Restaurants

Parm bringing ‘Italian-American soul food’ to 2 Boston-area locations

Parm Burlington opens March 21, while a Back Bay location is due in June.

Parm restaurants opening in Boston
A spread at Parm. Parm (Handout)

Major Food Group is heading for Burlington.

The New York firm behind Back Bay’s glamorous rooftop restaurant Contessa at The Newbury Boston will open the first of its Parm restaurants outside of New York on March 21 at the Burlington Mall. A second Parm location is promised in June in the Back Bay, all part of Major Food Group’s national expansion.

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Major Food Group is headed by New York chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, as well as restaurateur Jeff Zalaznick. Carbone and Torrisi have tallied three Michelin stars at three of the 13-strong restaurant collective’s brands — one each for New York’s Torrisi, Carbone, and ZZ’s Clam Bar.

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The original Parm, the group’s acclaimed mid-priced Italian-American concept, opened in New York City’s Little Italy in 2011. Parm Burlington, its seventh outpost, will have 120 seats indoors, a 40-seat patio, and a 24-seat private dining room.

“It’s a great space, a great neighborhood,” Carbone said of choosing Burlington for Parm’s expansion. “We feel we’re starting to trade off the momentum Contessa brought. Contessa helped people learn about Major Food Group and our brands, and our storytelling. We built a lot of brands, and each has a personality.”

Designed by Garrett Singer Architecture and Design, Parm Burlington updates the Little Italy restaurant’s look with white beadboard paneling, green leather upholstered booths, and a central oak bar. Tomato cans are up-cycled throughout as plant pots.

Parm’s mozzarella sticks.

“They have a similar design, but we tweak from location to location depending on the space,” Carbone said. “It’s thematic. We want it to be transportive. It has this mid-century Italian-American aesthetic. It’s warm and familiar without being stuffy.”

Parm’s website describes the menu as “Italian-American soul food.” Appetizers include buffalo cucumber, pizza knots, mozzarella sticks (pictured above), and crispy zucchini. Chicken, eggplant, and meatball parm are joined by classic pastas, such as bolognese, as well as Rigatoni Carbone, which has a signature spicy pink vodka sauce. There are also fish and meat dishes, including lemon chicken. A trio of desserts includes Mario’s cannolis, a gelato sundae, and a warm Nutella brownie.

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“That to me is just food. That’s my upbringing. That’s what I ate growing up, and that’s what I continue to eat,” Carbone said. “The menu is a greatest hits of the culture. A lot of it is the food I ate at neighborhood restaurants. It’s food that puts a smile on your face.”

Parm Burlington will be open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at Burlington Mall, 75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington.

Correction (March 21, 2022): The description of Parm Burlington’s design has been updated. Boston.com regrets the error.

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