EDGEWATER — City dwellers craving the rich, bold flavors of India need not travel further than the Far North Side now that Mango Pickle is open in Edgewater.
The small Indian bistro at 5842 N. Broadway opens Wednesday and is the baby of chef and owner Marisa Paolillo, a Chicagoan who discovered and nurtured her passion for food while living abroad in India, her husband co-owner Nakul Patel's native country.
Welcomed by a bright orange facade, customers will get an eclectic but authentic Indian experience through food, drink, decorations and customs.
Diners at Mango Pickle can expect to be served ice-cold water from a shiny copper carafe, imported Indian coffee beans freshly ground and percolated in a traditional Southern Indian filter and an array of teas brought in from the Himalayans, India and beyond.
The copper carafes, brass brewers, coffee and tea will also all be for sale at the store, as Patel said they are rare items to find in the United States.
Paolillo said because she is eager to try and include so many different dishes and tastes, her menu will remain a living, breathing document that will change with what is seasonally available and as she plays around with flavors.
"I want to try so many things, I can't have just one menu" forever, Paolillo said.
One flavor that will be new to the area is that of Feni, a cashew-based liqueur from India that will play a part in several of the bistro's cocktails, but will also serve as a meat marinade.
"This is going to be the star of the cocktails," Patel said.
Accessories that accent the restaurant, such as colorful hanging lights, decoratively displayed saris (traditional Indian garments), pillows in seating areas and painted tiles throughout, all come directly from Patel's homeland, he said.
By bringing the feel of India to Edgewater, Patel said he and Paolillo liked the restaurant to being able to invite the neighborhood into his home for a meal.
A framed painting of a tiger, the official animal of India, at the bar symbolizes a connection between Chicago and India, Patel said. The couple happened upon it one day while walking through Brown Elephant in Andersonville.
"We walked in there and said, 'That's our guardian,'" Patel said.
Mango Pickle will be open 4-10 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays with a happy hour from 4-6 p.m.
The Broadway-facing interior. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
A colorfully lit alcove near the kitchen and restrooms. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Owner and chef Marisa Paolillo in the kitchen the day before the grand opening. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
The Indian bistro opened in a former sushi restaurant. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
The tiger is the official animal of India. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Mango Pickle is now open at 5842 N. Broadway in Edgewater. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Coffee brewed in a traditional Southern Indian manner from a brass coffee filter. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Pillows, artwork, lighting, tiles and more were all brought in from India. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
A liqueur imported from India will be used not only in cocktails but as a meat marinade as well. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Himalayan floral tea and green and black teas imported from India. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
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