As the boyfriend and I are about to go away on a European roadtrip, including a prolonged visit in northern Italy, I decided to book a table at In Parma for our date night to whet our appetite for what will surely be a decadent, foodie-focused holiday. And I wasn't at all disappointed.
We arrived early to an empty restaurant, and took our prime seat by the front window. The server was welcoming and asked if we had visited before. When we told him we hadn't, he explained the whole 'Food Roots' thing and assured us that all the restaurant's offerings were authentic and truly vetted by Italian authorities. Then he left us to peruse the menu.
We decided on the offer: 3 meats, 3 cheeses, 2 bowls of Lambrusco (a delightful sparkling red wine) and bread for £40.
We called the server back over and told him we wanted his help in choosing. He offered it freely, and gave even more detail about the meat and cheese offerings. We went for Culatello di Zibello, Coppa Piancentina and speck as meats and Parmigiano 12 months old, Taleggio and Mozarella di Bufala Campana as cheeses, but there was a wide selection to choose from.
A little while later, our platter of Italian delicacies arrived. We thought it wouldn't be enough food for a meal, and were fully intending on ordering one of the menu's more substantial main meals, but after roundly devouring every last tasty morsel we found that we were pleasantly sated.
By the time we left the restaurant, it had filled up with other diners, creating a nice buzzy atmosphere. All in all, a lovely experience that can't be faulted other than the bread, which was perhaps a bit stale.
Top tip for daters, show up a little early and take your date for a 10-minute backrub side-by-side at the Walk In Backrub shop just next door. That one went down a treat, and the boyfriend was well impressed with my quirky planning.
Can I just reverberate what Lizzie G said in her review: "If you're looking for a wonderful place to meet with friends and chat over a glass of great value, authentic bubbly then In Parma by Food Roots is the place for you."
In fact, this is exactly what I did: a friend was in town and we had a lot to catch up on...so we were wandering around Fitzrovia, on the lookout for a nice and relatively quiet place. All of the surrounding pubs were quite busy and noisy though, plus I also wanted to have a little bite to eat as well. Then I remembered that there was this little cute place tucked away on Charlotte Place...I'd first come into contact with it through a Yelp event a while back and this initial introduction now came in handy ;-)
My friend and I sat down and were immediately welcomed by one of the nice staff members. We said what we wanted and he helped us pick a nice bottle of wine and a light meal. We ended up sharing the "One meat one cheese" called "Parma"...which was very nice and complimented both the red wine we'd chosen (the Barbera) and our intense conversation.
In Parma is a hidden gem. Literally. It was difficult to find, as Google maps brought me to Charlotte Street rather than Charlotte Place, which is a parallel alley, just east of Charlotte St (fyi). But once I got there, the food and the service was excellent!
The restaurant is small, probably can't be more than 10 or 12 tables, plus a bar area and even packed at dinner time on a Saturday night, it's relatively quiet and a great place for a comfortable, enjoyable meal with friends or a date, if you're lucky. The waiter was very nice and helpful with explaining the menu and our choices. He helped us choose the meat/cheese, the wine, the desserts - all good choices!
We started with two meats/cheeses to share. Upon suggestion of the waiter, we had the salame di felino (which both he and another staff member told us was the best salame in the world, direct from Felino, a part of Parma, Italy) and taleggio, and the prosciutto with bufala mozzerella. Both were absolutely delicious.
We each got a pasta main dish - I opted for the tortelli with pumpkin in sage butter. It was a great dish, but could've been a little better with a bit of fresh cracked pepper, which wasn't offered, but then again we didn't ask.
And of course, to top it all off, we had dessert - both the tiramisu and the creme brulee. Usually I'm not a big tiramisu fan and I think it's difficult to get the balance of ingredients right, but this one was good. Rich and creamy, not overpowering with the chocolate or the coffee, but just right. The creme brulee was also nice, but not lit in front of you as stated on the menu.
