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    Post #1 - May 28th, 2014, 12:58 pm
    Post #1 - May 28th, 2014, 12:58 pm Post #1 - May 28th, 2014, 12:58 pm
    I just read a really interesting article by Kevin Pang about Parachute, Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark's new restaurant. A great read about the financial realities of opening a restaurant. I look forward to checking out the restaurant soon.

    Parachute
    3500 North Elston Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60618
    (773) 654 - 1460
    INFO@PARACHUTERESTAURANT.COM
    http://www.parachuterestaurant.com/

    HOURS :
    TUESDAY - THURSDAY 5PM - 10PM
    FRIDAY - SATURDAY 5PM - 11PM
    PARACHUTE DOES NOT ACCEPT RESERVATIONS
  • Post #2 - May 28th, 2014, 7:13 pm
    Post #2 - May 28th, 2014, 7:13 pm Post #2 - May 28th, 2014, 7:13 pm
    Thanks for sharing. As an outsider, I realize that opening a restaurant is tough, but didn't realize it was quite so difficult.

    I have to admit I question their no-reservations decision. As a new restaurant being opened by quasi-celebrity chefs in Chicago, I wouldn't go early on because I'd assume there would be a huge crush of people in the first few weeks. And with no reservations, that means (I mistakenly assume) I wouldn't be able to get a table immediately. So I don't go. But now that I know, I'll go soon!
  • Post #3 - May 28th, 2014, 8:35 pm
    Post #3 - May 28th, 2014, 8:35 pm Post #3 - May 28th, 2014, 8:35 pm
    I think this is a great piece. Having just gone through an opening and knowing firsthand how all the numbers are slanted against you, and how effing HARD it is before you even get the doors open, I think they're brave for putting it all out there in the Tribune. Also, the PR doesn't hurt!

    I'm really looking forward to this one.
  • Post #4 - June 2nd, 2014, 8:12 pm
    Post #4 - June 2nd, 2014, 8:12 pm Post #4 - June 2nd, 2014, 8:12 pm
    I had a nice dinner at Parachute the other night. It started with some friggin' spectacular bread, specifically a sesame studded loaf with a beautifully crisp exterior, and a slightly moist interior filled with potato, bacon and scallion. The bread comes served warm with a sour cream butter, which is great, but this bread is just fine on its own. This may not be the bread bakers seek to perfect when learning how to bake, but it should be. And you'd be a fool not to order it. A half loaf will suffice for two, but if you order a whole loaf . . . well, then you'll have something to satisfy those midnight cravings at home. I'll admit I may have been slightly blinded by the addition of sesame seeds - I love them beyond words - but I'm pretty sure anyone will love this bread.

    Nothing would rival the bread this night, but there were some other very nice bites. In terms of very small bites, potato and nettle croquettes were fine, but it was the accompanying umeboshi dipping sauce that really put a smile on my face. On the other hand, the miniature seaweed and parmesan gougeres just didn't do it for me - there was just not a spot on my taste buds to find love for these, but that may be more personal.

    On the other hand, the pork belly and mung bean pancake, with kimchi, black garlic and hen egg was terrific. If you've ever been out for Korean bbq, you've probably had (and loved) the pajeon. And the one at Parachute would be pretty damn good if it stopped with the pork belly and mung bean pancake itself. Everything else just elevated an already great dish, adding in some heat, funk, sweetness and richness. The steak tartare, featuring salsify, green almonds, capers and ground ivy, was pretty good, but it could have been a whole lot better if mustard had not dominated the other flavors.

    As for larger dishes, monkfish roasted in gochujang with caramelized sunchoke and mung bean sprouts was a big hit. The monkfish was cooked perfectly and delivered some terrific flavors.

    Unfortunately, I was slightly less enthused though with the hand torn noodles with lamb sofrito, Szechuan peppercorn and cumin. I expected to love this dish - a marriage of two of my favorite things: dan dan noodles and cumin lamb - but I thought it was only decent. Unfortunately, the noodles were overcooked and thus too soft, and I found the flavors to be slightly one note. There was some cilantro, and I think a little more would go a long way. It was perhaps a little too salty also. But it was still tasty and I'd order it again, particularly because I'm assuming the small flaws will be worked out with time. That being said, one note for those ma la fans out there: the numbing sensation appeared to mostly be hiding (still pretty spicy though).

