Over the past year or so, I’ve blogged more than a bit about the high quality of food products from Parma and what a gastronomic thrill it actually was to visit the city and neighbouring countryside back in September.
Just under a year old, Fitzrovia restaurant, In Parma, has been bleeping wildly on my foodie radar all this time. I finally got round to having a meal there earlier this week, and I’m happy to report that my visit was just as delightful, delicious and autentico as what I experienced in the actual city of Parma itself.
In Parma is owned by Christian Pero. Originally from Parma and with a background working with some of the world’s top food brands (Kelloggs, Mars), Christian is also the founder of Food Roots, the “only entity in the world dedicated to European Protected Designation of Origin products selecting the best small producers.” The restaurant is a first for Christian and for Food Roots and functions as a sort of public relations channel for Food Roots.
Dedicated to European PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) products, Food Roots is “devoted to the preservation of traditional European produce, only importing food and wine that bear the PDO and PGI seals.” These products – well, at least the Italian ones – are then served at Christian’s restaurant to delectable effect. Many of the wines, meats and cheeses on the In Parma menu are available as take home items as well.
Christian is an affable and informative host. Aside from forwarding the aims of such his noble and gourmet business plan, his cosy 30-cover restaurant is an inviting venue for a lovely evening out. I’d imagine it would be as suitable for a much better than average lunch as well.
Stuff I loved during my dine?
Starting the evening off with a fojeta (a small, broad bowl traditionally used to drink wine in the region around Parma) of 2011 Monte delle Vigne Lambrusco (£5.20 for a fojeta, £24 for a bottle) set a tasty tone. This sparkling red wine went down remarkably well on its own but seemed a particularly smart choice alongside all the edibles I sampled, especially the cured meats. Don’t be surprised if I write about this wine again soon.
Speaking of meat, a warm thin layer of lardo di Colonnata lightly laid upon a generous slice of toasted crusty bread was gorgeous. The cheese pleased as well. The restaurant has an outstandingly creamy and pungent gorgonzola on offer. As you’d imagine, they’ve got some amazing Parmigiano-Reggiano too. I’d tried the special 36 month aged “Red Cow” Parmigiano. Made from the milk of the rare and historic Vacche Rosse breed of nearly extinct cattle, it was a more butterfatty and meaty cheese – and is reason enough for any foodie to head over to give In Parma a try.
Beyond my exquisite preliminary nibbles, the caponata (traditional stew made of aubergines, courgettes, potatoes, onions, basil, tomato, red and green peppers, £6) was a side to savour. Creamy gorgonzola and mushroom polenta (£8) was a seasonably sensible dish that soothed, and home made tortelli d’erbetta (ravioli filled with ricotta, spinach and Parmigiano-Reggiano, £12) proved a most appreciated pasta with its flavourful long lasting finish. The tiramisu (not sure about the price, sorry!) was among the very best I’ve ever had. Yum.
In Parma is located at 10 Charlotte Place, W1T 1SH. Find out more at inparma.co.uk.