Spaghetti with crab, baby tomatoes, garlic, saffron, chile flakes and dill.//all photos by steve legato
a Mint Smash, with Knob Creek bourbon, muddled lemon and fresh mint; baked meatballs
“The oven factory in Modena, Italy, is located right next door to the auto plant,” Wasserman says.
The vibe of Parlor’s outdoor patio is not unlike that of the 18th Street sidewalk at Rouge, right down to the pooches enjoying their house water bowls. Their owners sip from a well-honed selection of beers, wines and cocktails, and munch on addictive Parmesan-dusted truffle fries and “sugar and spice” chicken wings. Meaty and oven-roasted, they’re encased in a proprietary blend of seasonings—it’s as if they’ve been partying with a spice rack.
Additional straightforward appetizer choices include baked meatballs, tender calamari, and a lemony shrimp pot. There’s also a solid selection of salads, pizzas and pastas, plus several shareable sides. The pappardelle, with red-wine-braised lamb, pecorino and dark chocolate, is a must-try.
While pizza places have reached critical mass around here, Parlor’s artisan pies are worth a mention. With each quickly gas-blasted and finished in the wood-fired oven, the crust is crispier than you typically find with a Neapolitan pizza—though still with the requisite dough bubbles and burnt spots. Choices range from the usual margherita and marinara, to concoctions like the mushroomy Fun Guy, the honey-drizzled Sasquash (topped with tender butternut squash and speck), and the chili-oil-laced Beastmode.
If you’re smart about your selections, Parlor’s beverage program can be as affordable as it is approachable. Alongside well-curated wines by the glass and bottle, there are three reds and three whites on draft, including a crisp chardonnay and a luscious cab sav (both only $6 per pour).
The dessert selection is minimal but yummy, especially the Nutella pizza slathered with molasses and dusted with powdered sugar and earthy cocoa nibs.
a margherita pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil and basil.
THE SKINNY: With Parlor’s classy-casual, pizza-focused concept firmly in place and the friendly, outgoing staff his customers deserve, Rob Wasserman now has the right sort of restaurant for Suburban Square—one that we hope will stick around for a long time.
Parlor Suburban Square
30 Parking Plaza, Ardmore, (610) 649-6200, www.parlorardmore.com.
Cuisine: Shareable artisan pizzas, fresh pastas, salads and sides.
Attire: Stylishly casual.
Atmosphere: A pizza joint and wine bar with a classy, contemporary twist.
Hours: Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. Dinner: 3-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Extras: The menu is 90-percent gluten-free.