May 7 2020

New York City Based Italian Restaurant Parm Goes Before the Planning Board

By: Rich Hosford

Despite all restaurants being reduced to take-out and delivery and much of the economy shut down there are still signs that people are looking to the future. 


One such sign was that a proposal for a new restaurant was before the Planning Board on Thursday evening. 


The business in question is the New York-based Parm, an Italian restaurant with four locations in New York City. This would be the first location outside of that area. 


“The Applicant proposes the development of its first Massachusetts restaurant to be located within the Burlington Mall along the westerly portion of the former Sears footprint adjacent to The Village of the Burlington Mall,” the cover letter to the Special Permit and Site Plan application reads. “Parm is a full service restaurant offering classic Italian fare in a casual setting.” 


The restaurant would have 166 seats, including 46 outdoor patio seats. 


The restaurant is best known for its chicken parmesan and has many positive reviews online. According to its restaurant the success stems from holding to its New York roots. 


“We sell chicken parms all day long and we know it will do really well here because we’ve had success in office settings and neighborhoods,”said Julia Pei, President of Business Development at Major Food Group, the parent company. “It’s a little something for everyone and we’re super excited to be opening in Burlington, our first location in Massachusetts.”


The restaurant owners say it began small and has grown over time. 


“With humble yet ambitious beginnings in a cozy space in the heart of Little Italy, Parm is a chef-driven concept created by renowned chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, and restaurateur Jeff Zalaznick,” the ‘about us’ section states. “Famous for Chicken Parm, Mario's Meatballs, signature deli sandwiches and our uncompromising New York roots, we celebrate updated takes on classic Italian dishes with which our chefs grew up, in a fun, casual neighborhood setting.”


The site also says that everything is made fresh daily. 


“Our dishes are all handmade from scratch, every day, and this thoughtful authentic craftsmanship has earned us two stars from the New York Times and the title of one of the 101 Best Places to Eat in North America by Newsweek,” the site states. 


Click here to check out the menu for the New York West Side location. 


Members of the Planning Board had a few questions about specifics but were overall in favor of the project. 


Member Joe Impembo, who called himself a “Chick parmesan-ologist” who has a great affinity for the culinary creation said he is looking forward to trying the signature dish. 


“I’m excited about this,” he said. 


“This sounds excellent and I’m excited and welcome you to Burlington,” said member Mike Espejo. “I think you’ve made a good choice. And to member Impembo’s point, if they can make it in New York they can probably make it anywhere.”


“I’m looking forward to eating there,” member Ernie Covino said. 


“I’m looking forward to having this restaurant in town,” Chair Barbara L’Heuruex said. 


Despite the enthusiasm, because of a decision not to approve projects in the same meeting they are first presented while conducting meetings via video conference the board by default postponed a vote of approval. The hearing was continued by a unanimous vote to May 21.


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