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Revisiting the Townhouse Bar and Grill

Little has changed at the Townhouse in Emeryville, California over the years. Its old speakeasy vibe, evocative of a bygone era, offersup food flavors and quality that still run to a high standard. I admit, it may be hard for any restaurant to completely measure up to a tightly held memory of one of the best roast chickens I have ever enjoyed. Its crispy skin and tender juicy flavor are done to seeming perfection. Sadly, this dish is no longer on the menu!

In any case, this is a great place, withChef Ellen Hope Rosenberg (Michael’s, L’orangerie, Spago) still serving an eclectic menu of what I like to call “California Roadhouse Cuisine.” One thinks of Bay Area places like the Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley, or the Fog City Diner in San Francisco. The history and style of the place is reason enough to stop by for a drink, but stay for the solid comfort food.

On this visit I enjoyed a chopped style salad of mixed organic baby greens, crumbled blue cheese, currants, Granny Smith apples, toasted pecans, and shredded chicken breast meat, dressed with a very well made balsamic vinaigrette.

To accompany the salad, I ordered an irresistible side of sweet potatofries served with a Chipotle aioli dipping sauce. This is as good as it gets! Crisp golden orange in color, soft and flavorful—the sweetness of the fries enhanced by the smokiness of the dipping sauce. YUM!

A glass of 2005 Segeshio Sonoma County Zinfandel paired well. They offer a full bar and a nice by the glass program. Wine list features mostly North Coast selections.

It was a bit of overkill at this point, but I went for a dessert. Lured in by my love of butterscotch, I tried the bread pudding topped with vanilla ice cream. It was a warm, sticky, sweet joyride.

Live jazz on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Valet parking. Good looking burger… $15 corkage fee.

(0 to 20) otv rating:

food: 16
service: 14
vibe: 18

5862 Doyle Street
Emeryville, California
(510) 652-6151
reserve with: open table - online

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