As we strolled into Tipsy Parson, with kid in tow, we got a good dose of true southern comfort. People hanging on benches outside making it feel of a country store in the heart of the city. Inside the hospitality continues with two seating areas where folks can wait for a table while sipping on a cocktail while nibbling on some delicious appetizers.
There are cocktails with names like "The Front Porch" made with raspberry-infused vodka, sun tea and raspberry liqueur, or a "Red Hook Rambler" with tequila, mango and lime. We tried the "Midnight Belle" ($12) made with white rum, muddled blackberries, lime and violet liqueur. It was light, refreshing and gone in a flash.
Appetizers are equally as satisfying. Fried oysters ($5) are nice and crispy on the outside; plump and juicy on the inside. You'll also mouth-watering Shrimp and Grits ($16) topped with deep-fried green tomato, and Salt and Pepper Ribs ($14). The Fudge Farms ribs are slow roasted in the oven until the meat falls of the bone and topped with pickled jalapenos. You can also fill up on hush puppies, cheese straws and fried pickles.
We sat in the front room which is loud and fun with its bustling bar and lines of tables. Old church pews provide the seating. A grand over-sized mirror that looks like it came right out of Gone with the Wind provides the main attraction, along with the diverse clientele.
First to arrive are biscuits fresh from the oven. There are two to a plate and way too good to pass up. They are light, fluffy, steamy pieces of heaven. You'll want to bring a couple home or maybe a dozen. Summertime also brings salads with offerings fresh from the market, including a watermelon salad ($15) that was a hit at the table next to us. The sweet of the melon is combined with a mix of cucumbers, arugula and radishes with goat cheese, pickled onions and spiced pumpkin seeds.
Meat lovers might want to make a dash for the 16-oz Fudge Family farms pork chop ($30) served up with stone ground grits, or the 10-oz Hanger Steak ($26) with sliced pecans and roasted beets. I went for the catfish ($22). Spice-rubbed and broiled to perfection atop of a bed of potatoes and lemon-braised leaks. A horseradish-mustard sauce complimented the fish perfectly. Hudson Valley duck breast ($24) is served rare and tender. But the best part of the dish may just be the piece of spoonbread accompanying it. And be sure to order a side of mac & cheese ($6) which may just be the best in the city, cooked to order with a crispy layer of Grafton cheddar on top. Even mom couldn't make it this good.
Desserts include a mixed berry crisp for two ($18) served a la mode, or you might want to try the Tipsy Parson ($8), a brandy soaked almond cake. My son devoured the handful of mini coconut macaroons served gratis.
Owners Julie Taras Wallach and Tasha Garcia Gibson (who also run Little Giant) modeled this restaurant on the foods they grew up on. I only wish that I could've grown up with them. The menu changes every two weeks with "Blue Plate Specials" offered nightly. If they keep cranking out dishes like these, you can ount on us as regulars.
Review By: Thomas Rafael