Chicken thigh kebabs with tzatziki ($19) are a classic; the new location is almost double the size of the old space.
The Purple Pig relocates, and with it comes a new menu equipped with vibrant seasonal dishes.
The Purple Pig moved, yes—but its many loyalists need not worry. “We picked up right where we left off,” says chef-owner Jimmy Bannos Jr. “Our new location still has the same style, but it allows us to pay more attention to detail and serve James Beard Award-worthy food.”
Bannos, a past James Beard Rising Star Chef, provides a love-at-first-bite experience, each dish proving a textural and flavorful marvel. Among his new dishes, the burrata cannoli ($16) is a playful twist on the classic and pairs perfectly with dots of thick, bittersweet olive caramel. Potato Ice Cream + Caviar ($16) is another clever starter, with surprisingly sweet ice cream atop housemade gaufrette chips. Bumps of caviar and trout roe elevate the saltiness of the cool, delicate scoops for a delicious little bite.
Bannos is notably excited as he describes the upgraded kitchen, which gives him enough elbow room—and grill space—to flex his muscles, both creatively and literally. The big-eye tuna ($25) is a perfect example of what he can do in the expanded space. Crowned with pickled ramps and local rhubarb, each coin of fish reveals a tender middle within a black peppercorn-seared crust. The king crab ($25), too, perfectly balances sweet and salty, resting in a pool of velvety strawberry gazpacho.
Wine director Alan Beasey is at the beck and call of diners, so finding the perfect pairing is a breeze, but this year’s addition of spirit-free cocktails furthers the fun for the whole table. The vibrantly hued Orange is the New ($8), for example, is a refreshing, gingery sipper, as carrot juice mingles with sweet baking spices.
Finish off the night with what Bannos refers to as his “legendary” Sicilian Iris ($11), his take on the century-old dessert. Deep-fried brioche pairs with cannoli filling, chocolate chips and a shower of powdered sugar—a perfect excuse to pig out. 444 N. Michigan Ave., 312.464.1744
Photography by: THE PURPLE PIG, HAAS AND HAAS PHOTOGRAPHY