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Purple Pig restaurant preview

The Mediterranean restaurant from Jimmy Bannos, Scott Harris and Tony Mantuano opens on the Mag Mile this fall.

WHAT Purple Pig, a Mediterranean restaurant from Jimmy Bannos, Scott Harris and others WHEN October WHERE 500 N Michigan Ave (no phone yet) If any ingredient can band together a team of chefs, it’s pork. So it’s no surprise that it’s in the name of swine that Heaven on Seven’s Jimmy Bannos, Bannos’s son Jimmy Jr. and Mia Francesca’s Scott Harris are opening a wine-heavy Mediterranean spot on the Mag Mile. Naturally, a project with this many hands in it gets pulled in many directions. Bannos Sr. takes us through some of the restaurant’s antipasto to show us how the team makes its varied influences work. 1. SHEEP’S MILK RICOTTA WITH TOMATO GRAVY “My son and myself went to Murray’s Cheese Shop in New York, and we took a three-day cheese boot camp. We’re going to really be serious about cheese.” 2. CLAMS WITH ROSAMARINA PASTA “I’m bringing recipes from my Greek yaya [grandmother], and we’re going to intertwine those into the menu. The rosamarina pasta is hers; the clam element is my son’s.” 3. CRISPY MUSSELS “The mussels have a little touch of Italy but are also definitely Spanish. The Spanish influence, we get that from my son. Doing New Orleans food all these years, I bring a whole different aspect. New Orleans food is all about seasonings—a lot of flavor flavor. We mix that up with Scottie and my son, who believe in using only three, four ingredients. It’s really refreshing.” 4. MORTADELLA MOUSSE WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR “Scottie has a big input—he has 20, 30 years of cooking Italian food. Most underrated chef in the city. And we’re all big mortadella fans, so we were thinking: What else can we do with it? A lot of people don’t like it because of the fat, but we thought, Let’s take advantage of that—let’s puree it.” 5. HOUSE-CURED CHARCUTERIE “I think it’s more cost-effective [to cure in-house], to be honest with you. Jimmy Jr. learned how to cure meats from Mario Batali. We’re going to do some jamón, and I’m going to dangle that piece of meat on your tongue and that stuff is going to melt…holy shit, it’s so good…don’t chew it, just let it melt, you get all the flavors…oh, my God….”
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