Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ohio City's New TownHall

TownHall seems like it has been in the works for quite some time. Well, it finally opened its doors and it has appeared to be busy every night since. Including Mr. Captain America himself, which just happened to be the night that we stopped in for some drinks, eye-candy, and a bite to eat.
I like what they did with the location. There's a great secluded back patio, and limited casual seating on the front patio as well. Garage doors open up the front of the restaurant, so even though we were seated inside the main bar area, we had a great view of the Ohio City streets and a breeze left us feeling like we were dining outdoors. The overall look of the place feels similar to some of the other West 25th establishments, so it should be right at home here in this neighborhood.

I was having a lousy day at work, and I needed a pick-me-up. I selected TownHall for our impromptu outing because Willoughby Brewing's Peanut Butter Cup Porter was listed on their menu as one of the "Staple" beers on draft ($5 all the time). Our poor server had the task of informing me that they had run out of it. The horror! But very fitting for how my day had been going.

We were waiting on a friend, so "R" and I decided to munch on some snacks to hold us over. We got an order of the Prosciutto Wrapped Dates with almonds, house chorizo, and goat cheese (six dates for $7.50).
They really just tasted like bacon and dates, with no real hint of goat cheese or the chorizo. They were perfectly acceptable, but Light Bistro's version down the street is much better.

We also shared the Matchstick Truffle Fries with Parmesan, truffle oil, herbs, garlic, and served with BBQ ketchup and rosemary aioli ($6).
In hindsight, I guess "matchstick" should have been a big clue, but we weren't expecting shoestring fries. What does "fries" vs. "frites" mean to you? Frites I associated with thin-cut. We both despise shoestring fries. The aioli was quite good, and it can be found on their burger as well, but overall the fries were only okay.

We settled in with some beers to wait for our friend, and I was beginning to enjoy myself. Sadly, the rest of the meal was even more disappointing.

"R" was torn between a couple of menu items, and decided to go with the Burrito #2 with rotisserie chicken (or tofu), creamy pesto, veggies, cilantro, brown rice, and quinoa. He said it was really dry and pretty bland. From the amount of salsa that he kept dumping on it, I believe him.

I had zeroed in on the Prosciutto and Fig Jam Flatbread ($12) with goat cheese, port reduction, and arugula pizzette. I also added mushrooms from their additional toppings section ($2 each).
This flatbread was very dry and hard, tasted burnt most of the time, and overall it was really lacking. I was so sad. It included some of my favorite ingredients, but this time they just didn't work.

Now, our friend ordered the Grilled Cheese Bars with Tomato Bisque ($10), and she enjoyed it. It looked good too! But only one out of five dishes that we had at the table were anything worth ordering again. Those aren't good odds.

However, several other menu items sound enticing, so I'll certainly give it another try. Maybe this time, they'll have my staple draft too. This, and some other pieces of the evening, can be excused by their newly opened status. Growing pains, every restaurant has them. I just hope that our experience with the food is better next time. I'd love to check out their brunch with the build-your-own crepe station. Welcome to the neighborhood, TownHall.

1909 West 25th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113