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Quick trip to Chicago: report

c
cortez Sep 6, 2011 08:16 AM

spent the long weekend in Chicago as part of a multi-day wedding event. Was able to sneak in a couple of restaurant visits:

Hits:

Purple Pig: group of 5 loved it. Pigs ear salad with egg (sounds awful, tastes great) and sliced wagyu steak were our favorites. Great, reasonably priced wine list. Lively and fun.

Mercat: built a pre-ordered meal for 6 around the 1/2 sucking pig which was carved for us at the table. Sort of a Peking duck experience with pork rather than the duck. Every cut of pork imaginable. White beans, rosemary potatoes and grilled green onions. Terrific.

Wrigley Field foot long hot dog. Hon, would you like extra grilled onions with that? Yes, M'am. That specially colored green relish, peppers and lots of mustard completed the picture. Washed it down with a Victoria beer from Mexico on a 96 degree day. Memorable.

misses:

NoMi: hadn't tried this beautiful place since it's redo. Went for lunch with mixed results. Delicious gazpacho was followed by an attractive but bland sushi platter. Grilled chicken panini was large but unexciting. Highlight was the view. Will return only for cocktails and appetizers. Shame to lose this former favorite.

Cafe Spiaggia: disappointing across the board. Have been here many times. To us, it now feels that the flavors are more corporate than fresh and authentic. Cannelloni was over complicated and under flavored. The sliced steak was way short of the same dish at the Purple Pig. Did enjoy the fegato. Wine list was outrageously priced. The exact Italian white wine ($22 retail) we enjoyed at Purple Pig for $40 was $60 at Cafe Spiaggia. A serious over charge.

Great town. Fun trip.

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Cafe Spiaggia
980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Purple Pig
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611