Packed reimagines dumplings in new Hyde Park restaurant

Get your taste buds ready: Packed Dumplings is opening in Hyde Park on Friday.

The fast-causal restaurant promises uniquely created combinations of dumplings prepared by Chef Michael Sheerin. Sheerin has lended his talent to renowned restaurants such as Blackbird and Embeya, but along with partner Aaron DiMaria, is creating something fresh in Hyde Park.

“Someone once told me that chefs write their menus for chefs, and I feel like every single item on our menu, though interesting and unique, is not that far removed,” DiMaria said. “The food is fun and imaginative.”

The 20-item menu features local and organic ingredients paired with doughy dumpling and drinks. For DiMaria, the decision to chose a restaurant catered specifically to dumplings was simple.

“I think what I love about dumplings is that in almost any culture or corner of the world, there is a variety of something similar to a dumpling,” DiMaria said. “Whether you are more familiar with ravioli or an empanada, it is something relatable.”

The complete menu is a secret until the restaurant opens, but Packed will feature options such as soup dumplings; pastrami with pickled green tomatoes, pumpernickel, beer-braised onion and violet mustard and a roasted pear dumpling accompanied by whipped coconut, hazelnuts and tamarind molasses.

Even though Packed’s Chef Sheerin has been featured in Food & Wine Magazine as “Best New Chef”, Sheerin and DiMaria are keeping it simple, while providing distinctive and tasty items that won’t break the bank.

“There’s a sense that if you don’t make a lot of money, you can’t eat great creative food and I have an issue with that,” DiMaria said. “It’s important to me that Mike was able to make something that was at such an elevated level for quick casual.”

DiMaria and Sheerin were both intrigued by Hyde Park before choosing Packed’s location, and Hyde Park has also been curious about them.

“We have already gotten support,” DiMaria said. I could be walking around in something as simple as a Packed hat or T-shirt and people stop me and tell me they are excited. It makes us excited too.”

Packed will open its doors and its kitchen on Friday at 1321 E. 57th St. The hours will be 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday through Friday, and 11 a.m. – midnight on Saturdays. Its official grand opening, which will include a ribbon cutting, will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20.


[Via: Hyde Park Herald]

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