Bangers and Heirloom Mash?

By Charles Kelsey | Boston Magazine |

The neighborly vibe at new Hyde Park gastropub Townsend’s is not instantly apparent. The sleek bar area, lofty ceilings, and understated elegance of the airy dining room portend fine dining. But the massive fireplace, ancient wood flooring, and beer-centric drink list are a good tip-off to the cozy groove on offer. The menu is a dead giveaway, showcasing retooled pub fare like "Berkshire Porter and scallion battered fish and chips." Our favorite was the shepherd’s pie, a neat, layered cylinder served atop a crunchy corn cake and intense in flavor, thanks to the refined meat-sauce reduction and vibrant red pepper coulis. Proprietors Michael and Rosaleen Tallon boast serious public-house pedigree, having put in time at popular establishments in Ireland and locally (the Swan and the Kendall Café in Cambridge). Even if the fancied-up food weren’t half this good, the convivial atmosphere would draw you in.

81 Fairmount Ave., Hyde Park, 617-333-0306, townsendsrestaurant.com