Last week, I was able to try out The Purple Pig, located directly across from my office at 500 N. Michigan Ave. I went there for a drink with one of my girlfriends who does a lot of PR in the Chicagoland area and said we had to try it.
It had a great atmosphere and an extensive wine and cheese list and generous for a small plate place. Our server was very knowledgeable and was able to answer every question we asked. We started out with a glass of wine each. I enjoyed a delicious red wine similar to a pinot noir (they do not serve pinot noir by the glass) and my friend got a glass of pinot grigio. We ordered a cheese platter 3 cheeses for $14. They also have 5 cheeses for $23. I love goat cheese and the one we had was creamy and rich and went perfect with this fig jam they give you on the side. It was very good! I also liked that they have an outdoor patio, that will be awesome in the summertime especially for happy hour!
Something I did not enjoy about the Purple Pig is the seating arrangements. They have about three large table tops for group seating (so basically you are sitting with a bunch of strangers you don't know. I like to call it "Ron of Japan style"). I noticed that a lot of newer Chicago restaurants are doing more of this group like seating. If you have a reservation then you will be seated in the dining area, but if you just walk in you will be seated in the grouping sections. My friend and I sat with a bunch a pretty cool people who were visiting from New York, so our experience was positive. If you’re stuck next to someone who smells funky, obnoxious, or likes to butt into your personal conversation... I'm sorry your shit out of luck! The layout was a little strange as well as the decor. There was also zero ambiance(at least near the front). The "to go" was also poorly done. My co-worker noticed the unisex bathrooms- so men can feel okay peeing while sitting down?
I really like their slogan “Cheese, Swine, and Wine” it is definitely very catchy and if you’re a swine eater- this is the place to go! They have a large list of cured meats such as Prosciutto di Parma ($9), Finocchiona Salami ($6), and the Purple Pig Platter ($29).
All in all my friend and I had a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wanted to go for a happy hour/drinks and appetizers.