I have always loved Bon Appetit. I remember my mom getting it when I was younger every once and a while and I loved looking at the pictures. Everything was so beautifully displayed and looked incredible. It’s probably where I ended up getting a lot of my passion for plating and making food not only taste good but look good as well. My mom’s ability to make any dish look good probably had the largest influence on me though. Her Christmas cookies were always gorgeous. When she finally let me plate her cookies at Christmas time I knew that I had passed some sort of test with her. The perfect cookies needed to be perfectly displayed, and they always were.
When my brother and I were scheduling our September date, he had seen Parachute mentioned in Bon Appetit’s latest as one of the top new restaurants in America. He jumped on making a reservation and we finally got to go on Wednesday. It was so darling inside. Quaint, community tables, pretty dark (well, it is getting dark super early now so that definitely had an effect), stereo and speaker boxes on the walls, and what looked like parachute material hanging as curtains.
It is a Korean mom-and-pop shop, so you know your money is going to a dedicated team, which I love. We were able to share four plates, one small, two medium, and one large. Then we had dessert too, so make that five. And because #treatyoself, we split of bottle of wine. Their wine menu was super eclectic. Blends and wineries I had never heard of. In fact, I don’t remember recognizing one wine on their menu. That was exciting for me. We ended up going with the Clos Roche Blanche 2014 ‘Cuvee Pif’ from Touraine, France. It was a Malbec/Cab Frac blend and it was delicious. I absolutely loved it and would buy it again in a heart beat.
We started with the house pickles, kimchi, chili chayote and spicy cucumber which was a great start to the meal. The house pickles were by far my favorite. The spicy cucumber or kimchi didn’t blow me away though. The pickles just had such a great crunch and they had jalapenos in them as well which I loved.
We also had the cauliflower with tandoori chicken skin and raita. The cauliflower was cooked perfectly. It was cooked in high enough heat that it got roasted but it wasn’t cooked long enough to get mushy, so it was perfect. It had a good cumin flavor and the saltiness and crunch of the chicken skin was a great addition. I am all about textures and it definitely hit the spot.
Next was the pork belly and mung bean pancake, kimchi, black garlic, hen egg and pineapple. If you’ve never had Korean pancakes, you definitely need to try them. They are basically a savory pancake made of flour and eggs and often flavored with green onions, shrimp, or garlicky greens like ramps. This one was delicious. So light but heavy in flavor, especially with the fried egg on top and the sweetness from the pineapple. Around the outside of the pancake they drizzled a kimchi reduction and a black-garlic reduction. Don’t ask me how they did it, but it was an incredible combination. Talk about umami.
And for our main dish we shared the slow cooked beef brisket, hot sauce, and honey butter chips. Wow. For a girl that loves her barbecue, this brisket blew me away. I had never had any brisket with that firm, yet buttery texture. It didn’t fall apart while cutting but it melted in your mouth. And the honey butter chips. Wow. They were like little kettle-corn chips. Perfectly sized too, like popcorn, so you were able to get some in each bite. They were exactly what they sounds like, bite-size honey butter chips. It added that great crunch I mentioned earlier to the softness of the brisket. I loved it.
All of the dishes were very reasonably sized, so we weren’t hungry at all at the end of these four. For a place that definitely could have gotten away with smaller sizes, it was good to see they weren’t forcing people to spend a fortune on 8 different plates just to feel full.
We opted for dessert despite being completely satisfied. We didn’t regret that either. We had a black sesame tea cake with blueberry sorbet, and honey crisp. It was so good. We were trying to figure out how they added the blueberries – which were very cold but just starting to soften. And the tea cake was still a bit warm. So it seemed like they put flash frozen blueberries at the base of the bowl, topped with the just-warmed tea cake, and then scooped the sorbet on top of that. It was delicious. The tea cake was just the right amount of sweet, but mostly bland actually, in order to balance out the sweet of the sorbet and honey crisp. It was great.
Overall, I would recommend Parachute for a fun night out. Great environment, creative food, awesome staff, and a darling hidden location. Thanks Bon Appetit!