Restaurant Reflections: Town Restaurant (San Carlos, CA)

Fork rating: 5 forks

I admit, I am quite partial to Town Restaurant. Craig and I had our wedding dinner at this restaurant and go there for every special occasion we celebrate: birthdays, anniversaries, “I finished the laundry!” … you name it!

Town’s tagline is “Cocktails Chops Steak Seafood” and they excel at all of them. Their cocktails really set them apart, they are so unusual. I’m extremely fond of their “drop” cocktails, like the standard Lemon Drop, but also their marvelous variations, such as Blood Orange Drop or Kiwi Drop. I think the flavors change every once in a while, probably dependent on what’s in season, etc. Craig likes the cocktails, too, as there’s always something new to try.

We normally don’t get any appetizers, because the dinners are so good, but we do get a little “appe-teaser”, as it were. Town has a wonderful Mushroom Bisque but a bowl, or even a cup, is just too rich when paired with a wonderful dinner. They have this figured out, though, and you can order a “demi-tasse” of soup. This is their soup served in a small espresso cup with a small spoon, which gives you just enough to get a nice taste of the soup without filling up completely. This is a great idea and I wish more restaurants would do this.

Dinners are delicious … of course. We have a tendency to order their marvelous steaks with their side dishes and don’t branch out much. Friends who have dined with us and ordered other items off the menu do attest to terrific dinners, so we’ll assume that their entire menu is spectacular. I’m partial to a ribeye steak and my side dish choices always include their Downtown Mac’n’Cheese. I’m an M’n’C fan and this is one of the better ones I’ve tasted. The dish is topped with breadcrumbs and broiled … Yummy! I try and be good and get a vegetable, too, but really, that’s for show. It’s all about the steak and the M’n’C for me!

Town does a fantastic job on steaks. When you order medium rare, it’s the perfect shade of pink. Portions are large enough to enjoy a 2nd meal the next day. I find their steaks far outclass those at other restaurants (well, maybe not McCormicks or Smith & Wollensky, but definitely better than Izzy’s Steaks and Chops). Craig and I have gotten ribeye steaks at many places, but always compare them to Town, with Town coming out on top.

Desserts are delicious (if you’ve got room left) and are definitely share-able. We’ve tried their bread pudding and their fruit cobbler and been delighted each time.

The ambiance is quite nice, although I admit, the crowd around the bar in the center can become a bit loud. The seating is comfortable, though, and the booths in the back of the restaurant aren’t as disrupted by the noise. You can also sit outside year round, as they have heat lamps for the winter.

I recommend using Open Table for making reservations, although if you decide to call for reservations, the staff at Town are incredibly helpful. They worked with me when we had our small wedding dinner (9 people total) but were accommodating on which table I wanted, where I wanted the table to be placed in the restaurant, etc. When we had our dinner there, the waiter was fantastic. Very attentive without hovering, which was doubly impressive in that he had a 2nd large party to take care of in addition to us, yet we never felt ignored. Town was also very accommodating with our wedding dessert, since we wanted to bring our own cake. The charge for that is $2 per person, but they did quite a lovely job with cutting the cake and making the presentation on the plates look gorgeous, so it was worth it.

This is really my “go to” restaurant for every occasion. I highly recommend it.

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