    Dessert was pat bing su, which consisted of cucumber ice, condensed milk ice cream, kiwi, red bean and lovage, and it made for a terrific combination of ingredients - herbal, sweet, unique and delicious. And it was a great not-too-heavy finish to this meal.

    Service was friendly, albeit slow, but no question these guys are probably working out a few kinks in their first couple of weeks and this was a weekend night. Thus, the place was jam packed (though we didn't have to wait). Decor is pretty cool - old phonographs on the wall were pretty unique. There's also some seemingly old fashioned music playing (perhaps a bit loud for my liking) and I liked the vibe.

    Overall, this looks to be a very nice and unique addition to the Chicago dining scene. I'm probably most excited though to see what appears to be the beginning of a trend, with some chefs returning to their roots and cooking food that they perhaps grew up with, but at the same time mixing in some of what they've learned cooking in finer restaurants. I think it makes for a far more diverse and exciting dining culture in Chicago and one that should be celebrated. So I'd say we're pretty damn lucky to have both Parachute and Laughing Bird open in the last couple of weeks. Now let's make sure places like this stick around.
  • Post #5 - July 6th, 2014, 3:22 pm
    Post #5 - July 6th, 2014, 3:22 pm Post #5 - July 6th, 2014, 3:22 pm
    Two dinners here last week were excellent and completely obliterated my expectations. Several dishes were truly impressive. The dolsot bibimbop transcended just about every version I've ever had in a "traditional" Korean restaurant. For me, this dish is often an exercise in bland but at Parachute, the contrasting flavors were explosive and wonderful. I loved how the tart spiciness of the gochujang foiled the richness of the tender chunks of shortrib. And, given the venue, it was a clever play to encounter such a traditionally Western prep on the shortrib, because almost every version of shortrib I've ever had at a Korean restaurant is basically kalbi. Here, it was unctuous and a perfect match for the rest of the dish. It was also, by far, the most impressive and delicious nurungji I've ever encounted. This crust was thick, intensely toasty and golden brown, and it stayed satisfyingly crispy until our dolsot had not a speck of food left in it.

    Other spectacular dishes were the house pickles (served as a group of 3), especially the "sichuan peanut celery" portion, which is far and away the best celery I've ever eaten. The kimchi was also awesome, as was the "watermelon radish zuke." The baked potato bing bread (bacon, scallion and sour cream butter) was as delectable as it sounds but it is filling, so if you're trying a bunch of other items, as we did, a half-order is probably enough for 3-4 people.

    Pork belly and mung bean pancake (kimchi, black garlic, hen egg, pineapple), roasted asparagus and shiitake mandu (lebneh, almonds), steak tartare (Chinese mustard, salsify, capers), boudin noir (nam phrik, peanut, crispy rice, spearmint, endive, coconut yogurt), cold buckwheat noodle (heirloom lettuces, cucumber, deviled egg salad, pine nuts, chilled kimchi broth), hand torn noodle (spicy lamb sofrito, sichuan peppercorn, cumin), salt and pepper pork ribs (yuzu kosho, honey, shiso), all overdelivered in terms of deliciousness and inventiveness. There's not one of these dishes I wouldn't enthusiastically order again.

    The ribs, for example, were textbook. They were lightly crusty on the outside, very moist throughout and had just enough seasoning to accentuate the pork without overpowering it. Their texture was exemplary. The meat was not falling off the bone, but perfectly tuggable. It's rare to find ribs cooked this well in a restaurant (or any) setting. Even a seemingly innocuous dish of slow cooked chicken (snap peas, wood ear mushroom, horseradish, rhubarb) was so much more than its imaginative composition and skilled execution. And the sauce, made from pureed chicken liver, took this dish from great to exceptional.

