1) Khanh Tran is the pastry chef. The award-winning chef with the delicate hand and visually stunning desserts has left The Bachelor Farmer for this position. Her stunning panna cotta is destined to be the dessert of the summer.
2) You can order an entire pig. Every evening, the kitchen roasts a suckling pig, simply seasoned and served with lentils and dandelion greens to cut the fat. It's available to order by the plate, until it's gone. However, if one bite isn't enough, call at least a day ahead and request your own. Bring a crew of friends and have that succulent meat all to yourselves.
3) Chef Todd Macdonald swore he was done with Italian. When he made the decision to leave New York, after successful runs with well-known Italian eateries, he thought it was time to try something new. However, after more than a year of searching for the right opportunity, he knew with Parella, he was ready to return to his culinary love. Just ask him to talk about the regions of Italy that inspired each dish: the passion is evident.
4) Enter on the inside. Calhoun Square is undergoing renovations and a shop is going in where the front Hennepin/ Lake Street exit once was. Get into the restaurant from inside the mall (across from People's Organic.)
5) Principal partner Michael Larson has been in this space before, back in the Figlio days. The respected chef worked his way up through the Parasole ranks and has an abiding appreciation for this room (and the wood-fired oven.) To love the space, is to understand how important the windows that open to the street are. The best people watching seats in the city have returned.
Parella opens for lunch and dinner service today. (Brunch service will be added at a later date.)