First off, I’m so sorry to all of my followers (or not..) for not posting in a little while. Rounding out the semester with finals and then travelling to Chicago less than 24 hours after moving out of my room at school became quite a time-consuming process. And now, I’m in Chicago doing an externship at the Westin Chicago North Shore in the Sales & Marketing Department.
Although the property is in the suburbs, I have been able to go into the city once so far. Since I’ve never been to Chicago, I wanted to make sure I got the most out of the limited amount of time I have in the Windy City. So, I did a lot of research on what sites I should see, what stores I should shop at, and, most importantly, what restaurants I should try out.
I climbed the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), walked down the Magnificent Mile, went the Millenium Park and saw the famous “bean”, and wandered around Chicago aimlessly admiring the architecture, the people, the restaurants, and the Christmas decorations.
The best part of my day, by far, was lunch. I had researched great restaurants online, and The Purple Pig seemed like a huge hit, and they were not kidding! Right on N Michigan Street (where I was headed anyways), it was the perfect choice. I walked in, excited to have my first dining experience by myself and excited to eat interesting, delicious food.
I got sat at the chef’s table, which was so cool. I was able to watch the chefs prepare all of the dishes while I chose what to order. The dishes were tapas-style, which means I would have enjoyed it even more if someone was there to share more dishes with me! I was only able to order two things before I felt like bursting. They were the best two dishes of my life.
First: Butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, brown butter & ricotta insalata
The nutty flavors of the pumpkin seeds, the saltiness of the ricotta salata, and the sweetness of the butternut squash and browned butter was so harmonious. The fried sage on top created a different texture and an earthy, herby element in the small plate. And, the presentation was so simple yet artful. Every bite was a little bit different and I loved everything about it.
Second (and last, unfortunately): Pig’s Tails Braised in Balsamic with Grated Egg and Parsley
This dish was un.real. I wanted to be adventurous and make every dish I ordered memorable in my life. The pig’s tail definitely succeeded. It was very fatty, which I usually am not a huge fan of, but it was like pork belly x 12. The balsamic was also made into a sauce that was a little sweeter and complimented the saltiness of the pork perfectly. The whole parsley leaves, when picked up in a bite, added a cool, herby note that went perfectly with the pork. The egg added a new texture in comparison to the soft, melt-in-your-mouth meat and gave the pig’s tail a sharper bite. It was so so good.
I would DEFINITELY recommend that anyone who is visiting Chicago should definitely visit The Purple Pig. Every dish I saw smelled absolutely amazing and looked delicious. Go there, people! Food memories will be made for sure.