The Purple Pig, Chicago, IL | Did I LAV It?

Do you ever crave that juicy, tender, flavorful piece of pork? The Purple Pig is all about that. Located on the busy street of Michigan Ave, you will find this little gem. The Purple Pig is a Mediterranean, tapas-style restaurant. It offers shareable plates, cheese, and wine. Many of the flavors are influenced by Italian, Greek, and Spanish cuisine. 

Most evenings it is jam packed with wait times as long as two hours. The restaurant has an outdoor seating area which is open year round (with the help of a lot of heaters in the winter). The indoor seating has a beautiful marble slab at the bar and communal seating for small and large parties. Though I don’t particularly like being seated with strangers shoulder to shoulder, I opted for the bar. The view was fantastic, granted I got the best seat in the house; you get to see the works of the kitchen and food orders coming out. 

Chicago, Bar

It was a Sunday evening with no wait time. Shocking, I know! So of course I had to jump on the band wagon and try The Purple Pig. And boy was I excited to!

Here is what I ordered: 

Salt-Roasted Beets

When this dish was placed in front of me, I was immediately attracted to it. The plating was intriguing and presented quite beautifully. The beets are tossed in wine vinaigrette which ended up too acidic and overpowering in my opinion, but the whipped goat cheese was quite pleasant in flavor and texture. 

Goat cheese, Pistachios

Charred Cauliflower

Next up was the Charred Cauliflower. Made with toasted breadcrumbs, cornichons and parsley. When I had the first bite, I instantly fell in love. Each bite of the cauliflower was seasoned perfectly, not skipping on any flavor. Couldn’t stop stuffing my mouth, I was yearning for more. I would highly recommend this dish and would defiantly put a LAV stamp of approval, as this was my favorite dish of the night.

Charred, Cauliflower

Milk Braised Berkshire Shoulder

At last, we have the star of the show, the pork shoulder, served with mashed potatoes and crispy lentils. This dish had all the essentials. Silky smooth mashed potatoes and tender meat that juxtaposed the crunchiness of the lentils. This was a good dish, but wasn’t giving me a umami vibe. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, I just wasn’t as crazy about it like I was for the Charred Cauliflower.

Mashed Potatoes, Lentils

Did I LAV it?

By the end of 3 dishes, I was stuffed. I couldn’t even fit in dessert. 

While I certainly enjoyed my dinner, but it wasn’t enough to surpass my expectations. The service was exceptional and really felt taken care of. Everyone there is so friendly and makes you feel like family. 

I greatly respect what chef Jimmy Bannos Jr. is doing as a chef and encourage you to try out The Purple Pig yourself. The rating I would give it would be a 3.5 out of 5. It is above average in terms of quality. The flavor factor was the true competitor here. But at least you know where to find that amazing cauliflower dish *wink wink*, you’re welcome.