Haute Eating: 10 Questions for The Parlour Midtown’s Chef David Amorelli

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An upscale Irish pub may seem like a misnomer, but not when it’s sleek and modern, and serves food elevated from traditional pub fare. The Parlour Midtown, a new outpost of its Upper West Side location, is a refreshing and welcome stop in point whether you’re heading out of town at nearby Penn Station, going to an event at Madison Square Garden or simply looking for an upscale pub experience.

Executive chef David Amorelli, who worked at his own restaurant, Cité, as well as under Laurent Tourondel and David Burke, is now at the helm of this self-proclaimed Irish-style gastro-steakhouse. Although you’ll find some classics like Dublin toast, fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, there’s also lamb and tzatziki sliders, salmon with braised cabbage and whiskey butter sauce, and a variety of grilled meat, including porterhouse steak and lamb chops. You may want to order a cold Guinness or Harp, but this pub isn’t all about standard Irish beer; the mid-priced wine list features several gems.

Haute Living: What’s new at The Parlour Midtown?
David Amorelli:
The Parlour Midtown is the first Irish Gastro Steakhouse in the country. It’s the kind of place where everyone is welcome and feels comfortable, and where there is something for just about everybody. We want each person who graces our restaurant to simply have fun, while enjoying great food & drink.

HL: What are some of your favorite dishes at your restaurant?
I love all the food here. Some of our most popular dishes are the Maryland crab & spinach melt, McCann’s chicken sticks with country honey mustard, Irish Oak Smoked Salmon with brown bread, Dublin Toast, and it is safe to say we have the best cockle & sweet corn chowder in the city.

HL: Where do you like to dine when you’re not working?
I have really gotten tired of restaurants trying to reinvent the wheel. I want simple straightforward food. A solid roasted chicken, a plate of pasta, a great steak or burger. Spedaro’s in New Rochelle is a family owned Italian place with no menus…it’s like eating at my Nonna’s. Of course, Wollensky’s Grill is my favorite place for steak, and they have the best lamb chops in the world!

HL: What’s your ideal meal?
My ideal meal starts with the people I’m eating with. Nothing makes a dinner more satisfying than being surrounded by good friends and family. The food would consist of only seasonal products, simply prepared. I always buy the best possible ingredients and do the least with them, with the motto.

HL: Your favorite special occasion spot?
My wife and I had our first date at Alison on Dominick Street. A year later, I proposed at the same table. Unfortunately, the restaurant closed about 10 years go, but it is where I had two of the best days of my life.

HL: What’s our favorite NYC neighborhood?
: That’s easy – “The Village.” I was born and raised on the Lower East Side. I love the diversity of people, the restaurants, and the energy. I used to be pretty good at balling and would hit the cage on West 4th to make some cash playing hoops.

HL: What do you like to do on your days off?
Spending time with my two children Jake & Jordan. During the summer you can find me on the beach in Amagansett. I love everything about the ocean: swimming, fishing, body surfing and the salt water is great for what ails you.

HL: Your favorite vacation destination?
I love Aruba: short flight, beautiful place, great food, awesome golf course, and the weather ain’t bad either.

HL: What’s your most memorable meal?
My wife and I had an anniversary meal at Jean Georges. We had the tasting menu paired with wines. The food was outstanding, and the attention to detail and timing was amazing. One thing I will always remember was that when we arrived at the restaurant it was still light out. To see how they handled the transition from light to dark in the dining room was amazing. They didn’t skip a beat.

HL: What are your five favorite ingredients?
Extra virgin olive oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes and fresh herbs.

The Parlour Midtown is located at 247 West 30th Street; 212-967-1070.

To reach Tracey Ceurvels, visit her blog, The Busy Hedonist, or email her.

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