Torrisi Italian Specialties’ Downtown Restaurant: Parm NYC
One of our favorite meals of 2010 was the mega-course miracle at Torrisi Italian Specialties on Mulberry Street, a feast of old school dishes given the exact-right update, or twist. The opportunity to indulge in a Torrisi binge hasn't presented itself since then (the wait for table in the tiny, no-reservation room is long; the price is totally worth it, but it's not cheap), we were able to stop into the new Torrisi-casual Parm on a couple of recent evenings, and are already completely smitten. Running out of the same kitchen as Torrisi NYC (so, no surprise, the food is fantastic), Parm NYC has an inexpensive, appealing menu; friendly, first-rate service; and a terrific 1980s hip-hop-heavy soundtrack. Chances are high that we will become regulars at the downtown restaurant Parm's luncheonette-esque counter.
We've liked everything we've had off the Torrisi Parm menu, but perhaps the single most impressive thing is the House Roasted Turkey sandwich. We know, it doesn't SOUND all that amazing, but you'll have to trust us on this: with its insanely moist and flavorful thick-cut breast, its spicy slaw, its sweet brioche roll, Parm NYC's turkey sandwich redefines the genre, and will spoil you for all other pretenders for years to come. The eponymous-ish Chicken Parm sandwich is nearly as good–the sauce thick and rich, the chicken crispy and juicy, the cheese all melty–though the sesame hero roll didn't have enough give, causing the fillings to shoot out the side at each bite.
Don't go to downtown restaurant Parm NYC without getting something from the Mozz section of the menu. This is the same heavenly cheese they serve next door at Torrisi Italian Specialties (though pulled each morning and set aside, instead of pulled fresh for each customer), sitting in thistle milk and drizzled with oil, the flavors–salty, creamy, citrusy–truly extraordinary. We had with the prosciutto, and will do so again the next time as well. The vegetable sides are all great, too, though we particularly can't resist the charred and cheesed Brussels Sprouts. And the Squash. And the Beets. And even the simple Sunday Salad, with its intense vinegary dressing. Every night there's a different special entree as well, always priced at $25, and we hear that Sunday's "Chinese" is especially excellent. If you have any room left, the House Made Ice Cream Cake is the perfect way to finish things off. They sure do know what they're doing back there in that Torrisi Parm kitchen.
Parm NYC is located on Mulberry Street just south of Prince Street, and is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight, and on Thursday through Saturday until 1:00 a.m. Closed Monday. The dinner menu starts each day at 6:00, though you can order from a shorter bar menu all afternoon. For more information and look at all of the Parm's menus, please see the restaurant's website, here.