food and drink
Well, there it is (see photo).
When my husband called Mercat a la Planxa and ordered this specialty for a small group of friends, he was asked if he'd like the head served as well. We assumed that's because many diners are grossed out by such a spectacle. We figured the head was part of the reality of the repast so now you can see what we did.
Mercat offers tapas, grilled and cured meats and other delicious specialties that are relatively unusual in town. They are Catalan style, typical of Barcelona and the surrounding region.
Barcelona is indeed in Spain but also in proud and individualistic Catalonia. This popular region boasts an individual language and culture, including a cuisine that is substantially different from traditional Spanish fare. Mercat's delicious Catalonian specialties are relatively unusual in town, including tapas, grilled and cured meats and more.
But we couldn't resist the suckling pig, especially perfect on a chilly day. One must order 72 hours in advance but the result is a moist tender and crisp repast with trimmings that was just delicious.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and also serves a weekend brunch. Personally I'd save the pig for dinner or a special occasion.
When you enter the Blackstone you'll notice the interior has been updated. Do take a look at the handsome overhead chandelier in the lobby. It's from the original hotel, a great example of art nouveau decor.
The hotel and Mercat a la Planxa are at 638 S. Michigan Av. Reservations can be made at 312.765.0524.