1/2 I’ve been indecisive and forgetful lately, which isn’t the optimal state of mind for choosing and assessing restaurants. I couldn’t come to a conclusion while mulling over which new spot to try mid-week so I had to stoop to superficial criteria. One of the Tipsy Parson’s owners happens to share my last name and in a recent photo appeared to be transitioning from brunette to gray. It’s absolutely impossible to find an attractive (or homely—I’ll take what I can get) New York woman in her 30s who doesn’t dye silver strands or entire locks into submission. That settled it. I was going to Tipsy Parson.
Also superficially, I loved the trompe l’oeil bookshelf wallpaper. I had my eye on a similar motif a few years ago but I’m not sure how to handle wallpaper in a rental.
And to the forgetful: I lugged my damn SLR around all day in anticipation of going out after work only to realize after sitting down (I made 8pm reservations and we were seated fairly promptly in the tightly packed bar area, not a problem, as the back dining room where we had a choice of waiting for wasn’t particularly more luxurious in terms of space) that I’d left the memory card in my laptop at home. Urgh, an obnoxious food blogger’s worst nightmare.
It did allow a showdown between the photographic capabilities of the iPhone vs. the MyTouch. While a million miles from food porn-creating, the iPhone crushed my android powered device. Do keep in mind that these are sad little camera phone photos presented here.
Fried cheese curds beat mozzarella sticks any day. This little $5 pile was served with a chimichurri sauce. A spicy or creamy sauce would come to my mind first, but parsley and olive oil worked too. The thing is, I can barely remember the cheese. Char No. 4s version has more presence.
At the last minute we switched our minds from lamb ribs to chicken livers (I would’ve ordered both but as you’ll see below, I knew I was already in for a meat overload with the pork shank). The opposite of neutral cheese curds, these breaded organs stood out: creamy, a little funky, not for everyone. The tart green tomato marmalade cut through the richness and made a perfect grilled toast topping.
I will always order the pork shank when offered, no question, which isn’t that often outside of German restaurants. And how often does one eat at German restaurants? Ok, maybe I do more than the average New Yorker considering that even when on vacation in Hong Kong last November I tried an eatery called King Ludwig Beerhall where I ordered a pork shank that could’ve fed an entire family of four.
Where many of the dishes lean towards snacky and sharable at Tipsy Parson, the hunk of pork that our server quoted it as being around a pound and half—do keep the bone heft in mind—is certainly an attention-grabber. There was plenty of tender dark meat and a few welcome gelatinous bits coating the ends of the bone. I almost forgot about the apple puree beneath the club-sized but of meat that I think was spiked with bourbon. The only thing that would’ve made this better would be the inclusion of crackly skin. Shank is as much about the skin as the flesh.
A grilled trout stuffed with thyme was also eaten. Though not by me.
Tipsy Parson is a cute restaurant that I can’t compare to Little Giant because I’ve never eaten there. It does feel a little Brooklyn, or maybe it’s that the casual, seasonal style just isn’t typically Chelsea.
Tipsy Parson * 156 Ninth Ave., New York, NY