Quickie: 1 meal in Parma
My parents will be in Parma for one evening next Friday.
They are looking for a nice meal, not too expensive, nice atmosphere for well travelled 70 year young people!
They like everything
You will get more suitable recommendations if you reveal where they are staying and whether they expect to walk back to their lodgings after dinner, or will be driving or are open to having the restaurant call them a taxi.
Also, what do you mean by "not too expensive" -- ???
Also, some 70+ travellers can digest a 4 course Emilia meal that begins at 8pm in summer -- and some cannot! Might they prefer a light dinner, earlier in the evening?
AFAIK, They are staying at the Best Western (a little bit outside the old city) and will probably taxi in/out for the evening. (my task is only to offer suggestions)
They are looking for "authentic" cuisine, simple, nicely made, good atmosphere; if the weather is nice, outside seating would be really dandy.
Mom speak Italian (and dad understands it) and are used in eating late; and will eat everything.
a quick CH seach returns :
Gran Caffe Orientale .
Trattoria del Tribunale (looking at it, this would be very nice for them)
They might and probably walk around, sit down for a drink or two and head for diner.
I've stayed in that hotel and highly recommend a taxi, especially back from an evening meal in town, because it is in an isolated area behind the train tracks, and a strip for pimps and prostitution.
I think jenkalb has eaten at Tribunale so hopefully she will stop by to provide details. If you have seen this link, you might find it worthwhile for details for other restaurants you have on your list
I enjoyed my very authentic meal at Cocchi, but it might be more white-table cloth than your parents want, although the service is really very congenial and relaxing. If they do want Cocchi, then I would recommend relocating to the Hotel Daniel, because the restaurant is inside that hotel.
if your parents are in the Parma historic centro, Tribunale is a very nice simple trattoria with no pretensions and tasty food and would be a good place to have a taste of the regional cooking. for example my fresh pasta dressed with prosciutto di parma was very good. We had a sparkling malvasia, I think a white counterparty to the sweetish lambrusco of that area. Friendly. Since we were there on a Sunday afternoon which is very quiet in that area, I cant say what an evening would be like. As I recall its in a side street/alley in a commercial/civic center area, a bit of a walk south from the duomo/baptistery complex.
If it were me going back to Parma, I would likely want to try Cocchi on which Ive seen a number of favorable reports. Its not very expensive, and if I had only one shot on trying the food of that area and couldnt drive out into the country, that is what I might try. As you must know,White tablecloths do not spell pretense or discomfort in Italy. I'll never forget the cordial welcome we received in a gilded, mirrored flower filled dining room on our first visit to Parma 30years ago
Il Trovatore and La Greppia might also suit (I havent tried)
Wherever the decide on going, they should order a mixed plate of cured meats to start- the standards will be very high - as well as some fresh pasta, tortelli, tagliatelli, etc. Hope they enjoy!
re: jen kalb
At Cocchi (and many other restaurants in Italy) they can order a "tris" of pasta, which is 3 small servings of 3 different pasta dishes, varying according to the season.
jenkalb had got the vibe at Cocchi right. I went with a friend, both of us wearing casual clothes. We were doted upon in the most caring, friendly way, with a lot of guidance given to us about what was good to eat and drink. You can see a picture of the restaurant here:
Yet another vote for Cocchi - we had a wonderful meal there and I still kick myself that I didn't get the bollito misto!
Aperitivo at Gran Caffe Orientale is a great way to start the evening, then taxi to Cocchi.
On my pension's recommendation I went to Osteria dello Zingaro, Borgo del Correggio 5/B. In the old section not far from the University. It was excellent. A small place; lots of local families eating. Equisite food.