Most Chicago locals that I’ve asked for food recommendations have suggested The Purple Pig to me. I guess it’s the next big and hyped place to be in Chicago. To me, they are similar to Toronto’s Black Hoof. Apparently they have won 3 consecutive Michelin Bib Gourmands Chicago awards… meaning they offer quality food at an affordable price.
The Purple Pig is conveniently situated at the heart of Chicago on Michigan Avenue/ Magnificent Mile. Unfortunately they do not take reservations at all and it’s packed! They have a whole alleyway just for people waiting around. My strategy was to go there early (around 5PM) and put down your name and phone number. They’ll call you when your table is ready. For me, they called me back 2 hours later to tell me my table is ready while I shopped during that time. =)
The Purple Pig is actually a very small restaurant with very tightly seated tables. Waiters and guests would be back-to-backs with each other just to get through the restaurant. There are seats indoor and outside at their patio.
MJ and I are lovers of cured meat/ charcuteries so we quickly ordered the Purple Pig Platter with an ASSORTED meat!
The waitress kindly informed us of each meat but we got so excited that we didn’t pay much attention. But for sure it was from this list…
Some of them were very unique; I liked every kind of it!! =D
• Lingua Agrodolce
• Catalonian Fuet
• Jamon Serrano
• Prosciutto di San Daniele
• Prosciutto di Parma
The waitress also informed us that there isn’t a particular order of courses, it’s basically in shared portions and you’re free to order whenever you feel like it.
Next, was the Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Mashed Potatoes.
– loved this dish! The pork shoulder was soft, tender and juicey!
We ordered something under the Smear category… I guess it comes with Ricotta for all items here. We got the Pork Neck Bone Gravy with Ricotta.
– This dish was heavy! JM thought he read risotto and ordered it but it’s actually ricotta so we had a lot of bread! I thought the ricotta was also very oily….heavy meal!
Lastly, I picked the Roasted Bone Marrow with Herbs because I saw everyone ordering it around me and I’ve seen pictures of it online. It looked really similar to the Black Hoof’s version. Unfortunately, it wasn’t what we expected….it was oily and buttery! We had a difficult time finishing it…. I just felt like I was eating fat and clogging my arteries. Lol
I guess bone marrow just isn’t our thing. It was worth a try though.
I wished I had room to try the Pig Ear with fried egg…it looked delicious and would recommend someone getting it! Overall, it was a great experience. Some dishes definitely stood out for me and some didn’t. It’s definitely a more casual and “heavy” meal with all the oil and fat. If you are in Chi-town and loves exotic pig parts or bone marrow, this is the place for you!