Parson’s Chicken and Fish was opened last May by the Land and Sea Dept. (LSD), the development group that also owns the Michelin-starred Longman & Eagle. They hired Chef Hunter Moore (Girl & the Goat) to elevate fried chicken and fish offerings at the indoor/outdoor spot which seats hundreds at communal tables. With our great experience at L&E and as big fans of fried stuff in general, we knew we had to make a pilgrimage to Parsons Chicken & Fish for a meal.
We had read that it can get crowded in the evenings, so we decided to come for a mid-day meal when it was totally mellow. With such great weather, we chose to sit outside on their inviting patio, under a large red and white striped umbrella offering welcome shade:
Their laminated two-sided menu offers food on one side and a large selection of cocktails, beers and spirits on the other side, curated by principle bartender Charles Schott. We absolutely had to try the Frozen Negroni Slushy (Letherbee Gin, Luxardo Bitter, Sweet Vermouth, Citrus), poured straight out of an ICEE type slushy machine; and a refreshing Pompelmo Americano (Letherbee Gin, Cocchi Americano, grapefruit juice, Fee Bros. Grapefruit Bitters, salt). Both of these drinks were perfect for a hot late summer day:
The food menu is divided into Raw (oysters and fish), Fresh (soups, salads and grilled chicken) and Fried (chicken, hush puppies, cod fritters). All of the items contained gourmet touches that you wouldn’t expect to see at a fried chicken shack, such as adding asparagus to the chilled spring onion soup or grilled octopus on their chickpea salad. We opted to go with the Little Gem Salad which included smoked trout pickled onions, boiled eggs, and pumpernickel croutons, all bathed in a slightly sweet poppyseed dressing:
We wanted to try both the fish and chicken since that is their namesake, so we began our fried feast with fish. Available in orders of 3, 6, 9 or by-the-bucket, we opted for the 3 pieces made with cod (the fish options change so check their specials board for availability). The seemingly grease-free battered fish was tasty, flaky and fresh. Inexplicably, despite all their fried offerings, they serve no French fries. If they did, this could be one of the better versions of Fish and Chips around:
It was time to try the chicken available in orders of 2 pieces, 1/2 or whole chicken and by-the-bucket. We asked our server if we could order two pieces containing only thighs (our favorite part of the chicken), and he had no issues with fulfilling our every wish. Not willing to share an order of two pieces, we doubled up on the orders and received four golden brown fried thighs. The chicken was crispy, moist and very tasty. It met every one of our fried chicken desires, especially when sprinkled with some of the house-made hot sauce available on the table:
Another round of a Negroni Slushy fit the bill, and it paired with the chicken and fish since we like to think that the bitters helps to cut down the fat. We also tried the Margarita Humosa (El Buho Mescal, Torres Orange Brandy, orange and lime juices, Demerara syrup). Smokey and sweet, the sour patch rim (made with a combination of sugar and malic acid) matched the flavors of the drink which was just right for a hot summer day:
On our way out, we spied the slushy machines that were supplying the frozen cocktails. We didn’t know that they were also offering a slushy Dark and Stormy, but the bartenders told us the Negroni was the better choice:
If it hadn’t been lunchtime in the middle of a hot day, we probably would have made our way through their spirits list with some whiskeys. Had we been tempted, we would have been down for the count for the rest of the day — we had more eating and drinking to do elsewhere on our short vacation to Chicago! It’s lucky we don’t live here, or it would be easy for us to become obese with a weekly bucket of this fried chicken (two pieces really weren’t enough, but we had to restrain ourselves).
Even with the casual atmosphere, the food and drink offered at Parson’s Chicken and Fish is elevated but still very affordable. The LSD guys most certainly have another winner on their hands.