Bread Sticks, Sourdough, White Roll
20 Month Parmigiano Reggiano
Pumpkin Souffle with 16 Month Parmigiano Reggiano Cream
Torta Fritta, 30 Month Proscuitto di Parma, 16 Month Culatello Antica Corte Pallavicina
Degustation di Tortelli – Swiss Chard, Black Truffle, Pumpkin
Potato Gnocchi – Ragout of Fassona, White Beans, Mushrooms, Carrots, Parmigiano Reggiano
Veal Breast – in the Tradition of Parma, Fried Potatoes, Stew of Peppers and Tomatoes
Chocolate Budino with Zabaglione
Americano and Double Espresso on Ice
Opened in 1925 and situated in Hotel Daniel, a space well-adorned in art as Italian classics chime overhead, Ristorante Cocchi came highly recommended by well-traveled palates as one of the most notable places for regional classics in Parma, lunch on Wednesday fortuitously seeing a 12h00 reservation for one converted to a two-top.
A Michelin Guide rated space, though a touch too pricy for Bib Gourmand and not quite refined enough to nab a Star in the most recent guide, it was precisely on time that entry was made into the reception and attached bar area, a Tuxedoed man quickly offering greetings and confirming the reservation, his English almost accentless as specials were recited; several of them quite enticing, as was the menu itself.
Far more affordable than other restaurants of its ilk, particularly when accounting for the quality of ingredients and the service involved, it was while crunching on housemade Breadsticks that four-courses were requested, a nibble of 20 Month Parmigiano Reggiano offered gratis with a total cost of €87 for seven plates to follow.
Passing preparation times with quiet conversation, only three other tables occupied throughout the 100-minute stay, it was not long before a plate of cured pork from Antica Corte Pallavicina arrived with Torta Fritta, each luxurious bite a reminder of dinner one night prior while the Pumpkin Souffle offered a lesson in fluffiness that may well have floated off the plate were it not for the rich Cream accompanying it.
Producing every Pasta on the menu in-house, specials featuring Mushrooms at the peak of season, the decision to try plump Potato Gnocchi topped with Piedmontese Beef and a chunky sauce of Chanterelles plus White Beans, the trio of Tortelli offering a taste of complex fillings inside delicate wrappers with a dusting of Parmigiano atop Brown Butter.
Finding “Veal Breast – in the Tradition of Parma” quite different from Italian-American “Veal Parm,” the sliced breast stuffed with Bread Crumbs alongside fried Potatoes and a Stew of Peppers plus Tomatoes, dessert was presented tableside first as a slice of rustic Peach Pie atop an all-Butter crust that was robust and flaky, the Chocolate Budino a warm pile of baked Custard that necessitated Coffee to balance its sweetness, an accompaniment of Zabaglione unfortunately going too fast with a flavor that would have probably justified licking the plate clean.