Tucked into a beautiful corner in the Upper East Side, Parma Nuova is the latest creation from the minds of restaurateurs Giorgio Manzio and La Masseria Group’s Enzo Ruggiero, Giuseppe Iuele and Chef Pino Coladonato. We stopped by on Monday night to sample some of their menu items!
When you walk into the restaurant, you’re greeted with the quintessential, comforting scene of an elevated New York Italian restaurant: white tablecloths, cherry wooden chairs, a tall candle stand on every table. We sat down before the dinner crowd rushed in, so got to see the ambiance transform from quiet to bustling yet warm.
For our first course, we chose the BURRATINA CON MELANZANE, PEPERONI ARROSTOE POMODORI SECCHI. Served with sundried tomatoes, marinated eggplant, and sweet roast peppers, this preparation turned the typical, but still delicious burrata starter found on every menu in the city, into something bright, unique, and delicious. Our second dish was the INSALATA PARMA, a medley of arugula, radicchio, tomato, peppers, olives, and endives, topped with sheets of parmesan. It was the last day of the heat wave, and we needed a cool salad to revive our bodies – this hit the spot.
We sipped on summery aperol spritzes and enjoyed our appetizers while we excitedly browsed Parma Nuova’s decadent pasta and entree menus. After debating over traditional and modern dishes, we finally settled on GNOCCHI ALLA SPUMA DI PARMIGIANO E TARTUFO, a gnocchi in parmesan sauce with fresh truffles. When the pasta is brought to your table, the server comes with a precious truffle in a glass jar and shaves it directly onto your plate! I’d never seen this done before, and as a truffle-obsessed foodie, I was awestruck. If you’re a fan of truffle, and I’m thinking that applies to almost every single person reading this, you definitely need to try it fresh. Our decadent pasta helpings were completed by their daily special, the Branzino, with roasted carrots and potatoes. The fresh fish was deboned and plated, cooked with a deliciously simple seasoning and the perfect complement to the rich, cheesy pasta.
Before we finished our meal, we had to try some of their desserts – the TORTA DI MAMMA PAOLA, a flourless chocolate cake, and the MISTO BOSCO CON SORBETTO AL FRUTTO DELLA PASSIONE, a passion fruit sorbet topped with fresh summer berries. Offering something luscious and something refreshingly light, these desserts left us very full, and very happy. Before we left the restaurant, we caught up with Giorgio and Enzo to learn a bit more about Parma Nuova’s launch and vision. Officially opening just a few weeks ago, the restaurant offers a similar menu to Masseria dei Vini, just with a few more regional specialties from the Parma region. The La Masseria team is hoping to offer the Upper East Side a taste of the authentic Italian cuisine that has delighted Rhode Island, Palm Beach, and Midtown West for years.