Creativity and Personality Help Make Parachute Restaurant Great
In a city known for great food and inventive cuisine, Parachute Restaurant is pushing forward into new levels of craveability with its signature style.
From the starting plate of pickled vegetables, which included texture bending shishito peppers and savory trumpet mushrooms, to the indescribably delicious broccoli salad (yes, seriously, the broccoli salad is THAT good), the menu will grab your attention and refuse to let go until its had its say.
Parachute eschews tradition with a blend of Korean, American, European, and even Nordic flavors to create its own dazzlingly interesting cuisine. This is evidenced by the rigatoni pasta with chicken and yellow curry, the aforementioned broccoli salad made with ras el hanout, or the hwe dup bap, made with fjord trout, radishes, and mustard greens.
With all the talk about food, be sure not to sleep on the bar menu. A well-curated wine list consisting of a 2016 Vijariego Blanco and a 2017 Loire Valley Pinot Noir from Phillip Tessier accompany a sassy and playful cocktail list finishing with a Batavia-Arrack green tea cocktail guaranteed to pique your curiosity. Personally, I was enthralled by the Brennivin Aquavit tincture, as it allowed me a chance to reminisce on my time spent exploring the cuisine and culture of Iceland, but that’s a story for another time.
Parachute Restaurant image Courtesy of Zagat.com
The restaurant itself impresses with a warm, welcoming vibe felt in the friendly and conversational staff, cozy wood grain and brick interior, finishing with a 16 person, extra-long communal concrete dining table that feeds right into the kitchen. The seats here are the best in the house, offering you not only a chance to carry on a conversation with the sharp-witted bar staff, but also a view into the kitchen as the talented lot executes beautiful dishes with the grace and efficiency of trained ballet dancers in a corridor no wider than a standard prep table.
Another stand out characteristic I couldn’t help but notice was that the kitchen staff was primarily female. And, on second glance, it turns out most of the staff at Parachute was female. Needing to know more about the consciousness of this theme, I asked the bartender if it was intentional or coincidental. Her answer was honest and, in retrospect, a bit obvious.
“Our kitchen is so small that women tend to work better in it. They’re smaller, more compact, less likely to run into each other,” she explained in deadpan manner with no trace of sarcasm. As I sat there, looking down that corridor and considering my own frame (6’1″, 175lbs), the answer seemed to be all the explanation necessary. Regardless of the reasoning, the sight of a primarily female kitchen in an industry so dominated by men filled me with hope and excitement for the future of American cuisine.
About Parachute Restaurant
Parachute Restaurant is owned and operated by wife and husband duo Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark. It’s located it the up and coming Avondale neighborhood of northwest Chicago. It currently holds one Michelin Star and has been nominated multiple time for regional best chef by the James Beard Foundation. While they do accept walk-ins, it would behoove you to reserve your place well in advance, as their popularity will continue to grown.