Townsend

4.5
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1204 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary French
A contemporary French restaurant in Philadelphia. Chef Townsend Wentz's elegant French menu follows the seasons. Our wine selections are carefully cultivated, constantly searching for honest wines made by caring producers.
What 1204 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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t
Philadelphia
43 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Average compared to the many fine restaurants in the neighborhood.

SR
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

It was delicious BUT VERY loud. The acoustiscs need improving as everything else is wonderful !!!

OT
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quality experience on all levels- food, service and ambiance

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience2

Simply one of the best meals I've eaten in years and the cocktails were exquisite. The only downsides to the experience is that the ambience isn't great. The food and drink far makes up for that fact . This place absolutely needs to be experienced at least once

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Pleasant surroundings if a little stark, quiet and comfortable. Service very good.
Best dishes were the squash soup and the scallops. The foie gras was unevenly cooked, one portion just right, the other undercooked. Both had an off taste in the sear. The sweetbreads were very well prepared. The duck was well prepared, nothing unusual but good nonetheless. Overall a good experience . More likely to return to Bibou.

PD
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great ambiance but the portions were to large! We were told they were portioned for each individual to order each course but by the time the main course came we were half stuffed.

TJ
Philadelphia
99 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We eat at the bar about once a week, but on Saturday night, we took my mother for dinner, and she liked it so much that we switched her upcoming birthday party to Townsend. Great food on a menu that's always kept fresh. (I had Broiled Oysters, Rabbit Gnocchi, Halibut) Great service. Great drinks (Manhattans! - thanks Mike and Kevin).

LK
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent on all counts. Will definitely return to explore more of the menu.

RL
Atlantic City
27 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything about our dinner was outstanding. Our server, Amy, was knowledgeable about everything on the menu and steered us In the right direction for each course we ordered. Every person who came to our table to serve us something were also knowledgeable about everything! We loved it and can’t wait to come back. Beautiful restaurant!

DW
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food!

WS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience3

The food was good, but consistent not warm.

We felt awckward to send it back to be re-heated, and again it was reallt tasteful, jut not hot.

a
Philadelphia
30 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall3food4service5ambience4

This may be a great spot- but only after they fix some startup problems.

Our table was not ready at our reservation time but there is under zero space to wait - except at the overcrowded bar (with others waiting to be seated) so we hung out in a window area.

We had a wonderful server who took our order for a nice bottle of wine (from a moderately interesting list). A runner then brought us the obligatory bread basket along with an amuse-bouche of vinegared beets, one of which he overturned onto the table linens - but made no offer to even cover the large and expanding beet red amoeba shaped stain with a napkin.

Our first courses - a nice potato potage and baked oysters with (I recall) Pernod were quite well prepared. Our mains, a duck breast and a fish with a leek and other vegetable purée were both well prepared - but suffered from an obvious many too many minutes late delay in getting from the kitchen to the table.

We passed on desert as nothing on the limited selection spoke to us.

This is a work in progress. Most of the “rough edges” we felt were managed around by a wonderful and obviously experienced server (who we well tipped) but it’s hard to not get the feeling that the front and back of the house need some more time working together.

Last - it’s a fine dining restaurant. It needs some acoustic treatment as the noise level was close to that of a sports bar until later in the evening when the number of patrons was at a minimum.

We will give it a few months and return.

g
Philadelphia
133 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

First time at the new location (but several times at the old)- so my advice now is - ask for a table against the wall or upstairs. The window tables are very cold in winter and the one nearest to the service station is distracting. The food - well, I just don't get the hype! It's good but not spectacular in any form. Sweetbreads were overly large and thus contained significant cartilage. Tuna nicoise was grainy... in general the entire meal was overly salted. Maybe I'm being picky but for a top place it was disappointing and all this was reflected in prior visits.

OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Seating was swift when we arrived with our reservation (which we made 15 mins prior); the food was all fantastic - from the amuse-bouche to the sophisticated dessert. Everything was so fresh and extremely well executed. It's a masterclass in French cuisine.

LM
New Orleans
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

I have never left a poor review. We were really looking forward to trying Townsend as we have heard great things. However, the food was extremely mediocre - some lukewarm, some so hot as if out of a microwave. It lacked any real flavor. The foie gras mousse was gummy like glue and the duck was questionably duck. The only thing actually worth eating were the oysters. Our meal was so disappointing we immediately walked to Friday, Saturday, Sunday where we know we can get a top-notch, perfectly executed meal with staff that don’t seem like robots. Just having a reputation for good food won’t do much unless you only serve people who would be happy eating at Applebee’s every night. We won’t be returning.

OT
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything about my evening was outstanding! The food was incredible, the service was spectacular...best meal I've had in a long time!

