Pioneering Italians were not only the first to put tomatoes in cuisine, they were also the first people to take photographs of themselves pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Delight in their inventiveness with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of delectable dishes and drinks at Parisi's Ristorante Italiano on South Bend Avenue.
Crafting Italian favorites from Calabrian family recipes for 30 years, Parisi's Ristorante Italiano gives grand appetites room to roam in an expansive dining space with an extensive menu of homemade pasta, sauces, and entrees, many of which are made with locally sourced produce and proteins. Fire up hunger with toasted raviolis—spicy pepper-cheese-filled pasta pockets breaded, fried, and served with tomato con basil sauce ($6), or flatten cravings with Parisi's suprema pizza, a disc-shaped reminder of when the world was flat and populated by imported mozzarella and provolone cheeses, pepperoni, italian sausage, wild mushrooms, green peppers, white onions and black olives ($19 for a medium; $22 for a large). Table captains can hook the pesce di Parisi—a signature dish that captures tilapia, jumbo shrimp and sea scallops in a sautéed net of flavors ($24), and chicken alla romana plants poultry in a garden of fresh spinach, baby artichokes and teenaged wild mushrooms ($22). The pick-your-own-pasta selection is ideal for stalling indecisive enemies, as it boasts eight pasta choices, three traditional sauces, five specialty sauces, and four meats. More than 60 varieties of wine keep moveable feasts afloat, and staff members can easily pair dishes and drinks in accordance with sensitive entrée dating rituals. Look for Parisi's special 30th-anniversary menu, debuting March 20.
Two dining rooms, two banquet rooms, a full bar, and an outdoor patio give gourmands plenty of scenery to act out their Petrarchan antipasto affairs in front of an Irish backdrop of campus views. Long tables in the dining rooms seat even the biggest bocce teams, and red, black and white tiles on bar tops make for garbled games of checkers. French doors expand one of the banquet rooms onto the outdoor patio during warmer months, and on Friday and Saturday night, diners are serenaded from a polite distance with live music from local musician Chris Griveas.
Parisi's Ristorante Italiano
In 1981, Gelormo and Elvira Parisi saw their dreams become a reality with the opening of Parisi's Ristorante Italiano, an intimate, traditional eatery celebrating their Calabrian legacy. Today, their son, Roberto Parisi, continues his parents' commitment to quality by serving a menu filled with recipes originating with Roberto's grandmother and a handful of magic beans. Chef Ken Bealor adds a slight Irish lilt to the preparation of the dishes, which include homemade pastas and sauces made from scratch. The chef also has the pleasure of working with the freshest herbs and vegetables as the restaurant grows many of their own, and often cooks with meat and seafood bought locally. For a complete Italian dining experience, Roberto has gathered a fine selection of wines from across the globe that, despite their varying allegiances to country, get along quiet well with each other.
In "The Court," diners imbibe views of the University of Notre Dame, or they can opt to enjoy a romantic meal in the dining room where pianist Christoforos Kostantinos Griveas twinkles the ivories to a medley of musical styles. During clement skies, the restaurant keeps the French doors to their patio open, which plays host to a Mediterranean garden, numerous TVs, and a full bar.
1412 S Bend Ave.
South Bend, Indiana 46617Get Directions