The Tipsy Parson
The Tipsy Parson is definitely a restaurant to root for. For more than five years, Tasha Garcia Gibson and Julie Taras Wallach’s first restaurant, the beloved Little Giant, has been offering an excellent alternative to the general raucousness of the Lower East Side dining scene, serving simple yet sophisticated food in a lovely little room on Orchard Street. Then a week or so ago Gibson and Wallach opened The Tipsy Parson in Chelsea–named after an oozing-booze dessert that, yes, is on the menu–hoping to recreate their ingredient-driven magic, this time with lower prices, a gas-line (think: broiling, grilling, frying), and a slight Southern accent. And so far, after two visits and five different dishes, we can we safely say that we’ve been rooting for a winner. Get on the bandwagon… it’s going to be delicious ride.
The Tipsy Parson is larger than Little Giant, with a convivial front room (homey bar and lounge, dining tables along the wall), and a somewhat quieter but still fun and casual back dining area, complete with communal table. We ate dinner in both spaces, thought both comfortable, pretty, and pleasant. Of course, it’s easy to enjoy your surroundings when you’re being served food this good. Over the course of two meals, the kitchen was a spectacular five-for-five, and we can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu.
The selections are being rolled out a little at a time, it seems, and the specials were completely different on both nights, a good sign for a place that values fresh flavors. On our first visit we started with a hearty Warm Kale Salad, the bright, bitter greenery perfectly complemented by the cornbread croutons, chewy sour cherries, button mushrooms, and a bracing shot of acid from a sherry vinaigrette. Turkey Tails glazed with hot pepper jelly were offered as a starter/bar snack on our second visit, and we jumped all over them. Think crispy chicken wings, but tastier: darker meat, more fat, more bird flavor.
For entrees we loved the rich and tender Duck Breast, cooked perfectly (and appropriately) rare, served over a pile of sauteed mustardy greens, and superbly paired with roasted concord grapes. A dinner of Day Boat Scallops were also pretty much perfection, the mollusks fat, juicy and infused with the sea, the earthy wild roasted mushrooms and sweet pureed squash hitting the exact right accompanying notes. Finally, the side order of beautifully charred Brussels Sprouts, sticky with sourhgum, well… it’s going to be really difficult to NOT order that little number again. And when the check comes, so too comes squares of soft, salted caramel, just in case you weren’t totally in love with this place already.
The Tipsy Parson details
The Tipsy Parson is located in Chelsea, on Ninth Avenue between 19th and 20tth Streets. For now they’re seating for dinner from 5:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, but Gibson and Wallach plan on serving breakfast starting on November 10, and brunch beginning November 14. For more information and menus, please see the restaurant’s website, here.