Food & Wine Names Townsman a Restaurant of the Year

Matt Jennings' downtown Boston brasserie is among a Top 10 that includes Roy Choi's Locol (L.A.), Death & Taxes (Raleigh), and more.

The bar area at Townsman

The bar area at Townsman. / Galdones Photography

When Matthew Jennings moved from Rhode Island back home to Boston a couple years ago, he certainly kept the attention of the media. And rightly so: At Farmstead in Providence, which he ran with wife and pastry chef, Kate, he racked up a few James Beard Award nominations and other national acclaim.

His Boston restaurant, Townsman, just got another feather in its proverbial cap. It’s among 10 Restaurants of the Year, Food & Wine magazine announced today. The list includes spots that have opened since January 2015.

This year’s crop of restaurants, including Los Angeles chef Roy Choi’s innovative fast casual concept, Locol; the Brewer’s Table at Surly Brewing in Minneapolis; and High on Hudson Street in New York, “[showcases] serious originality and [offers] food that is as authentic as it is delicious,” the editors write. The full list is below, and it will be featured in the Time Inc. magazine’s July issue.

Townsman is a boisterous New England brasserie, with a range of influences on Jennings’s often stellar menu. Townsman struggled out of the gate in the eyes and tastebuds of Boston magazine critic Corby Kummer, but it is finding its stride. In the fall, Esquire named Townsman one of the country’s Best New Restaurants, and it was a finalist for a USA Today Reader’s Choice Award.

In its selection, Food & Wine shines a light on Jennings’s local seafood tower as an example of his commitment to local products, and the editors also single out his cured fish and charcuterie programs.

Food & Wine Restaurants of the Year 2016

  • Brewer’s Table at Surly Brewing, Minneapolis
  • Cala, San Francisco
  • Death & Taxes, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • High Street on Hudson, New York City
  • Launderette, Austin
  • Locol, Los Angeles
  • Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio, Chicago
  • Shaya, New Orleans
  • The Dabney, Washington, D.C.
  • Townsman, Boston

Townsman, 120 Kingston St., Boston, 617-993-0750,