After a drastic closing of the long loved Town Talk diner and a three year hiatus, the new and improved Le Town Talk reopened with a special twist. Continuing to include the old, flashy sign of the previous restaurant, the new owners simply added a “Le” on top of the sign and transformed it into a restaurant with Franco-American cuisine. The restaurant’s atmosphere has a pleasant mixture of both rustic France and a modern homey feeling.
Deciding to try their famous bar, I chose one of the “mocktails” offered, the Faujito ($3), with fresh mint, sugar, lime and soda water. However, I thought the lime really overpowered the drink, making it too tart.
For a main entree the vol au vent ($18) was a little too risky with its combinations. Filled with chicken, lobster, cream sauce and a puff pastry, the dish was really as strange as it sounded. The puff pastry floated in an endless sea of cream sauce that was surrounded by a few stranded pieces of lobster and chicken. The twisted combination of “surf and turf” left me feeling confused as to what exactly I had just tasted, and really would’ve have been much more effective without the chicken and simply as a seafood entree. The lobster’s fresh, light taste seamlessly blended with the heavier and tangier cream sauce. Each component of the dish had its own flavor that could be felt, but the main issue was that the pieces did not cohesively fit together into one medley.
However, the corsican stew ($16), with its vibrant flavors of the braised beef, tomato sauce, carrots and cured olives jumped out from the first bite. The mix of pappardelle pasta and fragrant tomato sauce balanced each other out and served as an excellent base for the braised beef to sit on. Unlike the vol au vent, every
ingredient came together and had a crucial part in the dish that tasted as spicy and fresh as the stew’s own lively red color.
Similarly, the poutine appetizer ($9) – crispy fries smothered in a mushroom sauce and Gruyère cheese -had a balanced palate of ta
stes that allowed me to really feel all parts of the dish. Although the dish was lacking the traditional cheese curds found in its original Quebec roots, the french fries intertwined with the tangy mushroom cheese mixture allowed for an enjoyable replacement.
Viv’s frozen lemon cake ($6) was a successful experiment of flavors through the mixture of lemon, a vanilla crust, ice cream center, and merengue top. The combinations of textures like a crumbly crust, dense ice cream, and a whipped top really made the dessert feel well thought out and like an overall connected idea from start to finish.
The overwhelming feeling I received at Le Town Talk was really the need to establish a better balance of taste among its food, as well as creating a trademark for themselves without the flavor reaches. The service and atmosphere provide an incentive for customers to enter, and the sign sits in the middle of a street littered with pawn shops and Denny’s. I would recommend going to Le Town Talk for a night out with friends as a nice hangout place, but not as a place to look for traditional Franco-American cuisine.