NOW OPEN: GILT BAR, THE PURPLE PIG IN CHICAGO
GILT BAR | Chef Brendan Sodikoff’s resumé features stints with Alain Ducasse, the Ritz Paris, and French Laundry at this new River North restaurant-bar-lounge, and the décor in the former Aigre Doux space is suitably stylish. A 100-year-old brass bar top, vintage theater seats, padded Chesterfields and turn-of-the-century light fixtures mark it as a serious spot for eats and drinks, from fresh oysters and hearty dishes like pot roast and a pork porterhouse to craft brews and martinis made with organic vodka from Wisconsin from the artisanal cocktail menu. A gilt-edged gastropub, if you will. We will.
Gilt Bar, 230 W. Kinzie St.,312.464.9544
THE PURPLE PIG | If you detect a bit of Batali in The Purple Pig, chef Jimmy Bannos, Jr.’s new shrine to porcine delights on North Michigan Avenue, that’s because he learned the ropes from the master himself before setting up shop on his own. The homemade cheese and charcuterie is the main attraction in the ruggedly handsome room fitted with floorboards reclaimed from an old Wisconsin grain elevator, hefty farm tables and a marble-topped bar. From soppressata, prosciutto and Serrano ham to parts o’ the pig you’ve probably never contemplated eating, this is hardly the place for entertaining vegans, though everyone will find something to love on the extensive, affordable wine list.
The Purple Pig, 500 N. Michigan Ave.,312.464.1744
Image: GILT BAR via Zagat