photo credit: Will Hartman

Parla image



Upper West Side

$$$$Perfect For:KidsCasual Weeknight Dinner
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The arc of the The Smith restaurants seems to be mimicking the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: In the beginning, they were pretty good and filled a specific need, with a little something for everyone. But with the group’s first pizza spot, Parla on the Upper West Side, they’ve entered what we’re calling Phase 5 of the Smith Restaurant Universe. And, like with the MCU, we just can’t bring ourselves to care about their brand of broad appeal anymore.

Parla is pleasant enough, if formulaic, with unstained wood finishes and a set of big windows. The $17 Little Gem salad is big and unobjectionable, and, maybe if they cranked the oven up a couple of degrees, the bland pizza wouldn’t bring back memories of elementary school lunch ladies. They’ve also got cocktails, pastas and smaller bites like burrata with pesto—so if you need an easy UWS dinner option with kids and default to Parla, we’d understand. If not, go on and find somewhere that makes you feel…something.

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