Towne: A Review

I finally made it to Towne last night.  I’ll be back.  The restaurant is a collaboration between chefs Jasper White and Lydia Shire and impresarios and investors Patrick Lyons and Ed Sparks, and nearly everything about it is good.  Next to the Hynes Convention Center: A welcome mat to delegates from around the world, which helps, in part, to explain big portion sizes and varied menu items.

Towne is pure Boston, which means that when your wine glass is half full or half empty, the server appears to ask if you want more.  Well, of course, I want more, but aren’t we here to eat?

But we’re not just here to eat, apparently, and that’s gotta be a top down message.  I understand, but still: There’s a bar.  This is a restaurant.

The room and menus and food are frivolous.  Think Le Cirque off steroids: Crowd pleasing, eclectic dishes in a lively setting.  Our table of four went through lots of food.

The fettucini Alfredo wasn’t fettucini, but it was al dente, not overly sauced, and so buttery you couldn’t stop feeding your face.  It’s a corny dish, but here it was done well.

The lobster bisque: Creamy.  What can be said about lobster bisque that hasn’t already been said?  You tell me.

A plate of six ravioli–meat, veg–was pretty good.

On to the entrees:

Porchetta: Thick slices of roasted pork with fruit to balance the delicious, layered fat.

Crispy duck with a great charred crust and moist interior.

Swordfish with clams that were perfectly cooked.

The dishes were plated in ways that inspired hunger.  The open kitchen added to the low-key feel of the overall experience.

Portion sizes are way too big, but, again, we’re talkin’ Boston where value is seen as BIG.  Me?  Like many people who spend many hours in restaurants, writing or eating, I’d rather have small portions of interesting dishes arrive in succession.  But I bet, too, that you can’t lose serving big plates next to a convention center.

Nonetheless, this is eclectic dining and a big cut above most places in…town.

Address: 900 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 247-0400

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