Trattoria Antichi Sapori
Set in the countryside just outside the city, Sapori is more ambitious, refined, and serious (but not too serious) than most trattorias in the Parma area, offering modern dishes so as not to seem old-fashioned (Parmesan gelato melting over a luscious hunk of molten eggplant in a pastry nest), and classic dishes so as not to seem out of touch with the past (taglioni, a cousin of tagliatelle, with octopus, shrimp, and cuttlefish). Oven-browned potato gnocchi with onion marmalade falls somewhere in the middle. And who knew that a form of sbrisolona—an almond-and-polenta dessert I have been making and loving for 30 years—is from Emilia- Romagna? Sbrisolona is more cookie than cake and on the menu of practically every restaurant in Parma. Some find it chokingly dry, but that’s their problem. The name translates as “she who crumbles,” a reference to the charmingly ragged pieces you get when you break into it (slicing is useless). Eat with vin santo.