    I didn't love everything. I thought the kampachi ceviche (green strawberry, sesame salad, fennel) had a bit too much going on and the fish was obscured by it. With the olive oil-poached lemon fish (new potatoes, cucumber-seaweed dashi, smoked wheatberries), I loved the meaty texture of the perfectly cooked fish but didn't feel that the accompanying elements matched up very well with it. The impressively massive hot pot (spicy crab broth and wild gulf shrimp, with rice cakes, cherry stone clams, black radish and crown daisy) not only had a presence attack :wink: but also offered a tremendously tasty and rich broth. The whole, shell-on shrimp were sensational but the clams were very large and a bit tough. These are mostly nitpicks because at least a couple of my dining companions really enjoyed these dishes.

    On the drink side, there are 3 cocktails offered. I tried the #2 (Smith & Cross rum, Batavia Arrack, lemon, allspice dram, mint), which was served swizzle-style in a collins glass. It was refreshing, nicely-balanced and paired well with the food. A Bockor "Vanderghinste" oud brun also well went with several of the dishes. And pours of Pure Kentucky bourbon fit in nicely, as well.

    On the dessert side, I tried 3 of the 4 and really enjoyed 2 of them. The pat bing su (cucumber ice, condensed milk ice cream, red bean, kiwi, lovage) was a lot of fun. The flavors were excellent and it was a refreshing dessert that ended the meal nicely. The napoleon (black sesame bavarian cream, yuzu curd, brown butter) was delicious and disappeared almost instantly. The brown butter was in the form of a powder that was so intoxicating, we were tempted to lick the plate to get it all. We also had the chamomile chocolate pudding (malted milk, chocolate sable), which didn't do it for me quite the way the other 2 desserts did.

    Service was excellent. Everyone in the restaurant is friendly, helpful and enthusiastic. No question we had went unanswered. It seemed like everyone on the staff knew a tremendous amount about every component in every dish. It's a relatively small space and in addition to a chef's counter, there's also a communal island in the center of the space. I liked being at the communal island but the stools there were, for me, pretty darned uncomfortable. For a smaller (aka normal-sized) person, this probably wouldn't be the case but I greatly preferred sitting in a standard chair at one of the tables on the west wall of the restaurant.

    All too often high-end, chef-driven versions of ethnic places -- often erroneously referred to as "elevated" -- fall disappointingly short, but Parachute was refreshing because these cheffed-up takes were so much more delicious and distinctive than what one typically finds at some neighborhood Korean spots. In fact, it's probably only a fair comparison based on what I expected. One doesn't need to eat very much at Parachute before realizing that they're aiming a lot higher here -- and they're hitting the mark repeatedly and with precision.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #6 - July 26th, 2014, 2:38 pm
    Post #6 - July 26th, 2014, 2:38 pm Post #6 - July 26th, 2014, 2:38 pm
    Mrs Snax and I had our first night out without our baby boy, and tried Parachute, since we were very eager to sample our new neighborhood spot.

    We got there just before 8 on Friday, having phoned ahead and being told the wait for tables for 2 was less than 20 minutes, though they do not take reservations. Our timing was perfect, with a parking spot opening up just down the street as we pulled up, and slipping into a freshly vacated table, the only available one in the room as it turned out. The vibe is much louder and energized than I had expected, but we were still able to converse well enough. You do have to be very conscious of your personal space, there is not a spare inch anywhere in the seating area. Servers and patrons do a pretty intricate dance to get around and serve/receive the dishes.

    On to the food... I would largely second the enthusiasm of Ronnie's post. We thoroughly enjoyed the bing bread, salt n pepper ribs and mung pancake, which was our clear fave of the night. Our other starter was sesame leaves fried in a very light tempura batter; they were expertly prepared, even though the greens themselves didn't have a very assertive flavor. Still, deep fried goodness, yum. There was a nice variation on roasted beet salad, with bitter cocoa nibs, blackberries and cashew butter that was very good. The nibs were intriguing, and actually the salad would have benefitted from a heavier dose of them, since there were so many sweet elements to counter them. We also split (since we are total lightweights) a cocktail of rice wine, pineapple puree and mint that was very pleasant indeed.