Apparently, they also do wine tasting events and jazz nights during the week. I didn't sign up for their mailing list, but both sound awesome so would love to go back for either someday.
If you're looking for a wonderful place to meet with friends and chat over a glass of great value, authentic bubbly then In Parma by Food Roots is the place for you. As well as having some guys who seriously know about food running this place, the prices are affordable and it's on a quite little side alley littered with foodie joints.
There are specials that change as all the food is sourced from it's original heritage location so it depends what they get in that week. You can try Parma ham from Parma and cheese that's been made the same way for years. Unlike other places in the area, it doesn't have a stuffy pretension and cold service that one almost comes to expect in Noho. It's a lovely little place that I will certainly be going back to.
The only thing that upsets me a little is that they feel the need to write the "1 review, 5 star" profiles to promote this place. It'll make it on it's own merit.
This is the perfect place for alfresco dining in summer and a great place for a business lunch.
As I have a tendency to be a little bit generous with the stars, I swore my next review wouldn't rate 5. However, after racking my brain of what I could possible dock a star for here, I couldn't come up with anything!
It's an adorable restaurant off a cute alley way. You're greeted by a charming Italian man, who seemed to be waiting just for us. My friend who'd made our reservation was greeted by name.
All of the food is of a protected variety, in that it's traditionally made and native to its origins and Christian (the aforementioned charmer) is incredibly passionate about all of it.
We followed all of his recommendations, and came away pleasantly full, and slightly (OK, fine - maybe more than slightly) tipsy. Meat, cheese, pasta and lambrusco served in little bowls (traditional apparently!) were all delightful.
One of my favorite places I've been since arriving in London, and already plotting a return trip with a visiting NYC foodie friend.
An absolute gem of a find.
In Parma a magnificent place to eat and give the opportunity to treat your taste buds and enjoy the learning of how to try proper genuine italian food coming from the root of a region in Italy ( Emilia where Parma is one of the main historic town) it s a truly unique experience. The quality and selections of thier products is top of the top. For me being italian eating how i did at In Parma i never eaten like that anywhere in London and it would be a pleasure to see more english people or from others nationalities being captured and fascinated by their taste buds from this amazing place. Great to share a fantastic lunch or dinner with friends enjoy the exquisite Emilian food and selections of wines and the laid back atmosphere.
My sister and I shared the £40 offer with some advice from our waiter on the meats and cheeses. It was delicious and the bowls of Lambrusco were a nice touch. Service, atmosphere and food were great. We'll definitely be back soon!
Had some of the smoked ham and soft white bread a colleague of mine brought in from the cafe.It tasted nice and the ham was delicious! Great food and highly recommend.
Authentic Food in the Authentic Way.
FOOD ROOTS - the only entity in the world dedicated to PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) products selecting only the best small producers - introduces "In Parma" to London. Traditional ways of consuming the products will be explained (such the fizzy red dry wine served in the bowl) in order to feel genuine gastronomic emotions. In this unique country-chic dining setting customers will not only eat, but also be given an opportunity to learn about FOOD ROOTS products through videos on the methods of production of each product, books and the wisdom of the restaurant's staff.
Our core is represented by the cured meats and cheese but we also offer a wide selection of typical Italian pastas.
Christian is known to many as the creator of FOOD ROOTS - the only entity in the world dedicated to PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) products. Selecting the best producers, they are so passionate about their products that they don't want to give them away; so he needs to snatch them from their hands!
Christian is from Parma, Italy but he lived and studied in Spain, France, UK, Brazil, USA. Speaks Italian, Brazilian, Spanish, French and English. Loves to meet new people from all over the world sharing his passion for protected food.
Decided to dedicate himself to protect his 'Parmigiano-Reggiano' cheese and all the other PDO products when he was living in New York City and at the grocery store he saw on the shelves a cheese called "Parmesan" which was made in United States...
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