North Pond/Sable/Purple Pig dish recommendations for this week would be so appreciated
We will be dining at North Pond (romantic), Purple Pig and Sable (with children) later this week and would appreciate any "must do/must not miss" ordering recommendations. We have 1 meat eater and 1 fish eater.... no dislikes except for one with not a particular fondness for squab. I will post feed-back when we return home. Thank you in advance.
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
At Sable, do not miss the sweet corn creme brulee. This is a savory dish, not a dessert, although it sort of bridges the gap between the two; it has the caramelized sugar typical of the traditional dessert, but that is topped with cracked sea salt (in addition to the corn itself in the custard, of course). I also enjoyed the bison short rib sliders. One thing about Sable, though - many of the dishes are available in half portions, and ordering those lets you try a whole lot more dishes than you would otherwise be ordering. Don't let the low prices mislead you, either - you can easily stuff yourself on $30 of food there!
The one dish I still remember loving from the last time I ate at North Pond was a dessert, an almond cream (a mousse-like dish). But what I also remember from North Pond is that many of Chef Sherman's dishes had multiple items. What I mean by that is, instead of an entree consisting of a single composition - for example, a piece of fish served over something and topped with something - it would consist of multiple items plated together, so there will be 2-4 items alongside the fish. So the chances are that you may decide that you absolutely love one or more of the accompaniments - as well as the main item on the plate. And the main item may not be as critical as in most other restaurants. Hope that makes sense.
Sable-pork BLTs (amazing!!!!), veggie burgers (heaven inbetween a bun), deviled eggs (the best I have ever had), tuna tartar tostadas (the perfect little bites of seafood), cheese curds (every piece of fried cheese from Wisco tasted very sinful). Drinks-War of Roses, Speaking in Tongues. Desserts-chocolate cake and peanut butter ice cream thing....HEAVEN
Purple Pig-tuna prosciutto, fried BLT, pork shoulder, and shrimp and mussels. We had dessert here-nutella, marshmallow thing...not that exciting...I would skip it here.
At Purple Pig, the Beef Marrow is awesome, unique, rich and flavorful (but not for kids). Sliced raw asparagus with pecorino cheese is simple but excellent, you will want to try at home. Pork shoulder is a hit and more family friendly. Beets are outstanding. PIg ears and chicken kabobs, for me, not so much. Enjoy.
Consider doing the tasting menu at North Pond... with the wine pairings...you might even get an extra course not on the 'list' depending on what the chef has on hand or feels like if he feels like it...
Clearly, it depends on your tastes.
At PP, I love the beets & whipped goat cheese with pistachio vinaigrette. Also love the roasted butternut squash with sage, ricotta salata & pepitas. I adored the pig ear and the chicken thighs with smashed potatoes and tzaziki are also on our tab. Didn't care for the chorizo olives, sounds better than the salt bombs they actually are. Whatever the arrancini is, get it. Last spring it was mozzerella with mint and peas. Lately, it's been something with butternut squash.
Here is my trip/restaurant report:
Purple Pig- The Beets with goat cheese and pistachio vinaigrette was one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. We all fought over it.... The milk braised pork shoulder was wonderfully tender. Even my 19 month old had secondsl! The Pork neck bone gravy with ricotta was tomatoey, tender and perfect to smear on toasted bread. The PP platter was also excellent. The sweet/sour tongue was a stand out.
Sable- Deviled truffle eggs and Pork Belly Flat-bread were stand outs here. I wanted to love the Corn Creme Brulee but the execution was lacking. The crackly topping was soggy -no crackle and the pudding rather eggy and curdled in texture. Maybe an off day? Our cheese platter was delivered with no explanation. That didn't bother any one but me... I hailed our waitress over and asked what we had. I was told, "This is a blu, this is a goat/sheepy thing, and this is new... I am not sure but I think it is a chedder." That being said it was good and we ate it all.... The Roses cocktail was yummy!
Cafe Spiaggia- Highlights here were the Squid Pizza with spicy peppers and wild oregano along with the cannelloni which was incredible! Thin sheets of pasta with ricotta, chard, spinach, mint and peas... It tasted like spring.
North Pond- Gorgeous Setting and Arts and Crafts Building. We had a cozy dark both and dined sans children. I would love to go back in Spring/Summer and request a window table. I had a Key Lime cocktail with Pernod that might have been the best cocktail I have ever tasted. We started with a White Bean Soup and Sausage Pear dish which were great. My husband had the Charcuterie Platter. The Jowl Pastrami was OUTSTANDING and done in house according to our waiter. It was paper thin and melt-in-your mouth. My husband had duck which he thought was good. I had Cod. The fish itself was excellent but the rest of the dish (a new preparation as of the day we dined) left me cold. Potatoes which were bland, minced sausage(tiny bits but smokey and flavorful), fried egg and tomato just didn't do it for me. Bread basket could use some work and cheese tray was excellent but could have benefitted from some bread in some form.
Chicago is very friendly. We were welcomed and treated well with 3 children and a stroller everywhere we went. The Four Seasons was perfect. We can't wait to come back again!
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611