    The only miss of the night was the bi bim bap, which last night was served with tuna steak as the protein, and with escarole dressed with preserved lemon. After conferring with our server, we actually held out the tuna from the stir-to-combine step upon serving. The tuna had already been seared, and the last thing a tuna steak needs is to be cooked well done IMO, and the dish really needs that softer textural counterpoint to the rice. Sadly, the flavors just did not meld; one bite was face-smacking with lemon, the next drowned in gochujang, and those two did not play well together. Most strangely, the stone bowl was actually too hot for the rice, which instead of caramelizing (which is the primary reason for ordering the dolsot) came out charred in spots. Unfortunately, this was our last course of the night, so our meal ended on a bit of a downer, I would have been so pleased to get the version described in the previous post.

    This however would not dissuade us from going again the next time we can surface long enough to hire another babysitter. Parachute is a great addition to a surprisingly robust and diverse stretch of dining options on Elston through Avondale.
    We crack us up.
  • Post #7 - February 26th, 2015, 2:30 pm
    Post #7 - February 26th, 2015, 2:30 pm Post #7 - February 26th, 2015, 2:30 pm
    I had a fantastic first visit to Parachute last week. We had a group of four, led by peaceyall, (who is moving to Portland toady. Bon Voyage, peaceyall). We managed to order a pretty broad cross section of the menu and I've got to say that almost across the board, Parachute delivered in the flavor department. There were some unique combinations of ingredients that I liked very much. Flavors were bold, but not over the top in any one direction.

    Here's a little pictorial of what we had. I didn't take any notes, so descriptions are mostly copied from the online menu at their website. Please correct me if I get any of these wrong (it was pretty dark in there).

    House Pickles
    kimchi, chili chayote, watermelon radish zuke
    Image

    Crispy Sesame Leaves
    bourbon barrel soy
    Image

    Baked Potato Bing Bread
    bacon, scallion and sour cream butter
    Image

    Fried Tapioca
    raclette, nori
    Image

    Hand Torn Noodle
    spicy lamb sofrito, sichuan peppercorn, cumin
    Image

    Kalbi Jjim
    rice cakes, cipollini onions, rutabega
    Image

    Sumac Marinated Chicken
    buckwheat groats, seaweed pistou, braised leeks
    Image

    Boudin Noir
    kohlrabi, apples, raspberry vinegar, seedy salad
    Image

    Dolsot Bi Bim Bop
    barbecued tripe, brussel sprouts, pickled sou bean sprouts, scallion, perilla seed
    Image

    Bitter Melon
    ground pork, green raisins, wheat berries
    Image

    Dessert
    Green Tea Crepe Cake
    Image

    This dessert, which was new to the menu, was the only miss of the evening, IMO. Everything else was very enjoyable, with a special shout out to the Fried Tapioca. That was really a surprising dish to me. It was crispy on the outside, and the inside was as light and eggy as a perfect soufflé, but no eggs were used in its preparation.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - February 26th, 2015, 3:25 pm
    Post #8 - February 26th, 2015, 3:25 pm Post #8 - February 26th, 2015, 3:25 pm
    stevez wrote:Dessert
    Green Tea Crepe Cake

    This dessert, which was new to the menu, was the only miss of the evening, IMO.

    I'm surprised. That dessert looks really delicious, and reminiscent of the similar cake at Lady M in New York. I'd love to try it, but based on my mediocre dinner at Parachute, I'm not going back there any time soon.
  • Post #9 - February 26th, 2015, 3:53 pm
    Post #9 - February 26th, 2015, 3:53 pm Post #9 - February 26th, 2015, 3:53 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    stevez wrote:Dessert
    Green Tea Crepe Cake

    This dessert, which was new to the menu, was the only miss of the evening, IMO.

    I'm surprised. That dessert looks really delicious, and reminiscent of the similar cake at Lady M in New York. I'd love to try it, but based on my mediocre dinner at Parachute, I'm not going back there any time soon.

