Review – Tipsy Parson in Chelsea

One of the things I was looking forward to most in our recent trip to New York City was trying out the Village Vines service and discount at Tipsy Parson in Chelsea.  I am a sucker for well executed Southern cuisine, so I was dying to try this place with some friends.   As I got closer to our reservation time, the drama built as my flight was delayed in Atlanta and I was seriously worried about being able to make it anywhere  close to our reservation time.  Alas – the foodie gods smiled on me as I was able to get from La Guardia, to midtown to drop off my bags then on to Chelsea with one minute to spare before my 9:00 reservation was missed.  On arrival, I joined Joe Sousa and Melissa Salas in the bar for a cocktail (The Jezebel) until my other dining partners Josh Shanas and Stephanie Lichtenstein made their arrivals.

We were seated in the lively back room of Tipsy Parson at a communal long table with two other parties, and launched the evening with a first course of hushpuppies and fried pickles for the group to share and sample.   The hushpuppies were a little overdone, but still moist in the middle and really nicely flavored with herbs and spices that nicely complemented the sweetness of the corn..   The fried pickles where well executed –  perfectly cooked with a spicy dipping sauce that really made the dish – the heat was there, but it wasn’t overpowering.

A few of us decided to try a second appetizer  course  –  Joe and I decided to go for the Shrimp and Grits.   This is one of my favorite dishes ever and the Tipsy Parson didn’t disappoint.    The consistency of the grits was perfect, super creamy (I am pretty sure this recipe wasn’t cardiologist approved)  with nice spice on the shrimp and in the grits themselves.   The fried green tomatoes were nicely executed – their tartness providing a nice foil for the sweetness of the shrimp and grits.   This dish was Southern comfort food at it’s best.

For the main dish,  I let our server choose between the Roasted Poussin (yogurt & smoked pepper marinated organic, free-range baby chicken, creamed corn succotash, tasso ham) and the Fudge Family Farms Pork Chop ( a 16oz. grilled pork chop, tuscan kale salad, cherry mustard, almond brown butter)  – he steered me towards the Pork Chop and I don’t think there was a bad choice available.  Josh went with the Poussin, while Joe chose the Broiled Catfish.  Stephanie went off the beaten path with a side of mac and cheese and a 4 inch tall buttermilk chive biscuit.   The lovely Melissa decided to make the health and figure conscious decision… to an extent as she ordered a salad and the buttermilk chive biscuit as well – she took some ribbing from the rest of us for being “that salad eating girl.”

The Fudge Family Farms Pork Chop was a revelation.  It was huge, perfectly cooked and seasoned with a sauce (cherry mustard, almond brown butter)  that was one of the best I’ve ever enjoyed.   For the first (and not the last time of the week, I was not able to finish my entree as the chop was just too much after all the appies we’d enjoyed.   I got the chance to try Josh’s Poussin as well and he had a winner.  It was quite simply the most explosively moist and flavorful chicken I have ever eaten.  I’m guessing it was brined pre-marinade as the flavor was present all the way through the meat.   I would have been extremely satisfied with either choice.

We had some other ideas for dessert and were all pretty full so we decided to skip on dessert at the Tipsy Parson – but will have to check it out next time we’re back.

Quick summary –  The Tipsy Parson in Chelsea offers extremely soulful food featuring generous portions of food with big flavor.  The atmosphere was lively and loud – not a quiet, romantic spot for sure.  It was a restaurant that clearly celebrated a funky Southern comfort food ideal and we all left full and happy.   I highly recommend Tipsy Parson – oh, and the fact that we saved 30% on our bill with an assist from Village Vines was pretty awesome as well.  We walked out of Tipsy Parson having ordered all over the menu and feeding a party of 5 for under $250.00 – not bad for great food in NYC.