Hyde Park, prepare for some dumpling goodness. Chef Mike Sheerin and partner Aaron DiMaria's much-anticipated fast-casual dumpling restaurant, Packed, will open the first time at 11 a.m. on Friday. Management hasn't released a full menu yet, but expect outside-the-box dumplings—savory, sweet and soup—such as pastrami with pumpernickel, beer-braised onion, pickled green tomatoes and violet mustard.
The fast-casual concept represents a change for Sheerin, who's a finer-dining veteran from Blackbird, Trenchermen, Cicchetti and Embeya. Packed's 50-seat space will feature counter service and a menu that will rotate monthly.
That menu will be broken into three dumpling sections, including a variety of creative takes on soup dumplings and sweet dumplings: Imagine the taste of the gumbo dumpling with smoked-ham hock, shrimp, bacon, file and tomato. Sweet treats include a roasted-pear dumpling with whipped coconut, hazelnut and tamarind molasses. Packed's procuring local ingredients from Midwestern farms, and they're attempting to stay environmentally friendly by using compostable food containers and utensils. There's also a to-go window.
Stay tuned later this week for more on Packed at 1321 E. 57th St.