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A Plate of Cured Pork Masquerading as Vegetables

The Bristol’s asparagus doubles as a vehicle for eggs and diced ham.

Photo: Jeff Marini

Seeing it on the menu, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is just another virtuous plate of vegetables. But you’d be mistaken, because it’s actually a plate of cured pork masquerading as a plate of vegetables. Deftly sautéed and possessed of a tender snap, the asparagus would be perfectly good on its own, but here it rises to a higher purpose: as a vehicle for soft-boiled eggs and a hailstorm’s worth of diced ham, cured in-house for 20 days and then smoked over cherrywood for 12 hours. And just to gild this porky lily, there’s also an aïoli made with the fat drippings from the smoked ham. Each lush bite is like huffing bacon fumes and injecting pig meat straight into your veins, and I mean that as a high compliment. But if you want to pretend you’re just in it for the veggies, I’ll play along. $15. 2152 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown

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