SF’s Town Hall: More than Just a 1907 Shell

The Town Hall Restaurant has always been a safe recommendation bet for as long as I’ve lived in San Francisco and yet I don’t find myself dining there very often. The food is great but it doesn’t blow me away and the service sometimes tries just a little too hard.For example, our waitress continuously filled the wine glasses, topping off the fullest glasses first, a tactic that is obviously designed to finish off the bottle sooner rather than later to encourage ordering more. This particular waitress didn’t have a good sense of ‘pacing’ despite being friendly and knowledgeable.

That said, the main course and appetizer combos are inspiring and the menu includes some southern ‘comfort food’ favorites as well. And of course, both the exterior and interior of the 1907 building has a ton of charm, including its more traditional bar, which I’d like to return to for some more of those fried oysters.

The full bodied cabs are largely Californian style from Napa Valley and included the likes of the 2007 Chappellet Napa Valley Mountain Cuvee, the 2006 Freemark Abbey Rutherford Bosche Estate, the Freemark Abbey Sycamore (1994 and 1997), the Hewitt Vineyard Rutherford Estate (’06), the Lokoya Mount Veeder Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (also ’06), and the over-the-top but yummy Opus One from Oakville (2006 Bordeaux Blend), priced at $327 a bottle.

From the diver scallop ceviche & hearts of palm with Thai basil, crispy shallots and lime and the Salad of Dungeness Crab with Nicoise Olivers, meyer lemon and crisp artichoke hearts to the creamy soups, fried chicken and duck, it’s all worth a sample.

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My favorite? The cornmeal fried oysters with herbsaint spinach puree, served with Hobbs Bacon and preserved lemon.

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Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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