The Purple Pig and Steaks in Chicago

30 Oct

I spent four days last week at the Spring One conference in Chicago. The conference provided most of the meals:  typical hotel catered food and best described as ok. Fortunately, I was able to eat outside of the a few times and in some cases had some excellent food.

On Wednesday, I had lunch at Mezze Grilled Wraps and Pita: chicken kabobs and salad. The food was pretty decent but I was disappointed that it wasn’t better. In the evening I had dinner at N9ne, which is a trendy steak house. As an appetizer, I had Two Cones: ice-cream-style cones filled with ahi tuna tartare and marinated lobster. Very tasty. For a main course, I had the Surf and Turf, which is an 80z filet mignon and half a lobster along with a side of spinach. I really enjoyed the food especially since there wasn’t a huge amount of it. The mile walk there and back helped too!

On Thursday, I took my mother-in-law out for dinner at Gene and Georgetti, a classic, 70-year old Chicago Steak house. The seafood salad was excellent and my mother-in-law enjoyed her Lobster Tail De Jonghe. However, I found my Ribeye steak a little too much even though it was well prepared. Perhaps going to steak restaurants tonights in a row was not the best idea. Having said that I’m glad that I experienced Gene and Georgetti’s.

The culinary high point of the trip was friday lunch at the Purple Pig. The food was absolutely delicious yet relatively inexpensive. It’s not a surprise that the Purple Pig is a Michelin 2011 Bib Gourmand Restaurant. There were six of us and we had numerous small plates including:

  • Pig’s Ear with Crispy Kale, Pickled Cherry Peppers & Fried Egg – wow
  • Panini Coppa with Provolone Cheese, Pickled Cherry Peppers & Whole Grain Mustard  – tasty
  • Panini Salami Toscana, Goat Cheese & Black Olive Tapenade – tasty
  • Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Mashed Potatoes – delicious, melt in your mouth
  • Morcilla (blood sausage) with Fava Beans, Bread Crumbs & Sherry Vinaigrette – omg!
  • Purple Pig Platter – a delicious collection of cured meats
The food at the Purple Pig is really, really good.
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