The Purple Pig, Chicago
Roasted Corn, Mushrooms, Walnuts & Fried Rosemary
Calamari with Fregola, Radishes, Cucumbers & Pistachios
Olive Oil-Poached Tuna with Greek Lima Beans
Pork Liver Pate
Eggplant Parmesan Balls
Lemon Panna Cotta
Upon arrival in Chicago (after horrible traffic), we were so hungry we went for a super early dinner at the Purple Pig on Michigan Ave. I was worried there wouldn’t be any (actually) good restaurants in the heavily touristy area but thankfully seriouseats mentioned this place on one of their posts.
It seems really popular as a bar/tapas spot for coworkers/friends to go after a day at work. It was pretty full and loud at 4:30 but we got in right before the dinner crowd and wait.
We decided to go tapas style and just order from the small dishes (which was the right choice to go). You only really need to order 2-3 dishes per person esp if you want room for dessert.
The roasted corn was really good. The mix of corn, mushrooms, nuts, all went well together for this slightly sweet dish
The calamari was just as good too. It has a nice crunch to it with the pistachios and has a slightly salty tangy flavor.
The eggplant parmesan balls are surprisingly very light for a fried dish. I’m not a fan of deep fried foods so it was just ok but it’s easier on the stomach than regular fried foods.
We had a long wait before the last 2 dishes came out which I didn’t like… I was going to save some of the corn & calamari so I wouldn’t get super full. But I ended up eating it all b/c I couldn’t keep waiting.. Anyways the pork liver pate was a very light whipped consistency but very intense flavor. I wish the bread wasn’t so thick or buttery. It fought a little and made the dish much more heavier than it needed to me.
The olive oil poached tuna was really dry and I didn’t like it all. It came with these huge beans that were ok.
I heard there used to be pistachio soft serve (!!!) for dessert but no longer 😦 So I went with the lemon panna cotta which was pretty good. I liked the caramelized pistachios and glazed lemon rinds. The panna cotta was pretty light too.
My dad ordered the sicilian iris which I told him not to. Apparently it’s their signature dessert and is kind of like this huge fried dough doughnut with ricotta and chocolate chips inside. It’s fresh and hot when it comes to you but the dough is so thick. It’s all you taste. The waiter said usually people share this but there was no way I was going to eat it. But I guess it’s good for people who like carnival type food? The people next to us ordered this, a nutella/banana/marshmallow panini, & salted caramel soft serve! crazy!
There is seating inside and outside but this place gets crowded quick esp on a friday night! The waiters change around 4:30 so they might be a little rude/tired at first but once they change, they are much nicer and chipper. Good place to go with friends.