Parm, the new Torrisi Italian Specialties spin-off, has already been doing brisk business since it opened a mere two weeks ago, and for good reason. Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi know how to turn old-school red-sauce classics into even greater feats of culinary excellence. One example? The mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce. Ho-hum everywhere else, but a marvel of cheesy excellence here.
Mozzarella is available at Parm in three variations: in a ball, deep-fried sticks with marinara, and wrapped with prosciutto. Given my known love of fried foods, it should come as no surprise that I ordered the sticks. Plus, my dining companion had admitted that she had never before eaten mozzarella sticks, an unfortunate situation that needed to be remedied — who goes through life never having eaten a mozzarella stick?
Five fat sticks of cheese are dredged in bread crumbs (most likely Progresso, given Carbone and Torrisi’s love of the product, though we were unable to confirm), fried to golden brown, dusted with chopped parsley, and served alongside a tangy marinara sauce. While most mozzarella sticks at snack shops have a stringy, almost plastic texture, the cheese here remains creamy, delicate, and actually tastes like fresh mozzarella. The sauce is well-balanced and full of flavor — easily some of the best fried cheese I’ve had in ages. And I eat more fried cheese than I’d like to admit.