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Earth Day Dinner

  • Hopleaf 5148 North Clark Street Chicago, IL, 60640 United States (map)

Virtue Cider is made on a working farm that, besides growing apples, also raises farm animals including the Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs that live on their 48-acre orchard. The breed was popularized in the early 1900s as a farm animal that would graze on agricultural byproducts like fallen apples, which is when they also earned the nickname Orchard Pigs. Within a few decades, farmers realized the pigs were not only useful, but also produced some tasty and lean bacon. By the mid 1900s, however, these foraging fiends nearly went extinct as the mass pork production industry replaced them with pigs more suited for captivity. At Virtue these hogs mostly eat the post-crushing apple pulp, along with spent grain from local breweries, and what they can find rooting around the farm. Their rooting around helps naturally control pests.


Hopleaf acquired one of these hogs and is making it the centerpiece of a 6-course farm dinner paired with Virtue Cider. Founder Gregory Hall will host. Appropriately, this dinner will be on Earth Day 2018. The natural agricultural practices at Virtue Cider are examples of the environmentally friendly farming regimens that are in line with the Earth Day founder's hopes.

Virtue Cider & Pork Farm Dinner Menu for Sunday, April 22:

Welcome cider: Virtue Rosé


1st: House-made Charcuterie w/seasonal accompaniments
Paired with Michigan Apple

2nd: Kale Salad with spiced sweet potatoes, compressed fennel, bacon lardons and pepitas w/bacon-ramp vinaigrette
Paired with Percheron

3rd: House-made Pork Sausage with petite salad
Paired with Mitten

4th: Cider Braised Pork Ragù, beet-infused gnocchi, confit ramps, herb bread crumbs
Paired with Michigan Brut

5th: Sous Vide Pork Loin, glazed and wood grilled w/Swiss chard, parsnip puree, compressed apple, pickled aji dolce peppers and cider jus
Paired with Michigan Honey

6th: Bacon-oatmeal-cherry cookie & porter ice cream sandwich
Paired with Michigan Cherry

Earlier Event: April 21
Blue Point Cask Ales Festival
Later Event: April 23
Happy Hour - Sweetwater Social