A Little New England Nostalgia at Townsman, Boston

For our last dinner in Boston, I wasn’t looking for anything exotic or crazy. I was really craving something simple and fresh, and while scouring the internet I came across Townsman. Townsman  is a seasonal, sustainable restaurant in the Chinatown area serving dishes reflective of New England.

Aside from the main kitchen menu, they also have a “counter” section with oysters, crudo, and meats and cheeses. The kitchen dishes run the gamut of both land and sea.

Before we figured out which direction we wanted to go in, the server brought over something I hadn’t seen in years—brown bread! Brown bread is a New England staple: it’s basically a bunch of different flours that get poured into a can. The can is then steamed to cook the bread. In the end, you have bread in a can that you can slice up and serve with beans, which is what my family used to do. I’m sure my parents still have some cans of brown bread in their pantry. This brown bread was served with the butter sitting on top of the can. It was seriously nostalgic, and the server mentioned that several people mentioned felt that way upon being served it!

Brown bred at Townsman

We decided to break the charcuterie trend we started earlier in the trip and start with a delicious smoked bluefish dip, served with toasty bread and cornichons. I’m a pickle lover, so the more cornichons the better!

Smoked bluefish dip at Townsman

Keeping with the sea we moved on to halibut crudo with pine nuts. Refreshing and light.

Halibut crudo

On the veg front—a AMAZING yellow squash and watermelon salad with kimchi dressing. This is what I love about season summer cooking—you get the freshest, most delicious fruits and vegetables, and those dishes steal the show. All throughout this trip we tried to eat at restaurants that source local produce, and we were rewarded every time.

Watermelon squash salad

But we couldn’t stay away from the meat, so for an entrée we got the hanger steak with crispy artichokes and smoked romesco. The steak was cooked perfectly to our liking (medium rare folks, do not go above that!). The artichokes were crisp and salty. The romesco was the perfect accompaniment to both for dipping.

Hanger steak

We were sad for the New England trip to come to an end (and dreading the seven-hour car ride back to Maryland), but this last dinner was the perfect farewell to an amazing trip. If you’re in the Chinatown area definitely check out Townsman. It wasn’t super crowded when we went, but as always in big cities, it’s best to make a reservation anyway!


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