February 15, 2016
In below zero temperatures, this week Ally and Rachael ventured to the North End’s Parla Restaurant. Greeted by an Irish waitress we sat among the 200-year old reclaimed Kentucky barn wood walls, speakeasy art work, and a pressed-tin ceiling. The heaters were warm, the lights were low, and the drink menu enticed us.
Best of all, this speakeasy is a gem generally missed by tourists distracted by the Freedom Trail and Mike’s Pastry.
Parla’s cordial license is what makes the place truly unique. The Massachusetts’ license covers distilled spirits that are mixed or re-distilled with fruits, plants (or its juices), or extracts, among others. The additions contribute at least 2.5% sugar by weight.
The speakeasy setting and cordial license that differentiate the restaurant from the Italian-American neighborhood are why our waitress was attracted to Parla. Although the drink menu pays homage to the Old Fashioned and margarita (the Diavolo), the bartenders’ creative spin on the classics allow for new and different flavors to shine through. Drinking at Parla truly is an experience.
The menu offers a variety of whiskey, vodka, gin, and agave-based cocktails in addition to beer and wine. Here’s what we ordered:
- Cuore Italiano (our waitress’ favorite): Skyy Strawberry, Pama Pomegranate liqueur, Combeir Rose, and fresh lemon. $12
- Old Fashioned: Slow & Low, Peychaud’s Angostura bitters, Bourbon simple, orange peel, and a luxardo cherry. $12
- The Last Word: Bar Hill gin, Luxardo, Chartrense, and lime. $13
- Spro Martini: XO Patrón, Frangelico, Kahlua, Baileys, and espresso. $12
So if you find yourself in the North End, step into Parla for a quick drink and cool experience.
Name: Parla Restaurant
Address: 230 Hanover St., Boston, MA, 02113
Instagram: Parla Boston
Facebook: Parla North End