In Parma – or In Parma by Food Roots, if we’re spitting it proper – might be seeing a lot of me this year. In a true “how did I not know this was here?!” affair, this brilliantly authentic Italian restaurant is nestled in Charlotte Place (which, unfortunately, is not marked on many maps*).
Thankfully, once found, you feel as though you’ve become the winner of a treasure hunt. In Parma’s “Food Roots” concept is one every foodie can appreciate: the aim is to serve authentically high quality products that have been sourced strictly from small producers. In fact, they are the only entity in the world dedicated to European Protected Designation of Origin products and have had almost 1000 of their products awarded the status of PDO and PGI by the European Commission (certifying the area and methods of production and designates them as rare and artisanal food).
In their country-chic space, the passionate staff – educated to the nines – will further educate and entice you through every course. Beginning with a glass of Lambrusco (!) served in a bowl-like fojeta, every plate that was placed in our line of attack wowed with all of Food Roots’ intentions. The core of the ‘wow’ are In Parma’s various sharing platters of charcuterie and cheese. Encouraged to smell our way through the Culatello from Zibello, 24 month aged Proscuitto Crudo from Parma, and Lardo from Colonnata, the simplicity of the preparation somehow turned into quite a consuming experience. By the time we stuck our forks into Red Cow, 12 month old, 24 month old, and 36 month old Parmigiano-Reggiano we were scribbling under-the-table love notes to Reggio Emilia.
After shared plates of homemade Tortelli D’erbetta and (gluten free) polenta trailed us towards spontaneous combustion, we also managed to share a few bites of their dessert selection. I tell you, the tiramisu is the lightest I have ever laid lips on.
Go. Gorge. Tell your friends.
* Directions: Across from the Duke of York on Rathbone Place (closest tube station: Goodge Street).