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Virginia’s Town House Restaurant Reinvented

Submitted by on May 24, 2009 – 10:25 pmNo Comment

town-house-logoTheir story is a perennial favorite: two luminous talents trade urban America for the country.

Leaving bustling Chicago for pastoral Chilhowie, Va., John B. Shields and Karen Urie traded posts at two of the nation’s most significant five-star restaurants, Charlie Trotter’s and Alinea, for the inspiration of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the chance to work side-by-side to reinvent Town House, a restaurant located at intersection of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Shields and Urie have opted for the pace of small town living among the mountains of southwestern Virginia.

Before spending two years as Sous Chef at Alinea (named the #1 restaurant in America in Gourmet magazine’s twice-per-decade survey), Shields served in the same role at Charlie Trotter’s. Similarly, Urie was Head Pastry Chef at Charlie Trotter’s for more than four years, after spending two years working under renowned pastry chef Gale Gand at TRU.

Highlights from the current menu include: Confit of Rabbit Leg with morel mushrooms, maiitake mushrooms, bulgur and walnut; Dry Aged Ribeye of Beef with pistachio, carrot taffy, red wine and mustard; Snowcrab with passion fruit, bell pepper & chilies, sorrel, and lemongrass; and Tea Smoked Loup De Mer with sweet shrimp consommé, water chestnut, “birds nest,” and lime; and Cold Smoked Chocolate with carrot, Indian curry, coriander, coconut, and mint.

The staples of Town House’s kitchen include locally-grown produce. The restaurant offers the Town House Table dinner series, an ongoing monthly celebration held at Town House which pays tribute to the diverse backgrounds of the farmers and purveyors who make up the Appalachian foodways.

Town House is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. The restaurant is located at 132 East Main Street, Chilhowie, VA 24319; 276:646-8787.

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