People sometimes ask me what my favorite Korean restaurant is, and while my general preference is for traditional Korean food, there are plenty of exemplary places doing modern takes on the cuisine. For me, the easiest recommendation I can make for modern Korean is Parachute in Chicago — my first stop on this new, Chicago season of K-Town.
Parachute, founded by chefs Beverly Kim and John Clark, does fine job of balancing the comforting with the cerebral, and it’s never failed to delight me with its creative, smart, and thoughtful infusion of Korean flavors and ingredients into both classic and untraditional dishes. Bing bread, loaded with potatoes and scallions, serves as a kind of amplified pajun, a classic Korean pancake. Boudin noir mandoo dumplings blend the flavors of soondae with the robust richness of pork fat in a paper-thin wrapper. And the tuna bibimbap, laced with preserved lemon, winter kale, and smoked onions, feels at once unexpected and familiar.
Like I said, it’s the easiest recommendation — and one of my favorite restaurants in the entire country.