The Fountain at The Four Seasons may have closed, but its legacy lives on in the next generation of great Philly chefs, for whom restaurants like the Fountain served as training grounds.
Townsend Wentz started his journey to greatness at The Fountain, and after stops at Lacroix, Twenty21 and a few NY restaurants came back to Philly to run McCrossen's (which we loved while he was there). Last April, Wentz opened his namesake Townsend on East Passyunk Ave.
We got to experience the summer menu this July and it was one of the most delicious meals we've had in a while. Start to finish, Townsend delivered on delicate flavors, beautiful presentation and great service. The photos below speak for themselves. Our three-course meal plus one shared dessert was plenty filling but well paced so it didn't leave us stuffed.
Clockwise from top left: Pan Roasted Magret Duck Breast with summer white bean cassoulet and port reduction; Jumbo Lump Crab Risotto with truffle-asparagus salad; Rabbit Pot-au-feu with roasted loin roulade, braised rabbit, carrots and potatoes; Potato Gnocchi with sweet corn, mussels, wax beans and pickled fresno chilies. These were all second and third courses. As appetizers we also had the Andalusian Gazpacho with basil oil and brioche croutons and the Marinated Hamachi with cucumber, sesame, lime, cilantro and furikake. Each bite was better than the one before, though if I had to pick a favorite it would be the risotto.
Townsend is a French restaurant nestled in a Passyunk rowhouse with seasonally inspired menus. Get there soon to try what we had. I can't wait to see what Townsend offers for fall. There's a bar just inside the door, seating in the back and more upstairs. We lucked out with the front bay window seat upstairs and a lovely view of Easy Passyunk Ave at dusk. Great idea for Valentine's Day, a birthday or other special occasion.
*Kid-friendly? It is feasible to bring a child to Townsend, probably best during earlier hours, but it is such a nice experience that we'd recommend calling up the babysitter and making Townsend a night out just for mom and dad.
... and for dessert, chocolate souffle. Just do it.