It's been almost a month since soft opening activity began for the local spinoff of Birmingham-based Townhouse. The downtown Detroit dim sum- and sushi-serving sequel hinges its design on a greenhouse-style patio. From the U-shaped bar to the open kitchen to the expansive beverage binder — it seems to have everything a new hot spot could want. Do the riffs on classic Asian comfort food work? How's the service? Read on for The Early Word.
The Insta News: Townhouse's bourbon, burgers and sushi are dominating the threads. But they're largely overshadowed by images of well-heeled types taking selfies. It all begs the question: is Townhouse more about the scene or the food? [Instagram]
The Decor News: The Detroit News' Molly Abraham digs the "bright and brash" decor, noting that —despite its 300-some seats — "it doesn’t have a barn-like feeling because of the variety of seating plans." Daily Detroit adds, "you could almost forget you're in Detroit." [TDN]
The Service News: On Facebook, Molly Ann Augustine said that her "waitress was less than helpful. She didn't know the menu at all." And Alice Catron noted "some of the staff may not be as impressive." But a more recent reviewer feels they've addressed the kinks. [Facebook]
The Price News: Daily Detroit wants to be clear: "it's going to cost you." According to Yelper Ashlee J. "They have a $19 signature burger that only comes with white cheddar and caramelized onion on it. Other than that, you have to build your own burger which ends up being an obscene amount of money." [Daily Detroit]
The Food News: Sylvia Rector of the Detroit Free Press spews praise on most of the menu: from the "spicy" scotch olives to "refined" trout rillettes to "distinctive" pork and beans to the "salty, sweet, spicy" cauliflower steak. She's less impressed by the duck wings and the "overdone" walleye. [DFP]
The Drinks News: Daily Detroit feels the beverages are "on par with any of the good local craft cocktail places you’re going to find," especially the Suits and Cigars, made with bourbon and sherry. [DD]
The Vibe News: "It felt like a slice of Birmingham plopped into the center of Downtown Detroit. If that’s your thing, you’ll love it. If it’s not, you won’t," per Daily Detroit.