You go to Parm for something with melted cheese on it just as it’s namesake, and virtually any New York food press, will tell you. This is true. The eggplant parm is the best we’ve ever had. This in no way shuns the veal and chicken versions. (We prefer to skip the meatball parm. Italian grandma. Childhood. Blah, blah, blah.)
YOU GO BACK to Parm for an entirely different reason. And, you go back on a Monday. They have a solid list of weekly specials including Saturday’s milanese night and Tuesday’s patty melt night. We like this. It gives us a good constant special roster any given week. Example, stuck for a place to go on Tuesday? Ohh, it’s Patty Melt night let’s hit Parm. Get it? So, back to Monday.
One of our beloved family meals, and consequentially recipes, is chicken cacciatore. My mother makes the best and can never be dethroned as queen of this Italian favorite. Every once in a while it pops up on a menu. Everyone once in a long while it pops up on a menu where it might actually come close to mom’s. Every Monday night at Parm is one of those long whiles. Did I emphasis every Monday night? The Torrisi boys twist it up by battering and frying these cluckers. A healthy basket of five pieces of deep fried chicken arrives at the table with a honey bear bottle containing reduced balsamic vinegar. A cute and dark play on southern fried chicken and honey. Let’s back it up a sec. Before all that goes down the chicken is first marinated in yogurt and cacciatore spices. This does two things. One the spices flavor the meet to qualify it as cacciatore. We’re talking pepper, onion, some hot pepper probably. They didn’t disclose the spice mixture but cacciatore meaning hunter’s plate in Italian connotes that what ever was around the house (or cabin) was used. Two, and a nod to my mother-in-law on this move, the yogurt marination makes the chicken super tender. A thing Indian cooks have had mastered for centuries. Why is all chicken not marinated this way? Don’t answer that. The result is a super tender, crazy juicy, well spiced fried cacciatore. I’m talking juices running down your mouth, I want to use this meat as a pillow soft and succulent. If there’s one small complaint it would be that the cacciatore flavor didn’t scream at us the way mom’s does. Factor in we’re flavor freaks so the regular diner will find it amazingly perfect. The twist, tender, flavor and abundance makes it worth the Monday night mayhem. At $25 bucks a plate you might think twice. Before you hastily dismiss this for a veal parm sando (remember you are here on Monday for a reason) consider the caccitore comes with the aforementioned 5-piece basket as well as a large romaine salad containing enormous chunks of bacon which rival Lugar’s famed slices. Parm’s are in nub-chunk form and balance the fat and meat content, as well as the romaine, extremely well. If you are unfamiliar with nub-chunk form think meat croutons. That’s right. Yum.
So next time you find yourself with an open Monday night head down to Parm, belly up to the bar and try their twisted Monday night special cacciatore. Prep your palette with a beet negroni and finish it off with some ice cream cake. We promise you’ll be raving to your friends the next day but be prepared for a serious post feast coma. The good kind of course. Fuggedaboutit!
Address: 248 Mulberry St, Manhattan, NY 10012
Hours: Tuesday hours 11:00 am–11:00 pm