You may have heard of Millennial Parisian favorite, Pink Mamma.
Celebrated by many a content creator, the distinctive Italian restaurant, situated in the 9th Arrondissement, is clad with hard-to-miss pink tiles and is very instagrammable. Many will line up for up to an hour to reserve their place for dinner, vying to enjoy the stunning interior and even better food.
However, equally popular, especially among locals, is Ober Mamma, a sister restaurant so named for its proximity to Metro stop Oberkampf. Featuring creative cocktails, Italian staples like pizza, pasta, and tiramisu, and a staff that is eager to serve, Ober Mamma is one of the best dining experiences in Paris.
Bonus Points: their inventive dessert service
Following my boyfriend’s arduous graduation ceremony (all in French, 4 hours long, no food, no water), the whole family was in a celebratory mood and hangry. With cap and gown still on hand, we ventured to Ober Mamma on a sunny Parisian afternoon. Even though we were just hopping on the metro at 5:30pm, we hoped to snag a dinner spot.
Surprisingly, the queue for reservations was relatively short when we arrived just shy of 6pm. We certainly would snag a spot for the first dinner service. (For first timers, you can wait in line, which tends to form around 5pm, and opt to eat at the first service or the second once you reach the maître d’ stand – its their way of “reservations”. Not everyone in your party has to wait with you, but one brave soul must be in the line at 6pm when they open to put the party’s name and number down. If you don’t you won’t be eating at Ober Mamma that evening 😢)
After putting our names down on the list, we took a seat in their bar area. They typically serve appetizers and drinks the hour before service, a nice treat for those that have possibly waited in a long line.
Overwhelmed by the massive cocktail list, I chose a simple glass of rosé. Meanwhile we noshed on a yummy sampling of olives and charcuterie.
Junior was quite impressed by the Devialet speakers in the corner. I was just impressed by their eclectic playlist of Future and 2 Lil Uzi Vert.
Once the drink hour was complete, we were invited to our table in the back of the restaurant. Passing massive cheese rolls and an open kitchen, we sat, tucked away under the distinctive Ober Mamma tree. Comfortable, we started to contemplate what was to eat next.
When the amiable waitress came around, we placed our orders. Our selections: La Cesar Salad for the table, a couple La Parmigiana Di Ciros (eggplant parmesan), two Fameuse Pâte à la Truffes (the famous truffle pasta), and Norma’s Land for me (a simple, red sauce pasta). And, of course, a bottle of red Italian wine.
Our Caesar salad arrived a little too quickly for comfort, and sure enough, the chicken was raw. The lettuce and dressing itself was delicious, but it was quite disappointing to be served raw meat. (I will say that this is an anomaly at Ober Mamma. In the 10 times my boyfriend and I have been there on separate occasions, we have never had a problem with anything – service, food, or otherwise.) The server whisked it away and removed it from our bill.
After sipping a decent amount of wine, I took a visit to the restroom, which is a design surprise itself. In the basement behind a sausage case, the dual-sex bathroom features see through toilet doors and tin barrel wash bins. Albeit, the stall doors are mirrors to the exterior and see through from the interior. But, it is still quite funny to see your fellow diners casually washing their hands while you’re bottom half is naked.
After scrubbing my hands in the wash bins, I returned to the table. I refilled my glass with more wine: San Marzano I Tratturi Rosso Salento. A blend of Sangiovese, Malvasia, and Aglianico. It was an amazing value for the taste.
Then the moment came: the food arrived. Ravenous from having missed lunch (🙄 thanks grad ceremony, lol.), I was over eager for the main course.
All the meals were served on charming wooden boards and aged individual pans. On the side, eclectic sharing plates were scattered across the table. The eggplant parmesan and other dishes were overflowing with cheese, but Junior insisted on freshly grated parmesan for everyone. Wielding a massive brick of cheese, the server shaved away over everyone’s pasta.
My simple red sauce pasta was cooked perfectly al dente. The sauce was well flavored, not too heavy for the spring season. Meanwhile, Junior raved about his truffle pasta, which I tried despite my aversion to such rich flavors. Subtle, not too heavy!
Stuffed, yet not ready to miss the best part, we ordered a few tiramisus for the table and a coffee for myself. Served from a massive tray, where you may control the exact portion of dessert, Ober Mamma knows how to let its diners indulge. With a fat serving of tiramisu into my dish, I wondered how I would ever finish it, even with Junior’s help.
The tiramisu and coffee went together perfectly, as expected, and it was the perfect end to the festive day. Next time, however, I really need to try their infamous Nutella pizza, which they serve table-side with a vat of the sweet hazelnut paste.
Bellies full, we took a long walk home through the Parisian evening, in hopes of burning through the meal before bed.