restaurants

Parm Burlington opens March 21, while a Back Bay location is planned for June.

A spread in Parm. Parma (handouts)

The Major Food Group heads to Burlington.

The New York company 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 Back Bay in June, all part of Major Food Group’s national expansion.

  • Contessa, the Newbury Boston’s rooftop restaurant, opens with breathtaking views

The Major Food Group is led by New York City chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi and restaurateur Jeff Zalaznick. Carbone and Torrisi have earned three Michelin stars at three of the 13-person restaurant collective’s brands – one each for New York’s Torrisi, Carbone and ZZ’s Clam Bar.

The original Parm, the group’s acclaimed mid-range Italian-American concept, opened in 2011 in Little Italy, New York City. Parm Burlington, their seventh outpost, will have 120 indoor seating, 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 like we’re starting to offset the momentum that Contessa has brought. Contessa helped people learn more about Major Food Group and our brands and storytelling. We have built many brands and each one has a personality.”

Designed by Garrett Singer Architecture and Design, Parm Burlington updates the look of the Little Italy restaurant with white beaded countertops, green leather upholstery and an oak central bar. Tomato cans are consistently upcycled as plant pots.

Parm mozzarella sticks.

“They’re similar in design, but we optimize from place to place based on the space,” Carbone said. “It’s thematic. We want it to be portable. It has that 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 pickles, pizza knots, mozzarella sticks (pictured above), and crispy zucchini. Chicken, eggplant and meatballs are complemented by classic pastas like 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 dessert trio includes Mario’s cannolis, a gelato sundae, and a warm Nutella brownie.

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

Parm Burlington is Mon.-Fri. 10am-9pm; Sat & Sun. 11am-9pm at Burlington Mall, 75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington.

Correction (March 21, 2022): Updated Parm Burlington’s theme description. Boston.com regrets the error.

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