Leftovers: Stray Thoughts From My Review Of Townsend

townsend wentz at cook

A few additional musings about my meals at Townsend

Not all the wine comes in kegs
Much as there is to recommend kegged wine, sommelier Lauren Harris does right by bottles, too. Her trim list at Townsend offers some attractively priced, offbeat picks that complement Wentz’s cooking beautifully. Especially worth trying is Eric Texier’s “Rouletabulle,” a Chasselas varietal sparkler that makes a scintillating feint toward sweetness on its way to a bone-dry, mineral finish. And if you doubt the value of kegged wines in general, do yourself a summer favor and beat the heat with glass of the Gotham Project’s Finger Lakes Reisling being poured at Townsend (a wine which Tria Taproom is pouring at the moment as well; Pizzeria Vetri also often has a Gotham Project wine on offer).


Oysters needn’t be raw or fried
I didn’t have space to say so in my review, but I wish more places would offer broiled oysters. Townsend’s bacon-y version, touched with Pernod, were just right: which is to say, they reminded me of The Saloon’s bacony clams casino, only with a slightly lighter touch on the toppings and a superior bivalve.

Four entrees could use company
It may be an unfair expectation for a fairly small place, but it would be nice to grow the entrée count a tad. For the first couple months, Wentz has been offering twice as many appetizers as entrees. Now, don’t get me wrong: four thoughtfully crafted entrees beats six second-string ones. And several of the appetizers were pretty sizeable – the scallops, the sweetbreads, the beef tartare. But two fish dishes, a chicken, and a rabbit—much as I enjoyed all four—does add up to a lot of white flesh.

The Chemist In The Kitchen [Townsend review]

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  • Ed Ridgway

    I’m thrilled to see Trey give such high marks to Townsend, and I can’t wait to eat there. Personally I would much prefer that they serve four entrees that they can execute perfectly, rather than see more added just for variety’s sake. I wish more places followed their instincts about what makes sense for their team rather than reaching to meet relatively arbitrary expectations. I’m sure the number of items and the roster of dishes will vary over time. Kudos to Tod for being smart about it instead of following the herd.

  • https://twitter.com/PhillyBestBYOB Philly’s Best BYOBs

    Can’t remember the last time a saw a review that didn’t say a single negative thing.