    If I had to guess, I'd say it looks like it's probably lacking a jam or cream filling between layers, and was somewhat dry. Am I right, SteveZ?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #10 - February 26th, 2015, 4:54 pm
    Post #10 - February 26th, 2015, 4:54 pm Post #10 - February 26th, 2015, 4:54 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    stevez wrote:Dessert
    Green Tea Crepe Cake

    This dessert, which was new to the menu, was the only miss of the evening, IMO.

    I'm surprised. That dessert looks really delicious, and reminiscent of the similar cake at Lady M in New York. I'd love to try it, but based on my mediocre dinner at Parachute, I'm not going back there any time soon.


    Yes, slightly reminiscent of Lady M, but its not even, its falling on both ends, and cut very poorly. Nothing of the standard of Lady M.
  • Post #11 - February 26th, 2015, 5:31 pm
    Post #11 - February 26th, 2015, 5:31 pm Post #11 - February 26th, 2015, 5:31 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    nsxtasy wrote:
    stevez wrote:Dessert
    Green Tea Crepe Cake

    This dessert, which was new to the menu, was the only miss of the evening, IMO.

    I'm surprised. That dessert looks really delicious, and reminiscent of the similar cake at Lady M in New York. I'd love to try it, but based on my mediocre dinner at Parachute, I'm not going back there any time soon.

    If I had to guess, I'd say it looks like it's probably lacking a jam or cream filling between layers, and was somewhat dry. Am I right, SteveZ?


    There was some green tea flavored pastry cream between the layers, but the cake didn't set up, so as soon as you tried to cut it, the layers would separate and slide in random directions, which also explains why the slice itself is lopsided. It didn't taste very good, either (at least to my palate). It was also the first day that it was on the menu, so I'm sure there will be some tweaking going on.

    I don't want to dwell on this dish, though because everything else we had was stellar.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - February 26th, 2015, 9:07 pm
    Post #12 - February 26th, 2015, 9:07 pm Post #12 - February 26th, 2015, 9:07 pm
    Great pics. You have the labels for the Kalbi Jjim and Hand Torn Noodles flip flopped though.
  • Post #13 - February 27th, 2015, 7:06 am
    Post #13 - February 27th, 2015, 7:06 am Post #13 - February 27th, 2015, 7:06 am
    It doesn't make much sense to defend a restaurant I've never eaten at it, but as someone who's tried to make crepe cake I'll point out that it's pretty hard to make an even one. If you think about it, a completely level crepe cake requires completely uniform crepes at each layer as well as completely uniform application of filling, which can be tough at the edges (which is why the edges slope down a bit - there's less filling out there).

    Long story short, crepe cakes are hard!
  • Post #14 - February 27th, 2015, 9:18 am
    Post #14 - February 27th, 2015, 9:18 am Post #14 - February 27th, 2015, 9:18 am
    grothendieck wrote:It doesn't make much sense to defend a restaurant I've never eaten at it, but as someone who's tried to make crepe cake I'll point out that it's pretty hard to make an even one. If you think about it, a completely level crepe cake requires completely uniform crepes at each layer as well as completely uniform application of filling, which can be tough at the edges (which is why the edges slope down a bit - there's less filling out there).

    Long story short, crepe cakes are hard!

    I was thinking the same thing. I've made it once and I learned just how complicated it is. In addition to having uniformly sized crepes and uniformly spread filling, you have to ensure that you don't have too much filling or it unevenly spreads out as you layer it, making it that much harder to slice. In any event, I too learned the hard way that this is about as difficult a cake/dessert to construct as any and requires much patience. That being said, my dinner guests didn't find that the appearance issues affected the flavor, and neither did I. And the appearance of the crepe cake in the above picture doesn't bother me at all. I've had ones that look beautiful but offer little in the way of flavor. And since I love matcha, I can't wait to try it at Parachute.
  • Post #15 - February 27th, 2015, 9:49 am
    Post #15 - February 27th, 2015, 9:49 am Post #15 - February 27th, 2015, 9:49 am
    For those struggling with a crepe cake, I would encourage you to watch the episode related to this recipe:

    http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/schichttorte/

    ...
    There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. (Poe)
  • Post #16 - February 28th, 2015, 3:17 pm
    Post #16 - February 28th, 2015, 3:17 pm Post #16 - February 28th, 2015, 3:17 pm
    the wimperoo wrote:Great pics. You have the labels for the Kalbi Jjim and Hand Torn Noodles flip flopped though.


