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I'm a huge veal parm fan, and since moving to Williamsburg last year, I have hit three neighborhood spots to give it a try. First stop was the famous Bamonte's, which has been around for over 100 years and looks as though it's stuck in the '50s. The veal parm there was fine, though nothing really special. But the most disappointing part is that it was served with roast potatoes (and boring ones at that) rather than pasta.
Second stop was Frost Restaurant, which boasts of being "One of the 100 Best Italian NYC Restaurants," which honestly doesn't sound that impressive to me. Less impressive is the atmosphere of the place; if Bamonte's is stuck in the '50s, Frost is stuck in the '70s, and the '50s is a whole lot nicer! But I loved the veal parm at Frost, which was served with a heaping portion of pasta. I'm looking forward to returning here again. (I tried a few weeks ago, but they were closed. It must have been their summer vacation.)
Tonight I went to the newly opened Williamsburg branch of Parm, which I've been wanting to try since they first opened on Mulberry St. I am sorry to report that other than the very good and very friendly service, I hated everything about the place, most importantly the food. From a decor perspective, the place feels like it belongs in a suburban shopping mall; it has a cookie cutter, red sauce Italian-American chain feel that's not what I'm looking for in a Brooklyn restaurant (although maybe it's appropriate given that it's in Williamsburg's most mall-like neighborhood, where a Whole Foods and an Apple Store have recently opened, too). And the food was just bad. It certainly wasn't the worst quality veal, but it wasn't particularly good, either, although it was hard to tell given the heavy breading, thick cuts of meat, and cloyingly sweet sauce. And although this is clearly hyperbolic, when I first tasted the spicy rigatoni with which it's served, my first reaction was Chef Boyardee. At $35, it was the most expensive of the veal parms I tried. It was a disappointing enough experience that I can't imagine giving it a second chance.
Monday night I'll be going to Carbone for the first time. I've heard such wonderful things about their veal parm; I hope its relationship to its cousin at Parm is a very distant one!
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