Monday, June 20, 2016

Reception Catering at Town Hall Restaurant

Town Hall is a southern inspired restaurant located a few blocks from my house and office.  It has been around for a while, and has a decent reputation.  I walk by regularly.  But I hadn't been to the restaurant in years.

So let's rewind first.  Back in January 2009 I went to Town Hall for the first and only time, for lunch, during Dine About Town.  I don't remember anything about the savory food, but I did remember that we went there intentionally for the butterscotch pudding.  Mmm, I love pudding.  And then ... we all felt sick afterwards.  Not that I was scared of going back, but, the place just hadn't left an impression so I saw no real reason to return.

Fast forward to 2016, when I was invited to a reception in the private dining room.  So, I gave it another try.  The private dining room is upstairs, and has a small area near the entrance where they set up a little bar.  It then opens into the larger room, long and fairly narrow, with large windows.  They use this space for formal sit down dinners, cocktail parties, meetings, and more, so it is pretty customizable.

Our event only had beer, wine, and appetizers, so I can't comment on much else.  The little bites were all decent, but nothing mind blowing, about what I remembered from our previous visit.  I'd go back if someone else wanted to, but, I have no reason to return of my own accord.
Corn fritters with cilantro aioli. $5 (back) Some other fritters (front).
These two trays contained different items, even though they looked similar.

In back were the corn fritters, basically hush puppies.  Honestly, I'm not sure why they called these corn fritters, as they were cornmeal, not corn kernels.  Anyway, they were dense balls of cornmeal, not particularly interesting.  They had a dot of aioli on them, but, too small to really taste.  I wanted some kind of pop to this dish, like a jalapeño aioli, or honey butter, or ... something.  It was just kinda dry, dense, and boring.

The front tray is something I'd actually call a fritter, and I expected to taste some vegetables in here, perhaps corn, perhaps okra, uh, something.  But, they just tasted like balls of fritter dough.  These had a more sizable dollop of what seemed like a yogurt sauce?

Both of these were pretty lackluster.
Tuna tartare with Tabasco aioli on a crispy wonton. $6.
The crispy wonton looked incredibly oily, and I don't really like tuna tartare, so I skipped these.
Mushroom profiteroles, mint-pea creme friache. $5.
The mushroom profiteroles sounded better than they were.  Not that they were bad, but, don't profiteroles and crème fraîche sound awesome?  These were good, not awesome.

They were small little profiteroles, stuffed with a woodsy chopped mushroom mix, with a dot of the crème fraîche  on top.  Fine, but, well, just not very interesting.
Roasted veal herb meatballs with green peppercorn sauce over potato purée. $5
The veal meatballs were quite good.

Super moist, juicy, cooked medium (almost medium-rare actually, perhaps a tiny bit under).  They were drenched in jus and served over creamy, flavorful potato puree.

Overall, nicely executed, although not particularly memorable.  I'd prefer to have some kind of sear on the meatball to give a little crispy exterior.

Still, my favorite dish of the night and I went back for seconds.
Grilled ribeye skewers, guajillo chile jus. $7.
The ribeye skewers were so close to being delicious.

The meat was really well cooked, as you can see, still some pink, medium.  And the sauce was delicious.

But ... it was ribeye.  I took one bite, and it was tender and pretty good.  I went for my second bite, and wound up with a mouth full of fatty chewiness, and, since we didn't have silverware, I had no way to cut off a piece, and the entire chewy thing wound up in my mouth.  I did not appreciate this.

Still, delicious sauce, more creamy yummy potato puree, but, alas, ribeye.  My least favorite item.
Smoked chicken mini tacos with avocado salsa. $7.
Well, these were a surprise hit.  I actually tried these last, and didn't intend to try them at all, but curiosity got the better of me.

The taco shells looked super greasy, like the wontons I skipped.  I was pretty sure it was chicken inside.  Why would I want these?

I'm glad I tried though.  The taco shell, although, yes, greasy, was really delicious.  Crispy, oily in a good way, like a giant wonton.  I loved it.

The filling was I think smoked, shredded chicken.  It was tender and actually had a nice flavor to it.  On top was a slaw, crispy cabbage and carrots, and some creamy sauce.  The event menu lists smoked chicken tacos with avocado salsa, but I certainly didn't find any avocado salsa on these, hence my confusion as to what they really were (items were not labelled at the event).  They might have been pork?  Or duck even?

Anyway, the crispy shell and the slaw were tasty, making these my second favorite.
Town Hall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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