    Thanks, Wimperoo. I just got back from a quick consult at Parachute where I got clarification on some of the pictures, including the two you mentioned. All of the captions should now be correct.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - February 28th, 2015, 7:18 pm
    Post #17 - February 28th, 2015, 7:18 pm Post #17 - February 28th, 2015, 7:18 pm
    Interesting to hear that Ronnie felt that the hand torn noodles with the lamb sofrito flopped. During my first visit there this past Tuesday, this was by far the best dish my father and I ordered.

    In addition, we ordered the pickles which were fascinating. A bitter melon with pork dish followed with complex funky undertones highlighted by good amounts of acid and then mellowed by the fattiness of the ground pork. My dad salivated over the description of the pork chop/loin type thing. Its flavors were well defined and the charred kale contrasted well with the pork's richness. Still, I found the pork to be overly chewy and tough -- as if it were cooked too hot and high. A slower, less "flash and sizzle" method may have done the cut more justice. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed it.

    Perhaps the most disappointing part of the meal was the giant hot pot we shared at the end. Others have commented on the broth's richness, but I couldn't detect the crabbiness from the purported description. An abundance of fennel, both raw and cooked shrouded the broth's subtle seafood flavor. All of these are minor nitpicks, I must confess. But what really soured me on the dish as a whole were the beautiful looking prawns. They were overcooked, mealy and brainless. If shrimp have heads on them, consider me a zombie. I want some brains.
  • Post #18 - February 28th, 2015, 9:45 pm
    Post #18 - February 28th, 2015, 9:45 pm Post #18 - February 28th, 2015, 9:45 pm
    vinyl endive wrote:Interesting to hear that Ronnie felt that the hand torn noodles with the lamb sofrito flopped. During my first visit there this past Tuesday, this was by far the best dish my father and I ordered.

    Not this Ronnie. I loved this dish and posted as much upthread:

    ronnie_suburban wrote:. . . hand torn noodle (spicy lamb sofrito, sichuan peppercorn, cumin), salt and pepper pork ribs (yuzu kosho, honey, shiso), all overdelivered in terms of deliciousness and inventiveness. There's not one of these dishes I wouldn't enthusiastically order again.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #19 - March 1st, 2015, 6:58 am
    Post #19 - March 1st, 2015, 6:58 am Post #19 - March 1st, 2015, 6:58 am
    I totally misread about three things in a row. My apologies, Ronnie.

    Overall, I look forward to return to Parachute because the flavors to most of the dishes were really on-point. It's just that the execution on the hot pot could have been better. Also I found the selection of wines, while very affordable, lacking in quality and selection. Let's just consider this a small blessing in disguise since I was able to enjoy the Cocktail #1 with Mezcal.

    I'd go back, since the shrimp could have been overcooked from sitting too long in the broth. And since everything else was delicious, there's still more of the menu to conquer.
  • Post #20 - March 15th, 2015, 5:21 pm
    Post #20 - March 15th, 2015, 5:21 pm Post #20 - March 15th, 2015, 5:21 pm
    After Fat Rice, Belly Q, Parachute and a unceasing number of Japanese restaurants, I am seriously depressed at these attempts at modern Asian cuisine in a more formal setting. If I throw Dove's and the explosion of upscale taco places in there then I would broaden this critique to Mexican food too. Considering I almost exclusively cook and enjoy these cuisines and that the city has a surfeit of authentic eateries representing these cuisines in an exemplary way at half the prices or more, it pains me to see these trendy restaurants with their semi-celebrity chefs get all the press.

    Anyways enough of my opinion on the modern Chicago restaurant scene, let's get to the food. In a nutshell, Parachute can execute decently well, but doesn't bring the flavor at all and needs to better conceptualize the dishes. I will add pictures of things not already in this thread.

