Step out of busy downtown Boston and into Hyde Park to experience a charming and warm atmosphere at Townsend's Restaurant. As soon as you walk in it is clear you are not at your average joe place, but instead are experiencing an upscale gem on the outskirts of Cleary Square. The layout of this fabulous restaurant allows everyone to enjoy the wood-burning fireplace, which is the focal point for the whole place. The warmth and light illuminating from the natural fire transpire a true feeling of relaxing at home with friends. The stylish décor consists of dark brown wood tables, all highlighted with small lamps adorned with deep crimson lamp shades . All of this ties in with the dark red mahogany walls accented with black and gold trim.
Right off the bat the drink menu sets up the rare and unusual choices you will find here at Townsends. Take a chance and order the Oyster Stout, a dark beer that is true to its name. The smooth stout is made in such a way that actual oysters are thrown right into the barrel during brewing. If you’re not a fan of stouts, try the Belgian Wheat ale, Blanche de Bruxelles. The symbol on the glass and on the draft handle is a tiny German man peeing out all of his fabulous beer; so if nothing else you will get a good laugh. No idea what you like? Get a sampler. You can choose three different beers, all coming in a slightly smaller glass and presented in a classy black iron carrying case. John, the bartender, will happily recommend something for you based on what you usually drink. 9 times out of 10 he hits the nail right on the head. They have the regular domestics in the walk-in, but try something new on draft. People’s Pint has a great hoppy taste and is made right in Massachusetts. It is a rare beer to have on draft and cannot be found anywhere else in the area; including most of downtown Boston.
The wine selection is very large, with one whole page of reds, and another whole page of whites. You have the option to buy by the glass or the bottle. Some of the wines, such as the peppery Carr Cabernet, are only available by the bottle, so choose wisely. Some of the best wines can be missed if you stick to buying by the glass, and most of the time it is cheaper to spend the thirty dollars on a bottle. They have an interesting array of cocktails as well, starting with the classic Cosmopolitan and mixing it up with the Carmel Apple Martini. They also offer a White Cosmo as well as an Espresso Martini with actual espresso beans in the bottom of the glass.
The unique menu has an upscale twist with homey tastes. The small plates include the old school favorite of French fries prepared in three different ways depending on your mood. Tap into your Irish roots with the curry fries or stick to your American culture with cheese and bacon fries. Last but not least, the Townsend's fries are always a hit served with homemade truffle mayo. In the mood for something a little different? Try the Ahi tuna plate served with a soy sauce or fried catfish served with hush puppies and mint peas. Entrees include everything you could possibly be craving. Pork chops with red bliss potatoes are always a treat. Herb-grilled salmon with forbidden Chinese rice is always a favorite for fish lovers, along with the outstanding fish and chips. For the red meat lovers, they have a great hanger steak with sautéed onions and mushrooms. If your more into burgers, their Wagyu beef burger is the best around. Top it off with some cheddar cheese, apple smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms, and/or onions. The prices are a tad on the high side, the lowest being $15 and topping out at $25, but the zesty twist on ingredients and unique pairings will have you begging for more.
Desserts are all handmade by the owner Rosaleen Tallon. Her butterscotch pudding has been featured on Phantom Gourmet, so be sure not to skimp in that department. This pudding, along with the brownie sundae, are a staple to the dessert menu, while the rest changes depending on what Rosaleen is inspired to make that week. It can range from chocolate silk mouse pie to a lemon fruit tart. The more you stop in the more you will get to experience.
Mike and Rosaleen Tallon, the proprietors of the restaurant, really know how to appeal to their patron’s emotions as well as their taste buds. Mike makes it a point to greet each table personally, drawing people in and keeping them coming back at least once a month, if not once a week. It is a place where everyone really seems to know your name.
81 Fairmount Ave (between 2nd New Way & 3rd New Way)
Hyde Park, MA 02136
Drinks $5 to $10
Small Paltes $7 to $10
Entrees $19 to $25
Dessert $3 to $8
Hours: Sunday through Wednesday 5pm to 10pm
Thursday to Saturday 5pm to 12 am