7/30/2012 03:05:00 PM

Mix-and-Match Menu Debuts at the J. Parker, Opening Tonight

We put a lot of faith in chefs. We typically choose an option from the menu and the outcome of our dinner is entirely in their hands. Not any more, as one new restaurant will let diners chose exactly what combinations end up on their plate.

The J. Parker is a rooftop bar and lounge from BOKA group on the 13th floor of Hotel Lincoln that is pairing its internationally inspired cocktail menu (more on that later) with a mix and-match food menu. All of this will be offered alongside some of the best views of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan.

Divided into two columns, the menu allows diner to choose their main element and their accompaniment. Building blocks range from dry-ages streak, rainbow trout, crispy grit cakes, semolina crostini, summer beans or squash. They can be paired with extras that include herb and lemon butter, spicy mayonnaise, pea shooters or fried pickles.

Does this give the diners too much power? After all, we didn’t go to culinary school. Have no fear; chef Paul Virant (Perennial Virant) reserves the right to veto any pairing he deems less than delicious.

The cocktail menu also gives guests the freedom to choose which country inspires their drinks. Every three months, cocktails from three different countries will grace the menu. It starts in Spain, Mexico and Cuba with drinks such as sangria, margaritas and mojitos.

So grab a cocktail, design your own dinner and sink into a sofa with a view of the skyline.

1868 N. Clark St.; 312-254-4747

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