The highly anticipated follow-up to Michelin-starred Parachute gives co-chefs and owners Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim a chance to realize an idea that’s been percolating in their brains for around a decade — offer only a set prix-fixe dinner menu in a casual, neighborhood restaurant. Wherewithall opened to the public on Tuesday with a coursed-out dinner service in the dining room, drinks and snacks in a relaxed bar room, while breakfast and lunch options should become available sometime this fall.
During dinner, Clark and Kim offer a seasonal four-course “contemporary American” menu for $65 that includes snacks. A la carte dinner service isn’t available. Specific ingredients and flavor profiles could change as often as nightly depending on available produce and seasonality, but the general format will remain the same.
It starts with a snack course — a casual amuse bouche — which during opening week is seasonal vegetables with a cheese dip and corn meal beignets. Then comes a cup of house-made drinking broth, which could be served hot or cold depending on the season. These are followed by a bread course, an appetizer course — it’s currently summer squash with ajo blanco and anchovies — followed by a fish course (fjord trout with horseradish and roma beans), a meat course (bavette steak with tomato and hollandaise) and two desserts (cherry sorbet with olive oil shaved ice and black raspberry tart with peapod ice cream).
Diners with vegetarian diets are accommodated, but vegans are currently out of luck. An $11 cheese course and wine pairings for $45 are available add-ons. A la carte beverage options include an array of American wines, a tight list of mostly classic cocktails, three beers, and a variety of non-alcoholic drinks including matcha-mint lemonade.
The casual bar area, which is the first room diners see upon entering, offers the same beverage options as the dining room but a separate snack menu. Those include Cantabrian anchovies for $12, breakfast radishes with cod roe dip for $10, and dried sausage for $8. The room includes counter seating opposite the bar that overlooks a window into the kitchen for those who enjoy watching the cooking action. A back door leads to a courtyard patio and then a private dining room. Take a look around the space here. Reservations are available via its website.
While both Wherewithall and Parachute are casual, the new restaurant gives Clark and Kim a chance to spread their wings into different flavors and prix-fixe dinners — as well as more of a bar scene and eventual all-day service — rather than the creative Korean-American fare and shared plates that earned them countless accolades at their bustling first restaurant. It’s now open at 3472 N. Elston Avenue in Avondale.
Wherewithall, 3472 N. Elston Avenue, (773) 692-2192, open 4:30 p.m. until close on Tuesday through Saturday.