Town in San Carlos
- Shane Greenwood Jan 23, 2009 06:12 AM
This place is mentioned in a few posts but doesn't have a thread of its own. It is hugely popular in "downtown" San Carlos. The place is a steak and chop restaurant with a lively bar area and a dining room with lots of dark wood and flattering lighting. Town reminds me a lot of Houston's in terms of menu and decor, but I'll give Town a slight (barely) edge on quality of the food.
The place is often quite crowded, especially the bar. You'll need reservations on most nights. Dinner for two with apps and wine comes to about $100.
The food is okay, but we've had some hit and miss experiences after 3 visits. Their caesar salad and soups were great. The steaks are from corn-fed midwestern beef (proudly advertised as such on the menu). There is nothing about the menu that suggests they support local or sustainable product. We've also had some issues with execution. A rib-eye was cooked perfectly, but the wine demi glace was way too salty. A baseball cut fliet ordered medium rare was almost raw inside, after sending it back it was returned medium well. The roasted squash side was also over salted and the brussels sprouts were slightly undercooked. Other dishes like the creamed spinach and the mushrooms in wine sauce were very tasty.
Overall, there is nothing on the menu that is unexpected or especially inspired. You'll get basic American steak house fare. When it's executed correctly, it's quite good. But for the prices they charge, there is no excuse for the lapses in the basics like temperature and seasoning.
Service is very good. Wine list is limited in variety but the wines they have are decent. Like the food, you will not find interesting or inspired wines.
716 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA 94070
I have gone here occasionally since it opened, and to its predecessor, A Tavola, with the same ownership.
I would say it's blah and overpriced. Some things have really declined over time - the one dish I really liked was the warm cabbage salad with bacon and blue cheese. The last time I went (not my choice and I didn't have to pay), the salad was soggy like it had been dressed an hour earlier. The taqueria a few doors down is a lot more interesting, although it doesn't have a bar.
This place is just mediocre with a heavy price tag, but, their bread pudding is super good.
Id FAR rather go grab a beer and Ruben at Refuge down a couple blocks.
I'd add loud and crowded to mediocre and expensive. Piacere, right across the street, has more interesting food.
I really like the fried calamari "steak", which is actually thick pieces of calamari, with lemon, artichoke, and fennel slivers all lightly battered and fried. That, along the warm napa cabbage salad that recently disappointed realspear, and the excellent--almost cloyingly rich--bread pudding are far and away the best things on the menu.
We only go for lunch, as the din at night puts me off my food.
I only tried Town once -- and found it to be an incremental improvement over A Tavola. Still, the food was pretty OK (no specific complaints on standard items like steaks or lamb), value was iffy, service was hesitant and the room? Louder than bombs! Not a comfortable place to spend any length of time.
Yes, I found some of the service complaints I had from A Tavola had been addressed, but still, you really should look across the street to Piacere for: better value, better service and more interesting menu.