I have been to Townsman a few times over the past year or so. I have sat at their bar and enjoyed a charcuterie plate abundantly filled with salted meats and interesting cheeses and also enjoyed mid-week lunches, but had yet to sit down and really delve into their dinner menu.
After being voted one of the 10 best new restaurants by Food & Wine in America last year, it was definitely on my must dine list as Food & Wine is like my foodie bible and a few weeks ago I finally got the chance with a visiting colleague from Montreal.
Matt Jenning’s Townsman restaurant is simply trendy. Bright red chairs stand out in the industrial feel of this urban restaurant with its high ceilings, planet-like chandeliers and casual feel. It also has an outdoor patio for alfresco dining during those warmer Boston months.
The menu is creative and ready for diners who have an inquiring palate. I was in charge of ordering so went to town on it and seriously over ordered on our dinner adventure.
Prior to any dishes being brought to our table they deliver a twist on bread and butter with a melty malted bread that is baked in the can, taken out and sliced. The can is then turned over and creamy salted butter is on the bottom (now top) of the can. It’s like starting your meal with dessert it’s that good!
We dined on delicate life changing crudo and popover-like fry bread dipped in sumptuously creamy ricotta.
We then shared mussels, which are in a wonderful spicy broth and smothered in frites perfect for dipping in the broth.
The slightly crispy and perfectly kimchi salted asparagus is presented like a bouquet of flowers resting on summer sunshine.
I love it when soft shell crab is in season and especially when it is done right and not overly greasy with too much batter. Their special menu item of soft sell crab was such a treat for me and for my friend who was tasting it for the first time.
While I indulged in another glass of wine my friend enjoyed a lavender cake dessert evocative of warm summer days. I did have a bite and it was summer scrumptious.
The wait staff are polite and fun friendly which just adds to the lure of Townsman. I honestly cannot say anything whatsoever negative about our dining experience except maybe to say they should have cut us off food wise :).
I am off to Townsman again next week and it is now going to be a regular haunt for me!