http://www.thepurplepigchicago.com/ (312) 464-1744 open daily mon-sun $$$
My second night in Chicago brought me to The Purple pig, and wow the menu is intense. After waiting about an hour for a table (no reservations excepted here) we had an idea of what we wanted to order off the Mediterranean inspired tapas menu. My advice, tell your server to stagger your order – bring out only three dishes at a time – otherwise you will be overwhelmed. The room is a whirl, classic and modern tunes playing over the bustle of pinching a table. Owners need to get their heads out of the clouds cause its hit and miss…
Pork fried almonds are like you can’t eat just one. Calamari is colourful, firm but doesn’t excite. Bone marrow, large side cut served with capers pickled onions and parsley sided with Heritage Prairie Farm from a local bakery – dude you can’t go wrong. Green onions simply blackened, yet so utterly addictive with Romesco sauce to dip. Pork shoulder is one of the most popular dishes on the menu; however, our rendition arrives heavily salted and overly rich (like stick of butter rich with half a potato – ya its soupy).
Pork sweetbreads – think popcorn chicken except with liver – love it or hate it (I loved it). Pigs ear and crispy kale salad is a winner, especially with a sexy, softly fried egg. Almost lastly, foie gras pate is creamy and smooth, nothing too exciting. House cured Spanish anchovies are the evenings delights resting on the creamiest avocado hummus. And finally, the only real letdown is the heavy chicken thigh kabobs served over Tzatziki, which would be alright except the kitchen decided to include fried smashed potatoes!? What is with that? I mean dark meat is so fatty it doesn’t need a starch! Note to the kitchen, I hope it helps.