Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-02-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



DISH: SAVOR The Purple Pig
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times by Noah McCarthy

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

"Whoa, this place is literally famous. I heard about them back home!" Two tourists admired the sign hanging under The Purple Pig—"Cheese, Swine and Wine"—before snapping a selfie. After leaving, I was half-tempted to commemorate the occasion myself.

Located on the south end of 500 N. Michigan Ave., The Purple Pig opened in 2009 and features various dishes from around the Mediterranean. The restaurant itself is fairly cramped. Tables are packed to the extent that those sitting along the wall will almost certainly have to brush uncomfortably close to their neighbor's food. These sorts of close quarters are fairly common in Magnificent Mile restaurants, but increased elbow room would have been appreciated. Since the odds of having an empty seat next to your own are essentially zilch during one of the restaurant's bustling dinner services, the space becomes doubly appreciated. Luckily, the patio seemed more accommodating.

Service was excellent throughout the night, ever-courteous and approachable despite the brimming confines. There were certain moments when staff began to hover, standing hawk-like just a few feet away as we finished whatever plate we were working on. Despite being somewhat discomforting, over-attentiveness is a good problem to have.

Once inside, the decor emphasized the last item on its tagline: "wine." One side of the restaurant is dedicated to wine racks and another to various wine-barrel decorations. In fact, every item on the menu comes with its own recommended pairing from sommelier Alan Beasey. The decor, between the burgundy chairs and white tiling, is warm but not stuffy.

As for the food, if its eight straight years of Michelin recognition didn't cue you in, it is wonderful. Chef Jimmy Bannos Jr., a Chicago native, has drawn the menu's inspiration from Italy, Greece and Spain. The dishes are diverse but consistent. Highlights from the night include octopus a la plancha on a bed of green beans and fingerling potatoes, all served with a perfect salsa verde, and roasted bone marrow served alongside unspeakably good bread.

The Purple Pig's menu is ever-changing with the seasons. ( Offerings from this summer's iteration include duck fat-roasted radishes and lamb chop with sweetbread, dolmades and grapes. It might be worth a second visit to try these items. ) The table next to us ordered another seasonal dish, grilled broccoli in an anchovy vinaigrette with roasted garlic and breadcrumbs—and the smell alone made me want to sit down to begin the meal again.

The deserts kicked off with a Sicilian iris—a gooey ricotta-and-chocolate-filled brioche that's worth every calorie. Be warned, however: They only make a certain amount for every day, and regularly sell out. You owe it to yourself to arrive early enough to nab one of these Chicago classics. The final dish of the evening was a peanut butter-and-marshmallow mille-feuille; although it certainly recalled childhood, it also recalled why we eventually grow out of those sandwiches.

Though it has been a Chicago mainstay for some years now, The Purple Pig shows no signs of slowing down. Dishes are seasonal and exciting, and the constant bustle of people in and out make for a vibrant atmosphere. If you want a charming night out with top-notch food, but without breaking the bank, there are still few places on par with The Purple Pig.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

'Chicago Magic Lounge: A Family Show' Feb. 16 2019-02-13 - "Chicago Magic Lounge: A Family Show" will take place Saturday, Feb. 16, 2:30-4:30 p.m. at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. The ...

Gay News

DINING New Nico chef, DropShot, Valentine's Day options 2019-02-13 - —Joe Lambert has been named the new executive chef at Nico Osteria and the Thompson Chicago hotel, 1015 N. Rush St. Lambert has ...

Gay News

SAVOR Taureaux Tavern; Black Restaurant Week 2019-02-12 - Those fluent in French probably know what Taureaux Tavern ( 155 W. Van Buren St.; ) is all about—especially when its location ...

Gay News

Cider Summit at Navy Pier benefits Heartland Alliance 2019-02-12 - Part of a tour that takes place throughout the United States, Cider Summit took place Feb. 9 in Navy Pier's Aon Grand Ballroom. ...

Gay News

DINING Asians & Friends dinner, Pizza museum, Valentine's Day options 2019-02-05 - —Asians & Friends Chicago will host a Chinese New Year's dinner on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at Jade Court, 626 S. ...

Gay News

SAVOR Publican Quality Meats; Banchet Awards 2019-01-29 - Fittingly located in the heart of Chicago's meatpacking district, Publican Quality Meats ( PQM ) ( 825 W. Fulton Market; ) will ...

Gay News

DINING Fried Chicken & Champagne, $1 Food Festival, Super Bowl specials 2019-01-29 - —Kendall College Trust's fourth annual Fried Chicken & Champagne Fest will take place Saturday, Feb. 2, at Kendall College, 900 N. North Branch ...

Gay News

DINING '90s event, ramen giveaway, Chinese New Year, Super Bowl specials 2019-01-23 - —Replay Lincoln Park, 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., is hosting "Party Like It's 1996," in collaboration with The Chill Foundation and Burton Snowboards, on ...

Gay News

SAVOR Roanoke brunch; Chicago Restaurant Week 2019-01-15 - During the week, Roanoke Restaurant and Club ( 135 W. Madison St.; ) is as busy as a beehive, thanks to its ...

Gay News

DINING Stan's tea partnership, Winnetka spot, Cocoa Crawl 2019-01-15 - —Stan's Donuts & Coffee has launched a Rishi Tea partnership. To celebrate the launch, the donut destination is coining Tuesday, Jan. 29, "Tea ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.