June 17, 2014

US excursion 2014: the greasy pig

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I was panicking a little. We were done with our conference and this was our last night in Chicago, but I hadn’t figured out where to take the boss for dinner. As usual he’s left it up to me to figure out where to eat, and this presents a challenge while we’re in a city that I had never been to beore.

I knew it had to be somewhere along the Magnificent Mile, as the boss had hardly left our hotel since his arrival, and he should at least walk along the Mile. Should we play tourists and go to Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, since steak is the thing to do here? I asked for his opinion, and was told that he would like to “try something new”.

We showed up at the door to the Purple Pig, which had been mentioned on foodie discussion boards and seemed to have been rated highly in Zagat. Even the boss noticed that this was on the Rubberman’s Bib Gourmand list. They don’t take reservations, and there was already a long list of people waiting. We agreed to leave our name and come back in half an hour. Meanwhile, we could at least walk along the Mile.

We were seated inside the restaurant upon our return. I’m pretty sure the boss isn’t used to how tightly packed the tables were, nor was he accustomed to the level of music and noise. It took some effort for us to carry on a conversation…

The task of ordering, not surprisingly, fell on my shoulders. The only request from the boss was that I should keep the calorie count down. At the end of the evening, though, we both realized that I completely failed in this regard…

Roasted bone marrow with herbs – this was one of the first things to jump out from the menu. Maybe I just naturally have a radar for this dish. I was hesitant at first, because this clearly wasn’t gonna be “low-calorie”. But as the boss noted that both tables to the sides of us had ordered this, he decided that he would try something he’s never had before.

I was surprised that the bone wasn’t cut into shorter sections, but I guess it makes the presentation more impressive this way. The marrow was really rich and delicious, and the brioche slices had been toasted with an incredible amount of butter. I was in heaven, and ended up polishing off about 2/3 of this. My only complaint was that instead of spoons, we were given a knife and fork to dig out the marrow. Not the best way to get to the liquefied marrow. Oh and I also think that they shouldn’t have used so much butter for the brioche. The marrow was rich enough, and the addition of butter just became a little bit of overkill.

Olive oil poached tuna with quail eggs – the lightest dish tonight, since it was marinated in olive oil and vinaigrette. Not sure the boss is used to the Mediterranean flavors of this dish, with lots of marinated bell peppers and onions.

"JLT" Soft shell crab, pork jowl, tomato and frisee – soooo greasy. The soft-shell crab on top was deep-fried with lots of oil, and was sitting on top of a slice of greasy pork jowl.

I guess basically it’s meant to be an open-faced version of BLT, but it was kinda hard to eat with your hands… Our waiter commended me on my choice of this dish, but I didn’t really get this…

Grilled wagyu short ribs with romesco sauce – I was expecting to see ribs served length-wise, i.e. individual rib bones, but we got thin, cross sections instead. This was OK, but the boss noted that the beef was a little fatty…

Not a particularly satisfying dinner, and definitely too heavy even for me. Actually I kinda felt a little ill at the end. We decided to stroll along the Chicago River back the hotel, enjoying the cool evening breeze. Hopefully my 26-hour stopover in New York City will be more successful from a culinary point of view.

1 comment:

lester said...

Try Girl and The Goat next time


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