Manhattan, NY

Parma Nuova: Keeping Italian Cuisine Alive on the Upper East Side

Carlos L.

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Courtesy of Parma Nuova

Parma Nuova is a new casual fine dining Italian restaurant from Owner-Manager Giorgio Manzio, who has partnered with La Masseria Group; Giuseppe “Peppe” Iuele, Vincenzo “Enzo” Ruggiero and Executive Chef Giuseppe “Pino” Coladonato. Together, they have taken over the space of Parma an Upper East Side stalwart that opened in 1977. Parma Nuova, meaning the new Parma, retains the trademark fine dining quality service of La Masseria with a focus on the flavors of Parma, Italy in a more relaxed environment.

Rather than recreate the original Parma, Giorgio has chosen to use flavors that emphasize staples from the city of Parma in a modern interpretation using local staples like Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, and handmade pasta.

The interior of the restaurant has been totally redesigned by Libby Langdon and features vintage Italian posters and black and white photographs transporting diners to the city of Parma. The front of the dining room has elegant French doors that can be opened to accommodate outdoor seating, and at the rear is a wine wall that gives guests a glimpse into Parma Nuova’s carefully curated wine list.

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Courtesy of Parma Nuova

Upon entering Parma Nuova, my guest and I were greeted by Giorgio, who was extremely welcoming. As we walked over to our seats I couldn’t help but notice the wall of wines and how the restaurant had kind of a modern look with a traditional flare. Once we were in our seats and had ample time to take in the ambiance, Giorgio asked if we’d like to start with drinks. I had a Gin and Tonic and my partner had an Old Fashioned. While both drinks are pretty simple, you could really taste the quality.

Giorgio did the honor of selecting our dishes for us, ensuring we got the best Parma Nuova had to offer. For our appetizers, Giorgio brought us the I Cucuzielli Fritti Alla Chef Pino (Crispy fried zucchini Chef Pino Style). These were essentially shoestrings fried zucchini if you need a visual and they were some of the best zucchini I’ve possibly had in my life. They were a truly light bite; not too crispy with the taste of fresh zucchini shining through while not being too overbearing. The dish gave me a preview of the quality I would be getting from Parma Nuova.

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Parma Nuova Owner-Manager Giorgio ManzioCourtesy of Parma Nuova

Next up was the Burratina Con Melanzane, Peperoni Arrosto E Pomodori Secchi (creamy center mozzarella cheese served with sweet roast peppers, marinated eggplant and sundried tomatoes). First of all, the creaminess of the burrata blended with the vegetables that were sitting below it was the perfect combination and it’s one of those things I wish I thought of. This was easily one of the best dishes of the night and we finished it so fast, Giorgio couldn’t help but smile as he passed our table.

After such a delicious course we were yearning for more and Giorgio didn’t disappoint. Not long after, he walked over with our next dish, the Tonnarelli Cacio & Pepe “Alla Parma (homemade fresh spaghetti with parmesan cheese and crushed pepper sauce). We absolutely loved this dish; the spaghetti was possibly some of the freshest you can get in Manhattan and the parmesan was almost like a cheese bowl-like structure that housed the spaghetti. This ensured you get a taste of every ingredient in the dish with each bite. Solid dish, highly recommended.

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Courtesy of Parma Nuova

For our main course, we enjoyed the Trancio Di Salmone Con Salsa Alla Mostarda (grilled salmon fillet, with grilled zucchini & mustard sauce). I may be sounding redundant at this point but this dish was truly sensational. The salmon was cooked to perfection and the mustard sauce wasn’t too overbearing; the zucchini really helped bring the dish together as well.

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Courtesy of Parma Nuova

For dessert, Giorgio insisted we tried the Torta Di Ricotta Alla Vaniglia (Vanilla flavored Ricotta cheesecake). Being that he hadn’t steered us wrong through the entire meal, of course this was delicious! The top layer had a little bit of texture but nothing too difficult to cut into, there was a little bit of raspberry jam (I believe) on one side and some vanilla ice cream on the other which all blended well. The cheesecake filling is simply amazing. It’s a blend that’s really hard to describe but something you won’t forget for a long time.

Parma Nuova is a truly one-of-a-kind place. You're definitely not finding any places like this in Manhattan that's for sure! There is a family-friendly vibe to this place as well. Each of our courses were spaced out and overall, the dinner took about 2 and a half hours to complete. I ended up missing a fashion show that night but Parma Nuova and Giorgio’s hospitality was well worth it. If you're in the Upper East Side do yourself a favor and stop by the Italian eatery. Say hi to Giorgio for me while you’re there! parmanuovanyc.com

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Carlos is a New York City-based journalist with 10+ years of experience covering a wide array of topics such as music, art, fashion, entertainment and health and wellness. Carlos has also had cover stories in publications in the US and UK.

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