The success story of Victor, Tigrane and their somewhere north of 240 Italian collaborators have literally taken Paris by storm. Two French guys who have a major thing for Italy and Italian cuisine, opened their first restaurant in the South of France in 2015. They have not seen a wane in their popularity since. In fact it just keeps getting bigger and better. The Big Mamma Group experience….
One of their several Parisian addresses is right in my darling Batignolles quarter. Lucky me! A friend and I went out the other day to give it a try. And now I must test them all! I’m hooked. Find here a list of their Paris “trattoria” restaurants.
Now before I dive into my description of the ambiance and the food, I want to take a moment to reflect on the incredible success of the Big Mamma Group establishments. What is their secret?
I believe it’s a harmonious combination of several elements :
- First and foremost, simply really good Italian food.
- Second, realisistic prices… We can all offer ourselves a treat at a reasonable tariff.
- Thirdly, 100% everything comes from Italy, even the staff! Even their coffee bean roaster is from Italia!
- Another important element is the allure of each venue, the decor is everything you could imagine in an authentic Italian trattoria, colorful, fresh and comfortable. Makes your mouth water.
- And lastly, they accept no reservations. The Parisians willingly, no, happily, stand in line for an hour or more, to get a coveted table at one of these eye-popping eateries. It creates a buzz, a desire, a sense of accomplishment once you’ve earned that table with a 45 minute wait in line, and a wonderful raucous that turns each trattoria into somewhat of a spectacle!
So Mamma Primi is their restaurant with a focus on fresh made pasta. They make all their own pasta with a team of exceptional pasta chefs, again, brought up from Italy. They have an extensive wine list to pair with your food and can help you with the choice.
Mine (my pasta, not raviolis) was smothered with pesto and a slightly smoked burrata mozzarella that was just divine. My friend had an amazing lamb ravioli dish that I was almost jealous of.
Portions were plenty, but we made room for dessert and lemoncello to digest it all at the end.
The clientèle was hipster, Batignolles, 20, 30 and 40-somethings basking in the lusciously spacious dining room and enjoying the charming accents of the staff. The details just left me feeling like I had stepped out of someone’s Italian kitchen : plants everywhere, mostly above us, vintage or distressed mirrors for an added appearance of volume (as if it were necessary) dish towels for napkins, soft white lighting, Italian crockery, and the winning smiles of the hostess at the door. It’s hard not to feel at home here.
I will be going back soon to sink my teeth into more of those raviolis !
Mamma Primi, 71 rue des Dames 75017
Open every day for lunch and dinner (with a break in between).