Andreas and I found ourselves with a babysitter Friday night and no plans. We were thinking about a movie, but I hate spending my babysitter time on a movie, especially if we can’t fit dinner around it. So we decided to just go to dinner to someplace new. Towne Stove & Spirits was opened last year in a huge space in the Hyne’s Convention Center in the Back Bay. It’s co-creators are Lydia Shire and Jasper White, so I was really excited to try it. I tend to avoid reviews once I decide to go somewhere because I like to go in unspoiled.
We got there early and sat in the bar for a cocktail. The bar is in the front of the restaurant and has floor to ceiling windows so you can watch the action on Boylston St. Our table was ready right at 8:00pm and we were brought into what we found out was one of three dining rooms (three bars, too). Nice dining room, not really crowded, with high ceilings and the big windows.
I really liked the menu – we had a hard time deciding what to get, but knew right away we wanted to try the lobster popovers. Now, I have to digress to say that we really enjoyed our meal, but were a tad put off about how fast our meal took. 1.5 hours from apps to dessert. Maybe it was our fault, because we did order pretty quickly, but it’s a Friday night and it’s a nice restaurant. I would have liked to have had a little more time between courses, all I’m saying.
Anyhoo, we ordered pre-dinner drinks and put in our order for the popovers. We had no sooner got our drinks when the popovers came out. There were two nice-sized popovers filled with lobster meat (claw and a bit of tail) with a great sauce. It was really decadent and delicious.
We placed our entree orders when our drinks came and also ordered our wine. The server suggested the wine (Meritage blend) and it was quite good and reasonably priced. That came during our appetizers, which was fine because we wanted to let it breathe. It didn’t have much time though because our entrees came out almost as soon as our appetizer plates were cleared.
For our main courses, Andreas got the Wagyu skirt steak – served “xtreme” style with wasabi & hot green garlic. The flavor was not at all overpowering and Andreas really enjoyed it. I got the duck served with pureed parsnips and a savory cherry sauce. There was a deliciously crispy duck leg and thigh and sliced duck breast served medium rare. I loved it! I’m such a sucker for crispy duck. We got two sides – french fired potatoes and crisped green beans with ginger and white soy. The french fires were chunks of potato cooked so they were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They were served with a house made aioli and ketchup. The beans were awesome. It was a really healthy portion, so we had them for dinner the next two nights as well.
Dessert was my old stand by: flourless chocolate cake served with homemade strawberry ice cream. Impossible to go wrong with this dish.
So, I guess I would say that we had a great meal and would recommend giving it a try, but take your time ordering. We definitely weren’t rushed during dinner, so I think the issue is a question of better timing from the kitchen. It’s just a bummer when you plan for a nice evening out and your done by 9:30pm. I guess we could have gone out for a drink or something, but we are old.