Parma Offers a Fresh Take on Italian Cuisine

The Place: Parma Italian Roots
The Location: 20831 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
By: Shoshana Leon

A new restaurant just opened in North Scottsdale with a fresh take on Italian cuisine. Named for a city in Northern Italy known for its prosciutto, Parma Italian Roots offers fresh Italian fare created by a young and accomplished chef who is new to the Valley. Although Executive Chef Chris Gentile is only 28, he has worked for several acclaimed chefs and spent the past few years as executive chef of Double Standard Kitchenetta in San Diego. Under Chef Gentile’s leadership, Parma offers Italian food with California influence, highlighting homemade ingredients, fresh vegetables and wood-fired flavor.

As a lover of fresh pasta, small plates and charcuterie boards, I was excited to experience Parma. The restaurant has a fun and welcoming atmosphere with bright colors, an open patio, and enthusiastic bartenders and servers. Sitting at the bar, I enjoyed watching the bartenders artfully make each cocktail. I may have had more than one of the Strawberry Flowers, comprised of vodka, basil and champagne.

Parma’s menu has many options for sharing, including arancini with peas and pancetta, crispy Brussels sprouts, meatballs, mushroom toast and a selection of bruschetta. The charcuterie boards are stunning with a variety of meats, cheese and toasted bread.

Bolognese is one of my favorite pasta dishes, and Chef Gentile takes Parma’s pappardelle Bolognese to the next level with braised short rib and Italian sausage. Another of my favorites is the pillowy gnocchi with Pomodoro and burrata.

In addition to small plates and pasta, Parma’s menu offers entrees including slow-cooked beef short rib, New York strip steak served with polenta and broccolini, and seared Ora King Salmon with roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon salsa verde.

Parma’s wood-fired pizzas are crisp and light. Pizza selections include a white pie, a traditional Margherita and a Cadillac Margherita with ricotta and truffles, the Diavola featuring spicy sopressata and hot honey, and the Dal Giordino highlighting fresh vegetables.

Parma opens daily at 3:30pm with a great happy hour that runs until 7:00pm. Available at the large bar and on the beautiful patio, happy hour food specials include $3 off small plates and half-price pizzas. Drink specials include $5 well cocktails and wine on tap, half off select bottles of wine, $4 domestic drafts and $2 off signature cocktails. The thoughtful selection of signature cocktails includes the Mellow Cello made with vodka and limoncello, A Tres Vie made with bourbon and Italian sweet vermouth, and the Italian Bird made with gin, elderflower and ginger beer.

Parma is the type of restaurant where you can sit at the bar and chat with the bartender while enjoying a tasty craft cocktail, share dishes with a group of friends on the patio, or enjoy a hearty meal of Italian favorites. Parma already has a buzz and this new addition to the North Scottsdale restaurant scene has great potential.

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