:33 pm Post #7 - June 19th, 2013, 6:33 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:mdpilam - While I agree that PP's vegetable dishes are usually stellar, I don't think I'd give short shrift to meat dishes there. Of course, almost no meat dish there is strictly meat, but I've enjoyed the neck bone gravy, milk braised pork shoulder, and the chicken thigh kebabs on multiple occasions. They were excellent on each trip.

    That's not to mention the always great scallop spiedini and other fish dishes there.

    I think that the stars of the show are often the seasonal antipasti and the smears section (with that fantastic plancha grilled bread), but it's not like they're falling down on the job on the carne section of the menu.

    Needless to say, I am still a very enthusiastic supporter of this restaurant's continued GNR status. Does it need our help for recognition? Hell no. Is it still slinging fantastic food that excites me every time I manage to get over there? Yes, absolutely. Chicago kid makes good on building a Mediterranean foothold in an old FedEx/Kinko's in the midst of an overpriced, touristy culinary desert? GNR in my book all day.


    totally

    EDIT: in case there was confusion, totally support this for GNR renewal.
    Last edited by AlekH on June 21st, 2013, 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #8 - June 21st, 2013, 2:58 pm
    Post #8 - June 21st, 2013, 2:58 pm Post #8 - June 21st, 2013, 2:58 pm
    Whenever someone asks me for a recommendation, The Purple Pig is always the restaurant that comes to mind. I have had large, $100+ meals and have also been able to walk out completely satisfied and only $20 lighter. I love Purple Pig. Love love love.
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  • Post #9 - June 23rd, 2013, 8:05 pm
    Post #9 - June 23rd, 2013, 8:05 pm Post #9 - June 23rd, 2013, 8:05 pm
    I am not sure why it took me so long to get in, probably the location, but the GNR renewals got me in for the first time recently, and I'm sold. Between a few of us we tried 5 or 6 dishes all of which were stellar. We were full enough that we went away leaving food behind, and at a surprisingly affordable price, given the location and quality. It definitely had a cozy neighborhood feel. I support PP as a GNR
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #10 - June 24th, 2013, 10:16 am
    Post #10 - June 24th, 2013, 10:16 am Post #10 - June 24th, 2013, 10:16 am
    My love for Purple Pig remains the same. It still serves some of the freshest, most creative vegetable dishes in the city and their meat based offerings still shine. It's a wonderful place for a solo diner, I often find myself sitting at the counter for lunch enjoying two or three small plates. This past winter I went back several times for a great rabbit salad that had a nice balance of acid to offset the rabbit and their fava bean prep is how I know spring is here. I think like many places that keep doing what they're supposed to, we begin to take them for granted and stop posting on them even as we continue eating there.

    In reading back over this thread, I found myself amused to reread this this is not a neighborhood. I quickly googled population numbers for 60611 (Purple Pig) and 60625 (Lincoln Square) and found them almost identical. There are a lot of people living down here and not just in Trump tower. Purple Pig continues to be a great neighborhood restaurant for me.
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #11 - September 23rd, 2013, 8:18 am
    Post #11 - September 23rd, 2013, 8:18 am Post #11 - September 23rd, 2013, 8:18 am
    A late lunch at Purple Pig yesterday was fantastic and confirmed to me that they are operating at the same high level that they always have. Their food is creative and never fails to impress. Definite GNR in my book.

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