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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Parkside Restaurant And Cafe Bringing Oysters, Cocktails And A Focus On Seasonal Foods To North Center This Summer

L&M Fine Foods owner Rebecca Goldfarb tapped Justin Kaialoa, a 2020 Jean Banchet finalist, to head up the kitchen. The restaurant will be in the former Monty Gaels location, 4356 N. Leavitt St.

&M Fine Foods owner Rebecca Goldfarb (left). Crews renovate the interior of Parkside in North Center on June 29, 2021. (Right)
Instagram/Alex Hernandez/Block Club Chicago
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NORTH CENTER — The owner of L&M Fine Foods will open another restaurant at the former North Center location of Monty Gaels Grill & Tavern.

Vaughan Hospitality Group closed Monty Gaels, 4356 N. Leavitt St., in March 2020 due to the pandemic. L&M Fine Foods owner Rebecca Goldfarb signed a lease in October to take over the space with plans to reopen it as Parkside Restaurant and Cafe. 

Goldfarb got her construction permits approved in March and since then has been in a “sprint” to complete the restaurant and open before the end of the summer. 

“This location has been two different, long-term iterations of Irish bars. Initially, we thought we’d come in and just change it cosmetically. But the more we sat in the space, the more we saw its potential as this beautiful marquee corner across from Welles Park,” Goldfarb said.

That led to a complete redesign. The new interior will have a cozy, Scandinavian feel with Chicago accents, Goldfarb said. It’s been a challenge building out the space due to supply chain disruptions, sudden cost increases for building materials like lumber, and the city and state’s rule changes to help slow the spread of coronavirus, she said.

Credit: The Social Table
Rebecca Goldfarb

But once the eatery does open, Goldfarb hopes neighbors will appreciate a fine dining menu with quality ingredients in a place that feels comfortable to hang out at with friends and family. 

“And we’re going to be one of the only places in the neighborhood that will have oysters. It was very important to me, because I love oysters, and wanted to have a place where you can drink and have oysters on the patio in the middle of the afternoon,” Goldfarb said.

The kitchen will be headed by Justin Kaialoa, formerly of The Bristol and Violet Hour and a 2020 Jean Banchet finalist. Kaialoa will put out a menu of twists on American fare.

One of the menu items: a rotating seasonal vegetarian pâté, including a carrot pâté created by Kaialoa.

“It’s this idea of looking at what is seasonal in the Midwest and how can we use that to create richness and expansive flavor,” Goldfarb said. “With the carrot pâté, he’s taking an ingredient that you know and is presenting it to you in a dish that you usually associate with a chicken liver mousse.”

Robert Shamblin, formerly of BLVD and Rose Mary, designed Parkside’s cocktail menu, which mimics the spirit of the food in its playfulness and interpretations of American classics.

Goldfarb opened L&M Fine Foods in 2019 at 4363 N. Lincoln Ave. as a classic neighborhood market with a deli and butcher. Since then, Goldfarb has built a network of regular customers and local vendors. Some of those relationships have led to collaborations like a Nordic Gose beer from Dutchbag Brew Co., which will be served at Parkside across the street.

“It’s kind of funny because we went about this in reverse order. First, we built the retail space and then decided to get a restaurant going,” Goldfarb said. “But the opportunities the market has afforded us are astounding because we can get stuff from across the street many other restaurants can’t get.”

Parkside’s dinner menu is below:

Credit: Provided
Parkside dinner menu.

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