VENUE DETAILS

Parma 8200

Price:

$$

Cuisine Type:

European, Italian

Serves:

Lunch, Dinner

Handicap Accessible:

No

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Handicap Accessible:

No

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Rating: One Star One Star One Star Half Star

REVIEW

The D'Amicos sure know how to run a restaurant.

It's not just the squadrons of exhaustively trained staffers that are kept on the company's payroll, or the polished salutation that's drilled into the folks manning the door, or the obvious passion for premium food and drink. Their work stands out because brothers Richard and Larry D'Amico -- with an assist by their longtime corporate chef and idea engine, Jay Sparks -- are masters at developing culinary talent.

More Twin Cities restaurants than I can count have been launched by creatives who once punched the D'Amico time clock, but what diners should also appreciate about the company is that it rewards hard work and ingenuity by promoting from within. It's like MGM during Hollywood's golden era, when the studio nurtured its stable of stars by creating vehicles that allowed them to sparkle.

The latest example: Michael Dalton, a veteran of the company's nearby Campiello, is now running the show at Parma 8200, the D'Amicos' latest Italian-inspired venture. Dalton's cooking isn't flashy or trendy, but given his meticulous attention to detail, it doesn't need to be, either. Witness the pork ragu that he liberally spoons over cavatelli.

The recipe, inspired by his mother and grandmother, involves slow-cooking gently sweet country-style ribs in tomatoes and herbs until one flavor falls into the next. It's so good that it could flip lifelong vegetarians in a single bite.

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