Are you looking for Italian food that isn't your basic run-of-the-mill fare? And perhaps looking for a spot that no one seems to know about outside of the immediate neighborhood in which it resides? Well, the little town of Winthrop has just such a place in D'Parma, an attractive restaurant within walking distance of the ocean that is both easy to miss and tough to find. This happens to be one of several excellent eateries that call this quiet community just north of Boston their home, and much like the others, D'Parma is frequented by locals, and, well, that's about it.
The atmosphere at D'Parma is about as romantic as it gets, especially for a restaurant that is casual and reasonably priced. The two rooms here are dark and cozy, having the feel of a trattoria in the Italian countryside, and the room on the right is a bit on the interesting side, with a large fake tree dominating the space, an old electric oven being used as a "fireplace," and an aquarium built into the counter toward the back. While the tables are a bit close together in each room (on busy nights, quiet conversation may be rather difficult), it is precisely this kind of atmosphere that gives D'Parma a comfortable communal feel. Adding to this is the fact that, as mentioned earlier, most people who come here seem to be from the local neighborhood.
D'Parma is one of those places that prides itself on using fresh ingredients and making dishes from scratch, and the variety of the menu is a big plus, especially with large parties that include varying likes and tastes. A few highlights include the substantial tortellini soup in a tasty chicken broth; the delicious prosciutto antipasto with basil, mozzarella, provolone, and roasted red peppers; the earthy-tasting and tender porcini ravioli; the creamy and savory ziti alla boscaiola that comes with pieces of prosciutto and mushrooms, all in a pink cream sauce; a solid chicken marsala; and several excellent risotto options including one with calamari, clams, mussels, and shrimp. [One note: D'Parma is BYOB, so if you want wine or beer, make sure you bring it with you.]
Winthrop is not all that easy a place to get to (something that it has in common with the nearby Logan Airport), but once you know how to get there, it isn't all that tough to find. Whether you find yourself leaving the airport with hunger pangs or just feel like taking a drive to a little-known section of the Boston area, it would definitely be worth your while to head over to D'Parma. Good food, an appealing atmosphere, and relatively low prices make this a spot that has a lot going for it.
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