I did a bit of homework on www.tripadvisor.com before we left for the US, as I'd never been to Chicago before, and I'd heard it was a real place for foodies. One restaurant that kept getting consistent reviews was The Purple Pig, whose claim to fame is "Cheese, Swine & Wine" - sounds like our kind of place!
We lobbed into Chicago on a Thursday afternoon, checked into our hotel, and headed out down Michigan Avenue (aka The Magnificent Mile) to have a bit of an explore. We actually ended up walking past The Purple Pig as we were ambling along and it was absolutely jammed with people (at about 5.30pm). They don't really take bookings - though you could put your name down and wait. We thought it'd probably empty out after an hour or so, so we kept on walking and headed back around 7pm. Mistake. It didn't empty out, it just got busier!
We decided we'd put our name down and were told it'd be about 45-60 minutes. The Purple Pig have the whole "put your name down and wait" thing sorted out like champions. You can wait outside, in a big area with plants and seats and they have staff out there taking drinks orders! We ordered some drinks and perched on some chairs that were vacated by a table that was called, and watched the world go by. We only had to wait about 30 minutes and we were called to a table that was outside, but undercover and near some of those patio heaters - perfect.
The Pig offers tapas style dining, with a choice of Antipasti, Smears, Fried Items, Panini, Cured Meats, Cheese, Salad, A La Plancha & Desserts - and the prices aren't bonkers. They also have a large and interesting wine list.
We had the following, and it was all outstanding:-
- Pork fried almonds, rosemary and garlic
- Charred cauliflower, toasted breadcrumbs, cornichons and parsley
- Salt roasted beets, whipped goats cheese and pistachio vinaigrette
- Chorizo stuffed olives
- Melrose peppers with sea salt and garlic chips
- Petit Basque cheese with membrillo
- Milk braised pork shoulder with mashed potatoes
There was also a great looking dessert menu, but we were absolutely stuffed and couldn't fit anything else in. There are loads of staff, all going flat out all the time. There are loads of customers, all eating flat out all the time. It's a fantastic, buzzy kind of place. Go and get Piggy!
The Purple Pig
500 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago IL 60611
Phone:- 312 464 1 744