Chicago: Dinner at Parachute
I visited Chicago in August and was meeting up with a friend from Kansas City. She picked out Parachute for dinner. I trust her taste so I didn’t read the menu before heading over there. It was there I discovered the Asian (mainly Korean), don’t call it fusion, influence. We ordered some recommended dishes while I added in a couple of things I really wanted to try.
I was the only one drinking cocktails and tried two of the three on offer.
The drinks are numbered so I tried the rum cocktail, aka cocktail #3. This refreshing rum and cava drink was a great start to our meal.
Cocktail #3 – rum, falernum, grapefruit, Angostura bitters, cava
The baked potato bing bread is one of the restaurant’s best sellers. The bread lands on the table piping hot. The five of us each took a slice and then fought over the last 3 pieces.
The daily banchan is a rotating trio of side dishes. I’m glad there was kimchi.
My friends really went crazy over the broccoli salad with ras el hanout. We asked for the recipe and while we didn’t quite get that, three different people described the ingredients to us. My KC friend has experimented and came up with a pretty good copy of the salad.
I wanted to try the mandu and was pleased with the aged beef and perilla stuffed dumplings. We probably needed two orders for the five of us but we made it work.
My favorite dish turned out to be the hot and sour soup with chicken and smoked tofu. I love hot and sour soup and was quite pleased with this version. It felt hearty and light at the same time. Best eaten with rice!
When I spotted the ddukbokki on the menu, I knew we should order it. This is a very refined version of the classic Korean noodles dish. The sauce was similar to a meaty tomato sauce and if you like spaghetti, this is the Korean version for you.
The other drink I had was the Parachute whiskey sour. This is a nice variation with the newish Amaro Sfumato (new to the US). It’s rhubarb based so it’s perfect in a sour, capturing that sweet-tart taste.
Parachute whiskey sour (or cocktail #2) – bourbon, rooibos, Amaro Sfumato, lemon, mint
We also had the 60 day-aged sirloin steak with a beautiful array of squash and squash blossoms. It would be a great portion for one or even two people. For five, we thought about getting another. Luckily we had two hot and sour soups.
For dessert, we got the snap pea sorbet with coconut and lime. This was really great despite my hatred of coconut. I really enjoyed the lime zest as well as the cute mochi.
The palova with blackberries and sweet corn was one of the most beautiful palovas I’ve seen. I don’t generally like palovas but I did like this one.
This was a great meal and I really liked the friendly service. They were super accommodating to the various food allergies around the table. They helpfully pointed out the dishes meat eaters would like, the ones that non-seafood lovers would like and answered questions patiently.