Lyons, Sparks Lead Ambitious Build-Out of Convention Center into Towne stove and spirits

BOSTON  (RestaurantNewsRelease.comTowne stove and spirits opens today at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, marking the first collaboration since 1982 of two of Boston’s most iconic chefs, Lydia Shire and Jasper White.  The 397-seat restaurant is the first private-public partnership with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and is the result of developers Patrick Lyons and Ed Sparks working alongside MCCA Executive Director James Rooney to create a first-of-its-kind amenity for convention attendees, tourists, residents and workers.

“This restaurant serves the people of Boston, from the thousands of visitors to the thousands of workers and residents in the Back Bay,” Lyons said.  “We believe in Boston, so as ambitious as this project is, we built it with the future of this city in mind.”

Towne stove and spirits aims to be a comfortable, urban brasserie with a popularly-priced menu that reflects the international audience of today’s Boston. Executive Chef Mario Capone, who has worked with Shire for the past 20 years, will be the man behind the stove. As Culinary Directors, Shire and White have created dishes that draw inspiration from around the globe, but heavily incorporate New England seafood, meats and produce.  Diners can look forward to dishes like Peking chicken, a 12-course lobster tasting menu and a special rice menu that highlights the grain and its many cultural interpretations.

“We couldn’t imagine a better addition to the Hynes Convention Center.  With two of Boston’s best chefs and the creative business insight of Patrick Lyons and Ed Sparks, Towne is poised to not only enhance the experience of our convention guests but also create a new benchmark for city dining,” Rooney said.

Designed by Jeffrey Beers International, the expansive 13,000-square-foot space is divided into the three dining rooms and three bars over two floors, yet each space remains cozy and intimate.  Floor-to-ceiling glass windows allow for plenty of natural light during the day, as well as city views at night.  Barn-wood beams frame the dining room and soft cream adorns the walls, tables and chairs.  Jeffrey Beers created a reflective ceiling, which allows passersby a glimpse of the busy restaurant scene inside.  

Fine linens and antique mirrors add to the dining room experience, but the central attraction is the glass-encased second floor show kitchen, a masterpiece of culinary design led by Shire and White.  Diners will be able to look on as cooks work around a “salon,” an island of cooking surfaces that allows cooks to work more collaboratively.  The kitchen features a wood-fired rotisserie, a Peking duck oven and a tandoori oven.  An added design gem is a vintage 1956 Chambers stove in shiny copper from Shire’s collection of culinary antiques. / www.towneboston.com / www.massconvention.com