Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Towne Stove & Spirits

Since the highly anticipated opening in late July of 2010, Towne fast became a Back Bay hot spot, their kitchen producing a variety globally inspired dishes that saw praise and criticism alike. I had heard plenty about the collaboration between the Lyons Group and duo of high caliber chefs that have long shaped the dining scene in Boston, Lydia Shire and Jasper White, to know this trendy venue was a must visit at some point in time. Even though that some point is a just shy of a year later and I was only stopping by for lunch on the patio, its easy to see why this exuberant two story space housing multiple bars and dining rooms is so popular.The patio situated in the courtyard directly underneath the Prudential Center on Boylston Street is a uniform expanse of heavy woven iron tables and chairs dotted with bright orange Aperol umbrellas. Green shrubs line the perimeter backed by brown rattan banquet seating.  Only a few patrons were enjoying the outdoor space with a few more noted indoors, it was a quiet weekday afternoon. As I browsed the spirits menu and nothing particular caught my eye, I realized it was because I was craving a beer. I ordered the Notch Session Pils ($6) from Notch Session Brewing Co. in Ipswich, MA. My waiter explained this beer is lower in alcohol content because it is meant to be consumed in "sessions" or in other words, one after another. Sounds good to me, even thought I only planed on drinking one. The one page, brightly colored and laminated menu depicted the day-of-the-week specials and three divided sections: "soup+more", "garden+more" and "farm+sea". Seafood options seemed over priced with a Lobster Cobb salad set at $21, the Tuna Nicoise for $19 and the Crab Cake a whopping $19 as well. Perhaps they were worth it, but I wasn't in the mood to find out. The Deluxe 8 oz. All American Bacon Burger 70/30 ($16) took on a lengthy title and a little more appeal with a lower price point. Just like that, my burger craving took hold. The thick patty is a ground skirt (70%) and shortrib (30%) combo and the menu recommends you order it rare. I intended to go with my typical medium rare but figured why not have it as the chefs intended. They didn't steer me wrong. The burger was intensely juicy and well seasoned; the melted cheddar cheese was evenly proportioned and criss-crossed slices of bacon draping over the edges were delicately greasy and lightly crisped. The presentation with a rainbow of colors in effect offered toppings including red onion and a ripe avocado half.The toasted bun was warm and buttery with poppy seeds speckled in its crevices. Oh and lets not forget that sweet pepper relish. This took it over the top with just a dallop of sweetness, it wasn't overpowering to the components that make a burger a burger, it was simply there to add something different. The pile of french fries is massive and you will be happy to know these McDonald's caliber thin cut gems are everything you want them to be. As far as their burgers and beer goes, I'm definitely a fan. Not to mention, the patio set just a few hundred feet back from the hustle and bustle of Boylston under a towering Prudential Center was an extremely peaceful location during this hour. The first July lunch was definitely a happy success. Way to go, Towne!Have you been to Towne? What did you think?
Towne Stove & Spirits on Urbanspoon

19 comments:

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I love that they give you tons of avocado! I've TRIED to go to Towne but it's always been packed on weekend nights. Maybe I should for lunch on a weekday instead :)

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I love Towne! I haven't been there for lunch though, but I do go there often for dinner and drinks. My Saturday nights are usually here or at Woodward, both are so good!

In and Around Town said...

I love Towne - the food their has been so good! The sweet relish on the burger was a bit too much for me (but then again, I am not a relish girl!)

Terrianne said...

21 bucks for lobster cobb? My goodness! Glad the burgers and fries were satisfying to the palette and easier on the pocket!!! I'd go anywhere for good fries. =)

Elizabeth said...

That burger looks intense! I love that lovely avocado it's served with.

Shannon said...

oh i've walked by a thousand times, will need to give it a try :)

Meesh said...

i thought towne was great, but super overpriced. i think this looks like a fab lunch experience, though! that burger is making me hungry.

Ché @ Knight at the Restaurant said...

When a place adds a new spin to a classic favorite and does it well, you know you've got a keeper.

I've heard mixed reviews on Towne, so I'm dying to try and decide for myself. That burger DOES look mighty delicious :)

Megan said...

That burger sounds incredible! I'd love to get back there at lunch time to try it. I didn't have the best experience at Towne, but I only went once for brunch... so I'm willing to give it another try.

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I haven't had the best experiences eating at Towne but I'm glad that you got a chance to check it out!

Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

I live and work in the hood and still haven't been because I've actually heard pretty bad reviews from both friends and online... but your experience sounds so much better! Perhaps a trip there this summer is going to happen after all :) [It's on my 30 by 30 restaurants list but I was still hesitant until now.]

MelissaNibbles said...

I've been wanting to go to Towne. The burger with all that avocado looks delicious!

Amber Blue Bird said...

the burger does look good but rare scares me...i am a medium rare girl hardcore

Punctuation Mark said...

never been there but it certainly looks delicious!

kitchenmisfit said...

I have been wanting to go to Towne for awhile now and I think this review makes me want to go even more!

Kerstin said...

I'm craving a burger now! I need to check this place out :)

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

I am glad you had a good lunch. I did not enjoy Towne. I found it really unfocused and chaotic.

MOLLY GALLER said...

I don't even eat meat and that burger looked amazing! I haven't been yet, but this post makes me want to schedule a trip!

Alicia said...

I have never been to towne, but your burger looks great!!
Gorgeous photos!