In Parma Restaurant in Fitzrovia is a small venue with a big vision. In a city of increasing restaurant specialisms, In Parma is up there for commitment and quality. Dedicated to sourcing not only the finest ingredients from the region, but also the smaller suppliers, the menu shows pictures of the founder, Christian, wrestling produce from the suppliers - ‘so good they don’t want to let it go’.
In Parma is the practical realisation of Food Roots, a company dedicated to the preservation of traditional Italian produce, importing foods bearing the Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication seals, which guarantee authenticity of flavour and sourcing. The restaurant, therefore, also doubles up as a gourmet food store.
But enough of all that. This IS the best Parma ham I’ve ever had. The Culatello di Zibello lives up to its fanfare and silky description on the menu and has a wonderful balance of salty-sweet meatiness.
And if you’re into your meats and cheeses, then the hardest part is going to be deciding what to have. Thankfully, there are a number of options for ‘mix and match’ which allow for more choice. We tried the In Parma charcuterie selection followed by the ‘tender’ cheeses; a more gentle choice of flavoured cheese, the Taleggio was a particular highlight with its mild and creamy texture and fruity tang.
There is also a tantalising offer of mains. We tried a buttery-sweet ravioli and a wonderfully meaty and very rich Ragu di Chianina with home-made polenta. The ‘Chianina’ part referring to one of the oldest breeds of cattle in Italy. The Ragu had a fantastic tomato taste, bursting with flavour with the salty polenta.
Passion is a word used a lot (guilty as charged), but there is no danger of exaggeration here. The menu is a testimony to this, with some rare kinds of Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano on offer. If you’re interested in learning more about the culture and traditions of the food and wine in this region then look no further; Christian and his colleagues will be more than happy to discuss this with you.
The décor is fresh and simple. Exposed brick work, hanging meats and shelves filled with wines line the small dining area. The overall result is a place where food is to be savoured and enjoyed, so avoid the temptation to over-order up front. The beauty of these kinds of places is that they allow you to order as much or as little as your time and appetite will allow.
Concierge’s tip: Do not miss out on the chance to try the Culatello di Zibello. You might also enjoy trying a bowl of Parma’s sparkling red, Lambrusco IGT, Monte delle Vigne 2011. You’ll have your photo taken and the image projected along with others on the back wall!
If you would like your own personal concierge to help with your restaurant reservations, please contact us at Bon Vivant.