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The Purple Pig – Chicago

Well spent the last weekend in Chicago.  It was my first time, and definitely not the last.   The food/wine/cocktail scene there is off the hook.  Luckily my local friends took me to some fantastic places.  Here was my favorite, The Purple Pig.  http://www.thepurplepigchicago.com/index.html

There motto is one of the best I’ve scene in a while.

Cheese,Wine & Swine

They had me with that statement.  And they did not disappoint.  We did not even delve into their Cheese section.   The swine portion of the afternoon did us just right.

It is a quaint intimate place with inside and outside seating.  The outside seemed a little small and too crowded for us, so we ventured inside, because there is also a bar to sit at. (besides the great wine list is some various nice impressive beers)  And there are some long wooden communal tables.  I’ve always been a fan of seating like this.  Sharing with others and hopefully talking with some other new people.  But alas these were all filled as well.  My astute friend noticed four stools empty in front of the small kitchen/prep area/hot line.  These will be just fine, and if you go, or rather when you go, pick these.

We started talking to the cooks, and the chef, Brian was a big fan of the pig, as am I, so he started us off with an amazing first course.  It was out of this world, like nothing I’ve had before.  we had Fried Pig’s Ear with crispy kale, pickled cherry peppers and another of my most favorites, a fried egg on top.  As many if not most of my friends will tell you, if there is a way to get a perfectly done egg on any dish, I will find a way.

So to go with all this, We got a nice Cascina Adeliada “Vigna Costa Fiore” Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba.  Yes that is a mouthful and yes it was delicious.  So delicious we ordered two.

To go after this, we had a nice salad, a really nice salad.  Asparagus & Hazelnuts with Arugula and Treviso. (Treviso is like radicchio)  So light and easy, with the asparagus cut ever so thin and small.  A nice respite form our orders of pork!

We had the Prosciutto Bread Balls, in a bit of nice old school red gravy.  They were fried, yes, but almost too delicate for words.  They were fantastic and ever so small that is was barely a bit of fantastic-ness.

And we watched as they grilled their slices of Italian bread on the flat top grill.  They would start to get dark and smokey, and looked perfect.  Perfect to spread some goat cheese and Eggplant Caponata on top!  Hells Ya!  It was really, really, really good.  I mean good.  The eggplant was perfect.  If you’ve ever cooked eggplant, you know she can be a fickle son of A….   And even though there was no Swine here, it was perfect.

We had the Razor clams with Oregano, Lemon and Olive Oil.  Again, the flavors were so delicate yet all sang together in unity.  It was bold and relaxed at the same time.  They were also a nice relaxed course from the meats.   Not that there is anything wrong with all meat, all the time.

Then back to Swine.  Jamon Serrano with Oyster Mushrooms and Fried Duck Egg.  (yes more egg!)  and this was put over a big slice of the grilled bread.  It was a big ol’ open faced sandwich of heaven.  Yes, I said it, Heaven.  Three of my favorite things to consume all together, the egg, the swine, and the shroom.  F**king Good

And our newest friend Brian, made up a dish I did not see on the menu, yet is a classic of all classics.  Saltimbocca.  And again, perfect to a T.   Served over some nice sauteed greens that we loved.  We couldn’t tell you what they were, because the meat was so good.  The Prosciutto and the Sage were cooked over the cutlet oh so nice.  AMAZING!  Kudos!  This was a perfect afternoon to consume way too much!

Thanks Purple Pig!!!