Last Sunday, I had a reunion brunch at Tipsy Parson with Ariana and Mimi (who was back in town from medical school!) over in Chelsea.
Opened in 2009, Tipsy Parson serves "belly-filling goodness" with a menu influences by the Southern flavors of South Carolina and comfort food in general. Its brunch reservation policy is pretty fair -- it offers reservations via OpenTable from 10 AM to 11:30 AM, and after 11:30, it has a first come, first served policy in place.
Upon entering, there were window benches on both sides of the entrance-way, making for a super cozy ambiance. However, what really caught my eye was the wall paper along the walls -- trompe l'oeil bookshelves with bold, multi-colored spines. Love it!
The front of the restaurant had a bar and some smaller tables which led into the back dining room which had a communal table at the center and banquette seating at the sides.
The walls were sprinkled with kitschy plates of all shapes, sizes, and designs.
Ariana and Mimi both enjoyed a Grafton cheddar burger with an eight-ounce house ground organic patty (i.e., a blend of beef and pork) topped with red onion, bibb lettuce, potato bun, a fried pickle, and shoestring fries. The burger was quite juicy, and the Grafton cheddar gave it a sharp and melty flavor to it. The highlight of this dish for Ariana and Mimi was the fried pickle.
I opted for the barbecue pulled pork spoonbread with Berkshire pork butt (on the right), corn spoonbread (on the left), and fried eggs (on top). Very much shouting Southern comfort here with this combination of cornmeal, barbecue, and pulled pork -- all of which was quite savory and melted away on my palate. While the pulled pork was very tender and bursting with flavor, the amount of barbecue sauce, at times, was just a tad overwhelming, but mixing it with the fried egg whites and the spoonbread made it less so.
Findings: I love Tipsy Parson and its low-brunch scene. The quaint, playfully yet tastefully kitschy décor adds a bit of whimsy to your dining experience. I haven't had a chance to explore the potential of Southern cuisine in New York City, but I will have to say that Tipsy Parson is cooking up some confidence in that realm. The prices are quite reasonable for brunch, and its reservation policy is fair all around (half reservations, half first come/first served) for ritual brunch goers and first timers. I know I'll be back very soon!
Price point: $15-16 for each entrée, $13 for each cocktail.
--December 30, 2012
156 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10011