Newton Hosts Wine Dinner At Townhouse Kitchen + Bar

by Judy Chamberlain

The folks at Townhouse Kitchen + Bar  mean to feed you abundantly and well. Their wine dinner earlier this week I was invited to, with Newton Vineyard of St. Helena, CA, was no exception. I like the restaurant’s location, on the Westin Hotel side of the Galleria, conveniently right off the parkway and not a long walk from major parking options.

That it’s just steps away from some of my favorite stores is a nice plus.           

That said, I’d be inclined to drive over to Galleria just to dine at TK+B even if I weren’t hunting for some goody from Lush, Macy’s, Paradise Pen, Bag & Baggage or Saks Fifth Avenue, because the food at Townhouse is top-drawer, the atmosphere is subtly that of an ongoing party and the lunch and dinner menus are exciting, reasonably priced and beautifully plated.

I’m a proponent of the theory that it doesn’t have to cost a young fortune to dine well inDallas. Townhouse, it would appear, shares that philosophy.

Case in point: For this five-star, five course meal – with Townhouse Executive Chef Chef Paul Niekrasz turning up the glitz big time – Monday’s wine dinner could easily have fetched $150 per person. Townhouse elected instead to charge $48.

Why? “We’re here to make friends, and this is a great way to do it,” GM Kevin Nickens told me. Let’s see more of this attitude in Dallas.

We started with passed appetizers of salmon citrus ceviche, oysters with kumquat crème fraiche and aged gouda gougeres paired withNewton’s Chandon Etoile Brut, a fine, flavor-popping preface for the silkiness of the oysters.

Next up was an endive salad with pears, peppered walnuts, Maytag blue cheese, figs and duck confit. Figs and anything are a wow in my book; the salad worked well with Newton’s Chandon Etoile Rose.

Having just consumed two deep-bodied Champagnes one right after the other; my tablemates and I were certainly in a festive mood when out came Course #3, a piece of caramelized, sautéed skate in a Champagne grape reduction flanked by twin purees – one each of peas and carrots – and  served with Newton’s gorgeously-colored unfiltered chardonnay.

This was followed by the chef’s 12-hour braise of black pepper beef shin with Rosemary polenta, mushrooms and arugula, accompanied by Newton’s outrageously enormous-bodied unfiltered merlot, a great foil for the entrée’s rich sauce.

When dessert – cappuccino pane cotta with chocolate truffles and coffee – appeared, it gave everyone at my table a reason to remember that it isn’t a psychological aberration to consume dessert at the beginning of a meal instead of at the end.

This one was so good that I went back to TK+B the next day for lunch and had it again, along with a roasted beet salad and a cup of corn and polenta soup, smoothly enhanced by just a touch of pineapple juice.

Loved the wines, loved the food. The company was outstanding. Some places are priceless, and this is one of them.

Townhouse is the brainchild of Restaurants-America, which owns and operates nearly a dozen restaurants nationwide, so this isn’t their fist trip to the ball. They’ve put an excellent staff into play here. Nickens honed his chops at Houston’s for many years; he and his second-in-command, the ebullient Gregory Sawin, have the focus and dedication that it takes to be great restaurateurs and keep a big space like this functioning seamlessly.

Restaurants-America is definitely on the move, and are investing heavily in theDallas market. They bring with them exactly the kinds of restaurants a burgeoning Metroplex like ours needs – priced right, comfortable and just cutting edge enough to please both the traditional and the adventuresome.

Top toque Paul Niekrasz, who will continue to oversee the food side of Townhouse and Restaurant-America’s initial Dallas resto, Primebar, will soon be sliding over to the corporation’s newest Dallas endeavor, Park Tavern, as will current Primebar chef Taylor McCreary.

Townhouse Kitchen + Bar
13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas

1 Comment

Filed under chefs, Dallas, Judy Chamberlain, Wine

One response to “Newton Hosts Wine Dinner At Townhouse Kitchen + Bar

  1. Isinglass

    The real answer to “Why is it $48?” is that Newton most likely kicked in the wine for the dinner which helps keep the costs down. Moët Hennessy has deep pockets.

    BTW- the bubbles are from Domaine Chandon, not Newton, a separate winery which is also in Napa and owned by Moet Hennessy and it’s not Champagne which only comes from France.

    Sounds like they did a good job with the pairings. At least they didn’t serve bubbles with dessert.

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