OT
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding meal and cocktails were divine! It was restaurant week and that can be hit or miss in some restaurants. Townsend was better than expectations! We have eaten at Townsend when the restaurant was located in South Philly and thought this meal was even better. The ambience, the complex yet clean flavorful dishes and creative cocktails should not be missed. We live in the city and have become foodie snobs frequenting many restaurants that have had the 'hype' and were disappointed. Townsend did not disappoint- we will be back!

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed restaurant week menu and portions were generous unlike many French restaurants. Very nice wine list. Excellent service and good ambiance.

JA
Philadelphia
36 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My new favorite Center City restaurant! Great for any occasion.

GR
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience5

Went for restaurant week and both got short rib both were overcooked/tough but one was significantly more overcooked and dry. Wasn’t worth sending back cause than not eating at same time. Everything else was good

LF
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious and the service was fast. I will be going back to Townsend restaurant in the near future. Highly recommend.

A
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

With reservation I would recommend but also realize this was RW.

AL
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food and service was excellent. Background noise was manageable.
Value was adequate.

1
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

My 2nd time at Townsend (miss the character of the Passyunk location)...Went for restaurant week. Didn’t disappoint. Yes portions are small but the (3) courses are plenty of food. Odd playlist which was a little too loud (speakers above our table) however lovely dinner for date night and quite a bargain for RW. Recommend!

K
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

It was restaurant week so of course it was a bargain. It was so good I'm going again Thursday.

j
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. Branzino was the best I have had

m
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went there for restaurant week and every entree was well prepared and delicious! The waitstaff was attentive and did not rush us. It was a great experience!

i
Philadelphia
118 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for restaurant week. It was an excellent bargain. I would definitely go again, even if it isn't restaurant week. The server Amy, was extremely personable.

OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Went for restaurant week; disappointed with the short rib and desserts but fish was great - main menu is better.

s
Philadelphia
22 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

A place I would be happy to return to.

NB
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We discovered Townsend at its original location and fell in love with the food, ambience and service! At their newer Center City location, while the food over all was still amazing, it was lacking in ambiance and attention to
detail. I will for sure be be back to give them another go.

MM
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We were there to celebrate selling our home. Very special
Event I would say my first dish, tuna nisoise, just ok. Everything else great. But pricey for the amount and service

e
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff is friendly; very accommodating. Food was exceptional, we will be back.

RW
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience1

Small portions and average at best. Short ribs terrible. Beer selection pretty good.

HC
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

My wife and I went to Townsend in Philly for the restaurant week menu, which includes 3 courses for $35 per person. The food was exceptional and so was our waiter David. He offered wine options for us. The wines David chose were perfect for the food pairings. My wife started with the Potato Leek Potage and it was elegant and flavorful. She’d definitely order it again. I had the escargot with white beans and it also was very good. I liked the soup my wife ordered more than I liked my dish. However, I was not disappointed that I ordered it. It was delicious and filling. For entrees, my wife choose the wild mushroom risotto and I had the halibut with roasted zucchini in a curry-vermouth cream. The risotto was very rich, creamy and tasteful. We both enjoyed it. The halibut was small in size and slightly overcooked, however, the dish was one of the best fish plates I’ve ever had because the vermouth-curry sauce. It was light but creamy and full of flavors. Although it had curry, it was not hot and it paired perfect with the halibut. The halibut was a substitute for the Bronzino. Although the halibut was slightly overcooked, the sauce was brilliant and I can’t imagine finding another sauce that pairs with fish as well as the vermouth-curry sauce. Compliments to the Chef!!! I added the Crispy Sweetbreads to my meal, although it wasn’t on the Restaurant Week menu. Townsend allowed add-ons but no substitutes for the special Restaurant Week menu. The sweetbreads were superb. Not many restaurants serve sweetbreads and even fewer serve them as delectable as Townsend. The portion was large and beautifully plated and seasoned. Best sweetbreads ever. The only complaint is they were served at the same time as our entrees rather than before the entrees. Excellent Desserts - Cream Cheese Mouse & Pear Cake. Finally, David made the experience wonderful. The ambiance needs improvement. It was clean, plain and chic and it drastically needs something to give it character and make it cozy

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

The food was delicious! I really enjoyed the escargot. I took a gamble on it and was glad I did. The ambience is lovely and the service was great. We felt all our needs were met during our date night dinner.

N
Philadelphia
128 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a bad service experience when they were on Passyunk but this time we had a great experience. The food and service were great and the restaurant week menu was very good.

DI
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall3food4service5ambience3

Blah and cold decor. Tiny portions. Cheesecake should NOT be called that....very deceptive name. Tiny amount of soup. Mushroom risotto was delicious....needed no pepper powder...it actually ruined the flavor.

W
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Went for the first night of restaurant week and loved it. I can’t believe this was out first time at Townsend. Fabulous experience and our server was delightful. Will definitely be returning!

A
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience1

Extremely expensive for almost no food. A very loud and uninteresting space. I would not go back.