I've been on the prowl for the ultimate chickem parm for years. If I go to an Italian restaurant, I almost always get the parm so I can compare to what I've had in the past. I have certain criteria as far as what I like: pounded thin, breaded, pan sauteed or fried (prefer sauteed), then covered in mozzarella and sauce and baked until brown and bubbly.
Yes, picky I know, but I've had many like this and love them. I've tried parm in NYC and only so far have really liked the version made at Carmine's on Beekman Street down by the Seaport. Old school italian red sauce place has been around since 1905 and their sauce is sweet without being cloying. The chicken is crispy and juicy.
My favorites though are from the italian places in my hometown of Rome, NY. Teddy's Restaurant on Black River Blvd and The Plaza Restaurant on East Dominick Street both have great versions. Big portions of juicy, crispy pounded chicken breasts. I think the Plaza's version is more friedn than sauteed and Teddy's uses a really falvorfull marinara sauce, I love them both.
I'm trying to find a new place in NYC (Manhattan) if possible that'll have what I'm looking for. I've tried some pizza places, but most of them are usually chicken cutlets that have been sitting in a heating tray for a while or frozen and thrown in the deep fryer and end up tasting like cardboard. Any suggestions?