Best new off-Loop combo for dinner and a show, fringe division

Parachute and Prop Thtr

Chicagoans like their off-Loop theater a little scruffy—not their fine dining. That's the beauty of Avondale-based Prop Thtr’s new neighbor, Parachute, a top-flight Korean-American joint run by the husband-and-wife duo of Johnny Clark and Top Chef alum Beverly Kim. A show at Prop preceded by a bite at this Beard nominee for best new restaurant can make for an unforgettable evening: on my last foray an exquisitely sizzling bibimbap with duck egg and kale was followed by large helpings of fake blood courtesy of Bare Knuckle Productions' thrilling History of Violence. The tiny storefront has a menu that ranges from the homey to the mind-bending, and its communal seating and hip, casual vibe (there are vintage speakers, natch) make it a weirdly perfect complement to funky Prop, home of the extended family known as the fringe institution Curious Theatre Branch. Walk-ins are accepted, and Parachute provides some standing room where you can sip on a glass from its carefully constructed wine list, but snag your reservation a month out to ensure you make curtain.