No one loves to bag on bad Italian like ELV.
For twenty years we’ve maintained that you can throw anything on a noodle, smother it with cheap tomato sauce and cheese, and the world (or Americans at least) will beat a path to your door.
With a few exceptions, we avoid neighborhood Italian restaurants like Demi Moore does sobriety tests.
One of those exceptions is Parma by Chef Marc, a restaurant that, to these taste buds, just keeps getting better and better.
Pastas have always been its strong suit, but it was Marc’s lobster bisque that made us sit up and take notice last week. It was intensity in a cup. Full of lobster-ness without heaviness, classic in style and supremely slurp-worthy.
If you scroll through the pictures, you’ll also see a pristine red snapper over squid ink-infused polenta, a spaghetti cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), and a skirt steak — all properly seasoned and cooked to a “t”.
From the looks of things last Tuesday night, we’re not the only ones who’s noticed how tasty this joint has become. The joint was jumpin’ (how many restaurants can say that on a Tuesday night?), as the pastas were flying out of the kitchen and Marc worked the room (and touched every table) like an old pro who knows how to keep his customers happy.
From the prices (everything priced in the teens to low 20s — i.e. a serious bargain) to the wine list (limited but also quite reasonable), everything about this place is designed to keep you happy. Except the name.
Yes, it seems Chef Marc, charming, hard-working guy that he is, loves to confuse people*….especially when it comes to what things are named…including him. The sign on the door (and the menu) says “Parma by Chef Marc”. Marc’s last name used to be Sgrizzi, then it was Ritz. Now it’s back to Sgrizzi. If you google “Parma Las Vegas” you get a website that says “Chef Marc’s Pastavino & Deli,” which also happens to be the sign you see from the road as you drive down Buffalo, yet the website address www.parmabychefmarc.com. Urbanspoon lists him under Chef Marc Parma, while Yelp calls it Chef Marc’s Pastavino.
Schizophrenic? A little. Perplexing? Yes. Forgivable? Absolutely…especially when a chef’s knack with gutsy Italian food (and certain soups) renders such imprecise nomenclature irrelevant to the enjoyment at hand.
ELV’s dinner for one, that was more like a dinner for three, came to $40 since Chef Sgrizzi or Ritz or Sgrizzi or whatever he’s calling himself these days didn’t charge for several items.
CHEF MARC’S PASTAVINO & DELI (we think)
7591 West Washington #110
Las Vegas, NV 89128-4342
* What we have got here is what the Captain might call a “failure to communicate.”