Sniffle sniffle, this is one of my meals that I had with Aleen when I was still in Chicago. It feels so long ago now.
In case you guys didn't know, I made the move out west to San Francisco a few months ago. I had such an amazing time in Chicago and have such fond memories, especially of food. I feel like I literally ate my way through Chicago in the short time I was there and I'm so thankful for it. My friends even asked me before I left if there was anywhere I had to go before I left and I really felt like there was nothing that I missed out on.
Plus I have to leave some places for my visit next time, right? :)
Purple Pig was one of Chicago's hot new restaurants when I was there. It's a sister restaurant to one of my favs, Davanti Enoteca. As you can guess from the name, they feature and highlight the other white meat.
It's tapas style so we ordered several dishes to share.
This was the asparagus & hazelnuts with arugula salad with treviso or radicchio. One of my favorite dishes at Davanti is their truffle egg toast with asparagus and this salad is also a creative and delicious use of asparagus.
I have to give Aleen major props for getting this next dish with me especially since it's called pig's ear. I know not the most pleasant sounding dish but it's one of their most popular dishes so I had to try it. It's pieces of fried pig's ear with crispy kale, pickled cherry pepper and a fried egg on top. I thought I'd love this dish because I love kale, peppers and eggs, but together it was a bit salty and the cherry peppers were a bit overwhelming. Other friends have raved about this dish though so maybe the chef was a bit generous with the salt this night. I'd definitely give it another try next time.
Another egg dish. You realize if you put Aleen and me together we'll order every egg dish on the menu. This was their take on deviled egg with arugula and caper berries. This is kind of like a scottish egg but without the meat. I didn't fully understand the benefit of deep frying a fully cooked egg. Maybe people don't like the texture of a boiled egg, but I guess I'm one of those weird people that actually likes cooked egg whites, so the breaded coating did nothing for me. I think Aleen liked it though.
This dish Aleen chose and I have to say it was an unexpected hit and my favorite dish of the night. I usually don't order chicken when I go out to eat so maybe I had low expectations, but this was really good. Almost like those chicken skewers you get at Japanese izakayas. The skin was crispy and the thighs were perfectly seasoned and moist. The Tzatziki sauce was awesome. I dipped, basted and dressed my chicken and fried smashed potatoes in that sauce. Yummy!
For dessert, we tried the lemon panna cotta. Sorry I left one spoonful before I remembered to take a picture. It was in a cute piggy bowl with pistachio croccante though. Despite a few misses, overall it was great and there are so many dishes on that menu to try so you really can't go wrong.
A word to the wise, they don't take reservations so it's ideal to come in a small group and come expecting to wait a bit. It's well worth it though. It's right along michigan ave so a perfect place to fuel up after your shopping excursions.
500 N Michigan Ave
(between Illinois St & Grand Ave)
Chicago, IL 60611