We had the pleasure of dining at The Rugby Grille at The Townsend Hotel in lovely Birmingham, MI last night and what a treat it was. From the warm surroundings to the excellent wine and fabulous meal, we enjoyed every minute. There were five of us for a business dinner; but the delightful ambiance made it feel like a reunion of old friends sharing stories over a divine Paraduxx “Z” Napa Valley red blend.
The Townsend house salad with Maytag blue cheese, shaved red onions, candied walnuts and dried cranberries featured their incredible signature vinaigrette dressing. We want the recipe for the best vinaigrette ever! The ample House Casesar Salad was served complete with a giant anchovy on top which pleased the guy who ordered it.
Entrees, although expensive, were worth the “investment” in a splendid gourmet experience. The guy who enjoyed the anchovy ordered LaFrieda’s Rugby Burger, a big chuck of burger with bacon, carmalized Vidalia onions and white cheddar cheese served with fries. The rest of us ordered dinner entrees. I enjoyed the Seared Maine Diver Scallops with pumpkin puree, pork belly, baby bok choy, pepito, almond and Hoisin-Balsamic Sauce. Just typing those words now makes my mouth water. My associate, a young man, ordered the same thing and he loved it but thought the portions were a bit small. I thought they were just right for a post-menopausal Boomer woman who sports a muffin top. I also heard raves about the Grille’s famous Dover Sole and two of the guys oohed and aahed over the Crème Brulee served with fresh fruit.
The Rugby Grille features a small but cozy bar. According to our host, the restaurant is one of the most popular in the area, especially for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversary celebrations. We could see why! Townsend Hotel guests never have to leave the building thanks to this great restaurant and that’s a good thing when the temperature outside is 21 degrees.