Morristown’s Parm Centro Passes the Taste Test

With so many Italian restaurants in New Jersey offering the same basic items, Parm Centro is a refreshing new dining option.

Parm Centro, a new restaurant in Morristown, went to the top of my let’s-get-there-soon list since they have eggplant parm, my go-to dish, on the menu. With so many Italian restaurants in New Jersey offering the same basic items, Parm Centro is a refreshing new dining option. From the gracious welcome, to the sincere “thank you for coming” when we left, and our accommodating waiter, we had a most delicious evening here.

We had to restrain ourselves with the four pieces of pizza, along with bread, olive oil and a tomato-garlic-and-parm cheese spread, which were placed on the table when we were seated. All were a delightful change from the Italian bread and olive oil usually served, and we especially loved the crisp pizza crust. Starters were an impressive dish of hand-rolled pasta, Trofie Tesora, which was enlivened with pesto sauce, cubes of potatoes and green beans. A large portion of butterflied, brick-baked chicken had a lovely, lemon-white wine and fresh herb sauce, and although juicy, it did not have a crispy skin. Sautéed spinach accompanied this dish. The melanzane alla parmigiana, the eggplant parmigiana, was listed as coming with a fresh pasta. Since we had pasta as an entrée, my request for a vegetable substitution was graciously accommodated and we were given a large portion of broccoli rabe. The eggplant parm passed my taste test and was eaten enthusiastically. All of the food was served piping hot with steam rising from the dishes. Desserts were the usual suspects that one finds in an Italian restaurant. We opted for an OK, but not great, tiramisu. It did not have the creaminess, or flavor profile of other tiramisu’s that we have tried.

All pizzas are $12, antipasto ranges from $9 to $14, pastas are in the low $20 range except for a linguini with seafood for $29 and entrees range from $18 for the eggplant parm to $34 for a rack of veal, pounded thin and baked with a pomodoro sauce and fresh mozzarella. Portions were very generous.

Shiny black clothless tables with white napkins each have a large white number stenciled on them. Red dishtowel napkins match the red-rimmed white plates; a lovely look. A papered wall has a scene of laundry drying on a clothesline with real wood clothespins, while industrial lighting, brick walls and the long entrance hall lined with bottles of Ferrarelle, a sparkling mineral water, all add to the whimsical and charming ambiance. “L’ingredienti segreti e sempre formaggio,” which means the secret ingredient is cheese is written on a white board at the entrance. This may be true but the other ingredients are attentive customer service and very appealing and reasonably priced food.

Parm Centro chicken

Butterflied, brick-baked chicken.

Parm Centro entrance

Entrance foyer at Parm Centro

Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

Parm Centro
11 South Street

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