You can’t say Jimmy Bannos Jr. doesn’t want to give you choices. His menu at Chicago’s The Purple Pig is apparently six times larger than when the restaurant opened. But the strategy seems to be working — Bannos was recently nominated for a James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef and the restaurant has received countless accolades from national outlets like Food & Wine and Zagat.
The secret to the success, according to Bannos, is that while he serves food that could stand up to any white tablecloth restaurant, he keeps the atmosphere low-key. "You know we’re not really fussing around a lot, [we have] bold flavors, and that’s kind of my motto," he says. "Simple food is not simple, rustic food is an art form... I think it’s for everybody, it’s not just special occasions, come once a year, it’s for everyone... It’s a very unpretentious and casual atmosphere but with top-notch service."
For more from Bannos, watch the video above and make sure to head to The Purple Pig the next time you're in Chicago.