Back in June, Beverly Kim and John Clark decided to temporarily shutter their award-winning Avondale restaurants, Parachute and Wherewithall. After hustling for three months to safely accommodate diners in the pandemic era, the couple and their staff needed a break. When August rolled around, they again decided to extend their leave, pushing the reopening to September. But last week, Michelin-starred Parachute made its triumphant return as Lil' Parachute, a temporary takeout-only concept that showcases more traditional Korean fare in the form of a rotating prix fixe menu.
"We keep going and trying. When we first did takeout, we had no idea what to expect or how much work it would be. It was survival mode," Kims says in a press release. "However, with some more experience, we are trying to operate more sustainably. We are combining forces and working out of one kitchen, Wherewithall, to be able to control the quality better and streamline our operations even further. As parents of three kids in a pandemic, this seemed to be the only solution that we could think of to coming back versus staying temporarily closed."
The temporary name change is inspired by the 1930s children's book The Little Engine That Could, which was written by Watty Piper with themes of optimism and hard work. With Lil' Parachute, Kim and Clark are refocusing their ongoing sustainability efforts by using mostly local ingredients. Diners can expect more traditional Korean recipes to be showcased on the rotating prix fixe menu, which is available Wednesday through Saturday via Tock.
Priced at $45 per person, the multi-course meal is designed to be reheated at home, with guests getting to choose their main course. This week's options include dishes like the ddak jjim, a soy- and garlic-marinated chicken that's stuffed with sweet rice and ginseng and served in anchovy broth. Each order also includes a smorgasbord of starters like vegetable-smoked tofu ssam, steamed rice and pork jeon. Desserts, to-go cocktails and bottles of wine and beer are available for an additional fee.
Pickup and delivery are available, though it's worth noting that carryout orders should be retrieved from Wherewithall at 3472 N Elston Avenue, where the couple and their team are working for the time being. And yes, you can (and should) toss in an order of frozen bing bread to any order for $20.
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