New Grant Park bistro Woodward & Park serves everything from pierogi to okonomiyaki

The restaurant opens in the Larkin on Memorial development under chef Dan Brown

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When Woodward & Park was first conceived by co-owners Amanda Feathers and James Brooks in 2018, the plan was to operate it as a fine dining restaurant with Robert Phalen (One Eared Stag) as executive chef. But as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the hospitality industry, Phalen decided it’d be most prudent to focus on One Eared Stag. So, Feathers and Brooks approached chef Dan Brown—who they knew from his work consulting on the now-closed Barrelhouse—about leading the new restaurant—but with a slightly different focus.

Woodward & Park will open in Grant Park (519 Memorial Drive) on Friday as a neighborhood bistro in the Larkin on Memorial development. Previously of Torched Hop Brewing Co., 5Church, and the Porter Beer Bar, Brown has what he calls an “eclectic background.”

“I don’t cook one certain style of food,” he says. “I like a lot of Japanese, Korean, and South and Central American food. I bring everything together.”

Chef Dan Brown

Brown’s menu features about 12 items—including vegan and vegetarian offerings—all designed to travel, as the restaurant’s focus is currently takeout due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dinner offerings include a Korean pork Philly, steak frites, a pair of house-made pierogi, and Brown’s popular tempura avocado—a favorite from the now-defunct Stationside at Terminal West. Weekend specials—more targeted to dine-in customers—include mussels and local trout. Brown will be making dessert, too. Expect a chocolate-passion fruit trifle and a blondie banana pudding with burnt marshmallow fluff.

Burrata with herb oil, porcini, and benne crackers

Courtesy of Mia Yakel

Smoked half chicken with smashed fingerling potatoes, Qihe mushrooms, and chimichurri.

Courtesy of Mia Yakel

“I want to do interesting things that people aren’t 100 percent familiar with,” he says.

The restaurant is housed in a former warehouse with wood ceilings, so decor will feature custom wood-top tables and glazed concrete floors with some mosaic tiles mixed in. The backdrop of bar is large, antique mirror. There’s an open kitchen and a 16-seat patio. The dining room seats 65 at normal capacity, but about half the tables have been removed to ensure social distancing.

Inside Woodward & Park

Courtesy of Mia Yakel

Wine, beer, and cocktails will be available onsite, as well as for takeout. “We want people to come in here all the time without having to spend a ton of money,” Brown says, noting that he expects at least half of Woodward & Park’s business to come from to-go orders.

Both online and call-in orders will be accepted, and curbside pickup will be available. Delivery via Uber Eats and DoorDash will begin during the restaurant’s second week of service.

The okonomiyaki is an Osaka-style cabbage pancake with kimchi, bacon, kewpie, sweet soy, and bonito.

Courtesy of Mia Yakel

View the full menu below. (Tap to enlarge.)

Woodward & Park menu

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