    Pickles - It was kimchi, chili chayote and watermelon radish as above. The latter two were fine if unspectacular. If you are going to serve pickles by themselves I would want something a bit more strongly pickled and flavored than these, however my wife disagrees, but she is wrong. However, we both agree that the kimchi was pathetic. I associate kimchi with bold flavor be it salty, briny, spicy, funky or even sweet or a combination thereof. These were nothing but a little fermentation to flavor this sad cabbage.

    Potato Bing - Probably my favorite thing of the night, but that is really damning with faint praise. Very well executed with a crunchy exterior and nice interior. Redolent of american breakfast for me. This inevitably drew comparisons to the smoked pork roll at Homestyle Taste we had recently consumed as it obviously had similar flavor notes of flatbread, scallions and smokey pork. It fell short in that comparison. Also the sour cream butter here actually detracts in its superfluousness. It has no flavor and adds nothing to the bing suggesting either that the chef wrongly believes it does or is not confident that the average person will eat this bing without the typical accompaniment of spreadable fat.


    Image
    Pork and Mung Bean Cake - I feel like I ate a completely different mung bean cake than everyone else that recommended this pretty classic Korean dish. This was flavorless and while it had a nice char on the outside, the interior texture was almost unpleasant. It was filed with a piddly amount of the poorly flavored kimchi we had tried earlier and a trivial amount of decent pork belly. For garnishes there was a completely gratuitous runny egg, some pineapple and two aoli that tasted of gochujang and hoisin, neither of which did anything to salvage this bland dish.

    Image
    Kabocha in Pumpkin Seed Curry- This was I think a good dish that needed some work. You can't take the particularly starchy, almost dry texture of a kabocha and then douse it in a toasted garnish and serve it in a stingy amount of curry; you end up with an unpleasantly desiccated bite of food. Which is really too bad, because this curry was excellent and strongly flavored unlike everything else we ate and paired really with a bit of sweetness from blood orange and the bite of some near raw onions.

    Image
    Galbi Jjim - I am a huge fan of this dish and was extremely excited to see it on the menu. However, this was a disservice to this dish. The only point in its favor was the beef cubes that were cooked to just the right amount of tenderness and tasting extremely beefy and well seasoned. Sadly everything else seemed to depend on the jjim which had none of that extreme salty, sweetness and umami characteristic of the dish. Frankly, the jus here might as well have been a bit of soy sauce mixed with some water and dumped on the plate for all the flavor it brought. This left the vegetables essentially naked and allowed even the light pickle on the rutebaga to dominate rather than an acidic counterpoint. Very disappointing.

    We didn't even look at the dessert menu as we didn't feel this restaurant deserved any more of our patronage, but the ones posted online did not excite us.

    If you do decide to persevere and go to Parachute, they serve a very heavily spiced milk tea here. Very good, particularly if you like cardamom.
  • Post #21 - April 23rd, 2015, 11:18 am
    Post #21 - April 23rd, 2015, 11:18 am Post #21 - April 23rd, 2015, 11:18 am
    This place may be good, but they have the worst sign and storefront of any restaurant I've ever seen. I live at the corner of Elston and Spaulding, about 2-3 blocks from the restaurant and it took an internet search of the neighborhood today for me to finally figure out what this place is. There's no sign other than a P over the door and the windows have big drapes over them making it nearly impossible to see inside while driving by.

    Now that I finally know what the place is I'll give it a try. Would've done that a lot sooner if there was actually a clue that the place was a restaurant.
  • Post #22 - August 8th, 2015, 7:30 am
    Post #22 - August 8th, 2015, 7:30 am Post #22 - August 8th, 2015, 7:30 am
    Ate at parachute for the first time last night. After letting the experience sit for a while, I've got to say the dishes 2 loved 3 misses. The bing was great, the cauliflower good.

    We had a corn dumpling dish that just tasted "off", it was very small and also $16. Brings back an old joke, but still.

