A Night on the Towne

So by now you’ve probably all heard of Towne Stove and Spirits, which recently opened up inside the Hynes Convention Center. If you haven’t heard of it I don’t know who you are or what you’ve been doing the past few weeks because EVERYONE is talking about it. Towne is the latest brain child from major nom nom tycoons Jasper White, Lydia Shire and The Lyons Group; a trifecta that can only result in Midas Touch overload (Think Scampo, Sonsie, Summer Shack, Clink….).

Shortly after it’s grand opening, my mom, sister and I decided to catch up and grab dinner at the two-floor mecca to see what all the hype was about. First things first, this place is HUGE. Housing four rooms total, including 2 bars, 2 lounges, 2+ dining rooms and a patio which is still underworks but when ready will seat up to 80 for lunch and dinner. The first floor is more casual, with two bar/lounge areas filled with high top tables, funky decor, and a lobster tasting menu (which can only be ordered at the bar). The Lobster menu itself has about 13 or so dishes all made with Lobster. Duh. Think Lobster Rolls, Lobster Croquettes, Lobster Tails, Lobster and Cheese Sandwiches and more.

Upstairs is where you’ll find two massive dining rooms with seating for up to 300, that’s where we ate, at a table overlooking Boylston Street. I was a little bummed when I found out the Lobster Menu could only be ordered on the first floor but the restaurant menu itself was pretty big so I wasn’t too discouraged. I must admit, at first glance the menu at Towne did look strikingly familiar to that of Cafeteria Boston‘s located just a block away, but only visually as the food offerings were much different.

Towne describes its food as “Eclectic and International American” but I’m pretty sure that’s just a nice way of saying “Identity Crisis” seeing as there really is no cohesion throughout the menu. From Turkish Rice to Peking Chicken Pot Pie there’s definitely A LOT to choose from. I was a little thrown by the choices, but we decided to start off with the Spinach, Ricotta and Beef Ravioli and the Soft Shell Crab. Upon ordering I noticed the menu also mentioned extra bread was an additional $4. I thought it was a little tacky, but then our bread basket arrived and I immediately realized why.

Definitely the most decadent bread basket I have ever had. It came filled with four different types of bread, including one seriously buttery roll that literally flakes apart like a croissant when touched. And of course, any bread basket like that has got to come with multiple dipping options, Towne’s came served with a pesto hummus, butter and scallions, and an eggplant & roasted pepper puree. MmmMmm. Then the app’s arrived…

Both were delicious. The ravioli was extra thin, which was nice. In most cases ravioli tends to be heavy, but this was a surprisingly light dish. The Crab may have been my favorite dish of the night. It was really meaty, and the parsley & pesto aioli was a perfect match. The crab came served with a corn pots de creme which was essentially corn custard which I wasn’t really a fan of, but the crab was more than enough in itself to make for a good dish. Next: Entrees!

I went for the Lobster Roll, which was a little different than I expected. Trading in the typically used mayonnaise for butter, the Lobster salad itself was warm and drenched in butter, and I’m talking DRENCHED. I left smelling (and feeling) like a tub of Land-O-Lakes. The Lobster meat was delicious and was a generous serving, and it came with a side of homemade gourmet chips which were a nice touch but also very greasy.

My mom ordered the Swordfish Pup Steak which came served with clams and risotto while my sister, as always, went for the Sirloin. The swordfish was great, although the risotto was a little too undercooked for my liking, and the Sirloin was superb served at a perfect medium-rare.

Although stuffed at this point, we HAD to look at the dessert menu, which is one of my life rules if you didn’t already know: ALWAYS look at the dessert menu. Unfortunately, Towne’s dessert menu was not too impressive. I almost never get stumped during this part of the meal; I felt like I was failing a test or rather Towne was failing the test. It boggled my mind that not one thing on the dessert menu stood out or sounded desirable.

I decided to ask one of our 8 servers for their advice, he immediately recommended the Angel Food Cake, noting that it’s really the only one that has stood out over the week (one good dessert? not okay). Anyways, we went for it, and decided to try the Creme Brulee as well. Both were okay but nothing to get excited about. The Angel Food Cake came served with homemade caramel cotton candy, which was an interesting and unique concept, but it was just WAY to sweet and that fluffy texture with the spongy cake.. BAH I was not a fan.

Overall, it was a good dinner but Towne definitely has it’s ups and downs. It’s unique and different and there’s no denying the deliciousness that is some of the dishes but for the outrageous prices I’m not sure how frequently I’ll be dining here. Then again there is that Lobster menu I have to work my way through and all the potential celebrity spotting’s it’s bound to bring in. I can’t deny the bad taste that dessert left in my mouth but I guess I’ll just have to get my sweet fix at JP Licks across the street next time.

Key Takeaways:

  • huge restaurant: good for both casual lounging and fine dining
  • Lots of great Lobster dishes (just hope you don’t mind butter)
  • Great food…not so great dessert.
  • Prices = outrageous
  • Good for parties of ANY size, including private functions
  • only serving dinner now, but lunch coming soon!

Towne Stove & Spirits on Urbanspoon

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Current Infatuation: Sel de la Terre – Back Bay | Just Add Cheese!

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