photo credit: Sandy Noto

Wherewithall review image



3472 N Elston Ave, Chicago
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A great dinner party is one where the host takes your coat, immediately gets a glass of wine into your hand, and has enough chairs so you’re not awkwardly standing around until the food is ready. And Wherewithall, a tasting menu spot from the Parachute team, feels a lot like this. It’s informal, affordable, and you’ll feel taken care of the whole time you’re here.

Other than the host making sure that “you eat fish, right?”, you don’t normally get a say in what you’re served at someone’s party, and that’s the case here too. Wherewithall has a four-course tasting menu (with a few snacks thrown in) for $65, and it changes daily. The only constant is that everything tastes great (like the roasted baby potatoes) and includes some extra components that will make you want to ask for the recipe (like a dill creme fraiche).

Wherewithall review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Don’t come here expecting Parachute 2: The Tasting, though - the food is much different than its Korean predecessor. The menu features a wide range of influences, meaning you might start out with a snack of radishes with salty, soft cheese, or slightly-sweet corn tempura with a black garlic mayo. You could be served roasted baby potatoes, then perfectly cooked shrimp in a light bouillabaisse. Next might be duck breast with currents to add sweetness, or maybe a seared lamb loin topped with a silky and spicy vadouvan curry.

Our favorite thing we’ve had here, though, is an unbelievably creamy fig ice cream with a slightly-salty kalamata olive crumble that we still can’t stop thinking about. All these different styles of food might sound all-over-the-place (because they are), but unlike the chips and salsa followed by a Trader Joe’s spanakopita you served last time you had people over, each course here somehow flows together.

Wherewithall review image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

Like most tasting menu places, Wherewithall has an optional wine pairing, and the price won’t make you late paying rent. It’s $45, focuses on natural wines, and changes daily with the menu. And if you’re not quite ready to leave after dinner, go hang in the adjoining bar or back patio. You won’t need to worry about the host passive-aggressively cleaning up around you - this is the kind of party where you’re welcome to linger.

Not only is Wherewithall a great time, and a restaurant with delicious food, but after leaving here you’ll be excited to go back to see what they come up with next. Luckily, you don’t need to wait for an invitation - you can just invite yourself.

We can’t tell you what you’re going to eat at Wherewithall because the menu changes every night. Expect some snacks, an appetizer, a seafood course, a meat course, and dessert. Oh, and bread from Middle Brow Bungalow - which is perfect in every way. So, we lied, we can tell you you’re going to eat that.

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Wherewithall review image

Wherewithall review image

Wherewithall review image

Wherewithall review image

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