The Purple PigNear North
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Heaven on Seven's Jimmy Bannos and his son Jimmy Bannos Jr. have teamed up with Scott Harris of the Mia Francesca empire to open this Mediterranean-focused spot in River North. Sharable plates are the focus, with pork getting major menu play. Porcine highlights include pig liver pate, testa, lardo, cured pig lingua (tongue) and a sharable dish of sheep's milk ricotta with pork neckbone gravy. Antipasti, house-cured salumi and an extensive cheese program round out the sharable offerings, and despite the pork focus, there are lots of seafood highlights (don't miss the olive-oil-poached tuna) too. The mostly European (Italian, French, Spanish, Greek) wine list emphasizes affordable, under-$40 bottles, with a full range of options available by the glass and quartino. Wine plays a role in the decor too: An entire wall is dedicated to a wine display and huge wine barrels hang on another. Expect a casual, social atmosphere spurred on by communal tables and late-night hours, with the full menu available until at least midnight most nights.