This seafood joint comes courtesy of the team behind The Ten Cases wine bar. Parsons is a jolly little spot, with green-and-white fishmonger-style tiles, tiny tables along one wall and a couple of eating counters poking out of the other – the sort of place that’s cosy in winter and breezy in summer, thanks to big windows that open on to Endell Street. It’s an appealingly individual set-up that, combined with friendly staff, decent prices and a brilliant location for pre- and post-theatre, have made it impossible to reserve a table for a couple of months ahead; try your luck with a walk-in instead.
But some hit-and-miss cooking took the edge off the good times for us. We loved Belgian-style potted shrimp croquettes filled with a creamy shellfish goo, salt-cod fritters encased in crisp, light batter, and a whopper of an octopus tentacle cooked to melting sweetness and accompanied by fabulously flavoured pork-fat potatoes. But chargrilled treviso with pomegranate and Pecorino was overwhelmingly bitter, sea trout tartare was ill-served by an assertive bloody Mary jelly, and brown crab pissaladière tasted acrid, as if the onions had caught in the pan – although like all of the dishes, it looked absolutely lovely. Larger plates of fish are available whole (plaice, sea bass) and by the fillet (turbot, gurnard), while around a dozen wines from the off-piste list are available by the glass and carafe.