Snack Attack: Carrot Cake Fritters at the Townshend
If you’re sticking around greater Boston to celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, you could take the Red Line to Quincy to revel in American history—and while you’re there, don’t miss the new dessert menu at the Townshend, executed by Yvonne’s alum Kate Holowchik.
Holowchik was opening pastry chef last year at the opulent, food lover’s bar and best new restaurant in Boston. About a month ago, she left Yvonne’s and signed on with pedigreed spot in the City of Presidents. The Townshend is the first venture from Devin Adams, a South Shore native and former bartender and manager at Drink, Island Creek Oyster Bar, and Kingfish Hall. Leadership is rounded out with general manager Josh Suprenant, culinary director Garner Blume, chef Bobby Sisson, and bar manager Palmer Matthews, all of whom have worked under Garrett Harker, Barbara Lynch, or both, and at other Boston hotspots.
Before Yvonne’s, Holowchik was at Tremont 647, Bread & Salt Hospitality at Wink & Nod, and elsewhere. She also helped open the Townshend last May, before Yvonne’s was off the ground. Zagat recognized her as one to watch in 2014. A Quincy resident, Holowchik said the decision to leave Yvonne’s was driven in part to be closer to home.
“We’re really looking to build a community in Quincy. I think we’re just ready to play by the same rules as Boston does,” she says.
The Townshend opened in Quincy Center last spring. This fall, the team will debut Belfry Hall nearby, a casual craft beer hall. There, Blume’s “contemporary comfort food” menu will be heavy on fresh seafood, and Holowchik will develop a “playful” dessert program. One of the early ideas for the modern public house is Hoodsie-style ice cream cups.
Holowchik has introduced house-made ice creams at the Townshend, too, but don’t expect any single servings with their own tiny, wooden spoons. There, she’s pulling away from some of the “gimmicky,” nostalgic treats she was known for at Yvonne’s, like a house-made Negroni “Drumstick” ice cream cone and a “Choco Taco” riff with the fruity notes of a Painkiller.
“We’re trying to keep it classic,” she says. “[Sisson] likes to let the quality of the product sing, whether it’s steak, or fish, or even a simple salad. It’s always fresh, it’s refreshing and well-executed. We’re trying to fill that niche in downtown Quincy.”
But the part-time bartender will let booze seep into her desserts at the Townshend—in fact, she already has. One of her most popular new dishes, carrot cake fritters with a scoop cream cheese ice cream, is nestled atop pineapple jam caramelized with sugar, lemon juice, and a splash of rum.
“We’re pulling a lot of stuff from local farms, and I want to showcase those ingredients with interesting flavor profiles that people never thought would go together,” she says, speaking generally, though the idea is applied in the tropical take on classic carrot cake. “Make it fun, without having to make it look like a frozen novelty,” Holowchik says.
She’s also inspired by treats like cobblers, Brown Bettys, and other old-fashioned recipes. Last week, she created a blueberry-cornmeal buckle with blueberry compote, thyme caramel corn, and a scoop of buttered popcorn-flavored ice cream. She’s still developing this weekend’s special, but it’s safe to expect red, white, and blue berries, she says.
The Townshend is located right across from the Quincy Center MBTA station, in the mixed-use Presidents Place development. Before or after trying some of Holowchik’s treats this weekend (note the restaurant is closed on the Fourth), you can take in some of the nearby historic sites. Presidents Place is also where a guided, trolley tour of Adams National Park leaves from a few times a day.
The Townshend, 1250 Hancock St., Quincy, 617-481-9694, thetownshend.com.