Dining Out: Parsons Table

A Winchester standby goes downscale — and proves that comfort food can be destination fare.

Stumbles: There are some. Chicken ballottine with brown-butter risotto and peas ($21) was salty, fatty, and dry. In a dish of homemade, handcut pappardelle ($16), everything was good — crumbled, spicy (but not too spicy) lamb sausage and roasted red peppers with rapini — except the tough, almost-cold pasta.
But Parsons Table is a place to really like — a tail-wagging fuzzy dog of a restaurant, with friendly details that extend even into dessert. Somerville’s stellar stone-ground Taza chocolate is melted with Vermont cream and a bit of milk chocolate and served in an irresistible little copper fondue pot with cubes of pound cake and local berries to dip in ($9); it also appears in a chocolate sauce poured over first-rate, freshly made profiteroles filled with homemade vanilla ice cream ($8). 
I want one in my own neighborhood! I’m sure Chris Parsons has much grander plans for Catch. But I’m not sure he can make a place more enjoyable than this.
Parson’s Table, 34 Church St., Winchester, 781-729-1040, parsons-table.com.