Best Use of a Pig Tail by Someone Other than a Pig

Critics' Picks

The Purple Pig

500 N. Michigan
312-464-1744

thepurplepigchicago.com

At the Purple Pig, Mia Francesca’s Scott Harris and Heaven on Seven’s Jimmy Bannos Sr. and Jr. push the limits of the whole-hog craze by serving up tails braised in balsamic vinegar. This dish gets raised eyebrows from more than a few of the shoppers who bop into in this Mag Mile location, but they’re much tastier than one might expect of a butt-mounted flea swatter: where we imagined something like a turkey neck, thin and bony, with random slivers of fatty meat, we got marvelously thick chunks, not as stringy as ox tails but just as rich, with the sweet-sour vinegar adding big, pork-favoring flavor. It’d be a shame to consign such savory scraps to the sausage grinder.