Named after the culinary village of Parma in Italy, home of prosciutto, and Parmigiano Reggiano, Parma Café had a lot to live up to. This lunch spot is part Italian café, part restaurant, and it seems like everyone is talking about them. On our first visit we stuck to the classics, pizza al taglio, their paninis, an arancini and a fresh salad, it was good but we didn’t understand why everyone was raving about it, you can read that review HERE. But fret not, we get it now, after our second visit we’re raving about it too…
Parma Café is known for their breaded chicken cutlet sandwich, the panini is what you would use to measure an Italian café’s culinary talents. And we assure you, at Parma Café, their chicken cutlet panini is out of this world. We had it on our last visit and we couldn’t get enough of it. On this visit the chef prepared a special of the day which was the chicken cutlet on a bed of grilled asparagus and mushrooms in a simple olive oil and lemon dressing. It was perfect in its simplicity.
Another special of the day were the mussels, they came with crusty garlic bread that was perfect for soaking up the pooled broth at the bottom of the bowl. A very generous portion, the mussels were cooked perfectly in a garlic tomato marinara broth. We liked the broth so much that we polished it off with a spoon, but next time we’ll make sure to ask for more garlic bread, it was a killer combination.
The pasta of the day also changes regularly, and on this visit we had the pappardelle with braised pork and cherry tomatoes. The pappardelle was cooked perfectly al dente, the braised pork was tender and melted in your mouth, and the cherry tomatoes and spicy pickled vegetables added the right amount of acidity. And in true Italian fashion, you can order the pasta as a starter or main!
And though we were full we were tempted by their next level affogato. Chocolate sauce formed the base, then vanilla cream and another dollop of chocolate sauce before the cookie crumble. By the time the piping hot espresso was poured over the little sundae, we were already drooling. At first we wanted to share it but we were very happy when we each got our own!
Parma Café also serves pizza, calzones, salads and various paninis; they also have a catering company so if you fall in love with them, you can hire them at your next party! Our favourite dish is their chicken cutlet panini with marinated eggplants, although we want to return and try their steak panini. This little neighborhood Italian café has taken downtown Montreal by storm, it has quite a lot of charm, potent Italian espresso and delicious food – what more can you ask for?
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 1202 Bishop, Affogato, Chicken cutlet, cutlet, Downtown Montreal, H3G 2E3, Italian Café, Italian Sandwich, Montreal Café, Montreal italian, Montreal Italian Café, Montreal panini, Montreal Restaurant, Mussels, Parma Café, Parma Café Montreal, Pasta