23 Nov THE EATORIALIST: MY CHICKEN HERO
I was all jazzed about my first visit to PARM, the new outpost from the folks at TORRISI ITALIAN SPECIALTIES, the next door resto with an exceptionally fine-tuned localvore-minded Italian-American-edged prix fixe menu.
Lots of top-notch ingredients to the chicken parm hero, and then some: the crispy cutlets, the sauce (if not better than Nonna’s, a close second), the fresh mozzarella and basil (not in my memory of the chicken parm charm of yore), and the seeded hero roll, this sandwich was baby bear just right.
As I ate my lunch, I looked around at the setting and crowds of expectant diners by the hostess and realized that PARM, simply put, was just a fast food play fueled by culinary hype. The original charm of Torrisi was morphed into a theme park-like attraction. But, that’s to be expected in these days where running a restaurant is more about the bottom line than the creative yearnings of mom-and-pop restauranteurs.
Even if this is a chain in the making, you can’t help but love this comforting Italian-American.
About the design, too bad for the array of hokey signs and tableau in the bathroom – it sort of dumb downs the otherwise cutesy resto-repro style.
Can’t make the sojourn to PARM in NoLIta? No worries as there’s likely to be one coming soon to a neighborhood near you. Up next, a PARM at ROCCO’S, the shuddered resto from the days when SOHO and Greenwich Village were as Italian as Italian American gets.
PARM, 248 Mulberry Street (at Prince Street), NYC, tel. 212 993 7189