    The lamb ribs were super vinegary, cooked nicely, but the smoke tasted strange. Likely the use of an indoor smoker or something of the sort.

    It was a $90 dinner that I much rather would have spent elsewhere...
  • Post #23 - August 18th, 2015, 12:55 pm
    Post #23 - August 18th, 2015, 12:55 pm Post #23 - August 18th, 2015, 12:55 pm
    Glowing reviews (including three stars from the Tribune). A James Beard Foundation nomination for Best New Restaurant. And now, the restaurant has made it onto Bon Appetit's "Hot 10" list, which names the 10 best new restaurants in the country.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #24 - August 25th, 2015, 8:20 am
    Post #24 - August 25th, 2015, 8:20 am Post #24 - August 25th, 2015, 8:20 am
    Korean-inspired food makes me think probably not the best option for a vegetarian based on what I see of the menu online.

    Any thoughts on that from folks who have been there?
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #25 - August 25th, 2015, 8:47 am
    Post #25 - August 25th, 2015, 8:47 am Post #25 - August 25th, 2015, 8:47 am
    pairs4life wrote:Korean-inspired food makes me think probably not the best option for a vegetarian based on what I see of the menu online.

    Any thoughts on that from folks who have been there?

    You should contact them and inquire whether some of the meat/fish-based dishes can be made vegetarian. I'm sure they're used to such requests.
  • Post #26 - April 1st, 2016, 1:36 pm
    Post #26 - April 1st, 2016, 1:36 pm Post #26 - April 1st, 2016, 1:36 pm
    Just because it's been a while since anyone posted about Parachute, I thought I'd report on the very positive experience I had on my first visit there last night. My friend and I shared several dishes/courses of varying "substantialness," and everything was a hit. The place was full--which didn't impact our service, which was excellent.

    I agree with shakes' comment, above, about the signage (or lack thereof). A trend lately has been for restaurants to have "stealth" signage. (Boeufhaus and Analogue are two I've visited recently that come to mind.) Well, Parachute is the stealthiest yet. So they win. :)
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #27 - April 1st, 2016, 4:19 pm
    Post #27 - April 1st, 2016, 4:19 pm Post #27 - April 1st, 2016, 4:19 pm
    shakes wrote: the windows have big drapes over them.


    Parachutes?
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #28 - August 18th, 2016, 8:49 am
    Post #28 - August 18th, 2016, 8:49 am Post #28 - August 18th, 2016, 8:49 am
    Looking forward to a meal there tonight - anyone been lately with any must eats?
  • Post #29 - August 18th, 2016, 9:25 am
    Post #29 - August 18th, 2016, 9:25 am Post #29 - August 18th, 2016, 9:25 am
    jpeac2 wrote:Looking forward to a meal there tonight - anyone been lately with any must eats?

    I was there a couple of months ago and had a very nice meal. The bing bread is still a must for me. They had a crispy tripe dolsot bibimbap that was really fantastic too.
  • Post #30 - August 22nd, 2016, 11:03 am
    Post #30 - August 22nd, 2016, 11:03 am Post #30 - August 22nd, 2016, 11:03 am
    Hey All -

    Dad a great meal with some dishes I would love to eat again right now.

    I had a glass of the bubbly to start and then two of the #2 cocktails. Love that cocktail. Nice balance.

    Food wise:
    - Bing bread was sensational. That stuff is a must order.
    - Banchan - The watermelon was so nice. Clean with a bit of spice.
    - Tandoori carrots - I think this is a staple of theirs. Nice dish.
    - Pork Belly Pancake - Good not something I will crave every day. The pineapple broke it up just the right amount.
    - Beef with Lobster Mushrooms - not bad but completely overshadowed by other items. Perfectly cooked meat with a really nice beef flavor. Actually the beef and mushrooms separately I thought were really nice. Full bites just didn't come together taking me to another place.
    - Lamb and Shishito peppers - a must order. So much going here. Really nice lamb flavor. The shishitos with the the beans - oh man. I have been thinking about this nonstop since.

    Overall a great experience. Looking forward to going back.

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