Brunches at Co. and Tipsy Parson
I don’t remember exactly when brunch became a staple in my weekend routine. Perhaps I was indoctrinated into this cultish New York ritual that one hot summer I spent in the city seven years ago. Regardless, slowly but surely, grabbing brunch with friends has become a part of every day life. I will share a secret with you. Brunch menus don’t differ all that much place to place. What makes a brunch place a favorite is really more a function of proximity to your apartment (or convenience for all parties involved) and whether or not there is a wait. After all, even I have a time limit on how long I am willing to wait in line on a weekend before coffee.
And now, onto two of my favorite picks for brunch in the city. Of course, given the proximity requirement, both are located in Chelsea. The first is Tipsy Parson, a Southern comfort spot tucked away on 9th Avenue between a pharmacy and a boutique. The food here is straight forward Southern fare with a modern touch. Something I find hard to resist. As part of tradition, brunch here starts always with a sticky bun. It will arrive still warm and is best devoured within seconds which shouldn’t be too hard.
The mac n’ cheese here is also a must have. Even though for some this isn’t a traditional brunch dish but one bite and you will change your mind. Creamy with a bit of crunch from bread crumbs scattered over the top, the noodles are coated with the right amount of savory cheese sauce that will make you want to scrape the bowl clean.
For entrees, one of my favorites here is the mushroom toast. Pillowy potato bread is grilled and smeared with a light herb ricotta and topped with tender fluffy scrambled eggs and earthy sauteed mushrooms. Sometimes simple can be so delicious.
For a lighter brunch option, the farmer’s plate is a great option. Seasonal greens are grilled and tossed with mesclun and topped with two poached eggs. I of course couldn’t resist adding in a few bites of spicy chorizo and an additional side of avocado. Nothing has ever been made worse by extra avocado.
My second favorite neighborhood brunch spot is located just a little further up the street. Co. is better known for its pizzas but for me, brunch is a great time to stop by a sometimes busy Chelsea spot. In addition to the full pizza menu, Co. offers a few delicious brunch additions that are very well executed.
One of my favorites there is the meatballs. Nothing fancy, just well made tender veal meatballs in a light fresh crushed tomato sauce. A drizzle of good olive oil and sprinkle of cheese completes the dish. A great non-egg dish to start brunch off with.
Like any good New York restaurant who is on point with culinary trend, Co. offers their version of avocado toast. Even though it might be ubiquitous, the egg and avocado toast here is actually worth trying out. The same amazing bread that Jim Lahey churns out next door is topped with creamy avocado, a barely cooked poached egg and shards of parmesan cheese. A few basil leaves are torn and thrown in along with red pepper flakes for a little kick.
Of course, you can’t come to Co. without the pizza. One of my favorites on the menu is the flambe. A thin crust pie is topped with bechamel sauce and a mixture of parmesan for bite and mozzarella for that stretchy melt factor. The sweetness from the caramelized onion is balanced by the salty bite of the crispy lardon. There really is no bad time for pizza. Not even brunch when eggs typically rule supreme.
Tipsy Parson | 156 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011 | http://tipsyparson.com/
Co. | 230 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10001 | http://www.co-pane.com/