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Apr 4, 2008 08:33 PM

Townsend's - Hyde Park

I just got back from a "soft" opening at Townsend's in Hyde Park. (They're doing a few soft openings before they open for good). I was very, very impressed. The decor is beautiful--open space with a full dining room on the second floor and large windows opening up onto Fairmount Ave. The food was amazing. Everything was incredibly fresh and everyone in my party cleaned their plates. Owner Michael Tallon (former owner of The Kendall Cafe and The Swan in Cambridge) has hit a homerun here. There is also a great bar area with a ridiculous number of beers on tap.

This place is a great addition to the area and I look forward to when they open for good with their expanded menu.

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  1. Do you know what their hours are for the next few weeks?

    4 Replies
    1. re: catsmeow

      I'm not sure exactly. I thought I heard one of the servers telling some other patrons that they are doing one more soft-opening weekend then they will be open full-time. I know they are open tonight (Sat) so I would call to find out about the upcoming schedule.

      1. re: markmin1

        Thanks. What did you order and how was it? How are prices? Been looking forward to this for a long time!

        1. re: catsmeow

          I only stopped in for a drink, but I agree with the first poster - the beer menu is fantastic (murphys and BBC pale ale, 2 of my favorites, on tap), and the food menu looks great. Prices are around 5-12 for 1st course, 17-24 for mains. Some really good looking choices. Also really looking forward to the brunch menu (which the bartender said should be up and running within a couple months).

          1. re: catsmeow

            I had the potato-leek soup (it was that night's soup) and the shepherd's pie. Both were amazing (especially the shepherd's pie). My brother had the lamb shank (which rocked) and all of the vegetables were very fresh. Other menu items included fish, duck and hanger steak.

            Stephen Hoddinott is the chef. He worked for Jeff Fournier at 51 Lincoln and the Met Club. Fournier also serves as a consultant to Townsend's and helped create the menu.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. I saw a sign on the door saying they're open at 5 every day but Mon. They're closed Mon. There's also a temporary banner on the building now with the name on it. I can't wait for the cafe next door to open. When it does, it's suppose to be open mornings and afternoons.

        2. Where is this place in Hyde Park ?

          1 Reply
          1. re: ScoobieSnack

            81 fairmount Ave. Across the street from Fairmount Commuter station.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. I went for Brunch on Mother's Day. We had made a reservation and when we arrived we were seated at a table downstairs. The hostess was not very friendly and squeezed us into a table that was clearly not big enough for our family. She then asked the bartender to take our order. He was nice enough, but clueless about the menu. He had no idea about the menu. He kept informing us that the kitchen was slammed and that was the reason he could not ask the chef the ingredients.A few of us opted for the Classic Breakfast eggs,homefries and toast(we couldn't find out what type of cheeses where in the 3 cheese omellette or what German pancakes where ) Apparently they ran out of bread, so they brought whatever they could scrounge up....4 of us got toast ...all different varietes and one of us only got a half a slice of bread. We were told it was coming. The eggs were dry and one of the hash browns was good, the others were overcooked. At the end of our meal we recieved 2 pieces of burnt toast ?? The Diet Soda was flat and they were out of Sprite.....God knows I could have used a drink, but they couldn't serve until noon. It was clear they didn't have their acts together,. I know it's a busy day togout but clearly very disappointing.We've waited a long time for a descent spot in Hyde Park...The space is nice, but how do you run out bread a few hours into brunch and not to mention no servers.

              2 Replies
              1. re: pk143

                Sounds like they were unprepared for the Mother's Day onslaught. Not unusual for a new place still getting on their feet. I wouldn't hold it against them.

                1. re: purple bot

                  As much as everyone rags on NY Eve and Valentine's Day, I think Mother's Day is the worst and definitely recommend doing lunch/dinner some other day. Things were VERY mellow when I was at Townsend's on a Thurs. about a month ago. Plenty of bread, knew preparations, etc.