Parigi is a bona fide neighborhood restaurant in a city that has few. It’s a small, chic, chef-driven place where the menu changes frequently based on what’s fresh and available. You can even find a list of partner farms and local sources, such as Dominion Farms in Denison and Lemley Farms in Canton, on the first page of the menu. Owner Janice Provost was one of the first in this town to do the “eat local” thing, and her dedication to this movement has never wavered.

Portobello fries, a starter, were magically delicious, with a crispy, crunchy crust that gave way to a fat, juicy mushroom inside. Dipped in truffle buttermilk cream, they could turn any carnivore into a vegetarian. Same goes for Ninny’s Salad: thin slices of okra, lightly battered and fried, with halved cherry tomatoes, scallions, and a “Southern” white balsamic vinaigrette. I’d give up meat forever to have this “salad” every day.

But this night we were still carnivores. Oven-roasted chicken breast, perched atop cauliflower purée and served with a pool of pan gravy—was executed with precision. Veal Milanese—lightly breaded and pan fried, topped with a mound of peppery fresh arugula and thick shreds of Asiago—was better than the version I had in Milan.

I was curious about the chocolate glob, a dessert with a big reputation, and our server got a little misty when we said we’d never tried it. Think of it as a bowl of half-cooked brownie batter with chunks of walnuts and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Although we had leftovers from every other course during the evening—we were trying to be dainty, okay?—we polished that thing right off. So much for dainty.

Get contact information for Parigi.

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