Letters from Lodi

An insightful and objective look at viticulture and winemaking from the Lodi
Appellation and the growers and vintners behind these crafts. Told from the
perspective of multi-award winning wine journalist, Randy Caparoso.

Randy Caparoso
June 26, 2024 | Randy Caparoso

Towne House Restaurant's Neighborhood Nights brings products of local farmers and Lodi growers together on this historical site

Lodi journalist Suzanne Ledbetter (also of the Vino Farms winegrowing family) enjoying Niman Ranch carnitas at Wine & Roses Hotel's Towne House Restaurant. Jill Means Design.

This past Sunday/Monday (June 23-24), Lodi's Wine & Roses Hotel welcomed guests to the first of their planned "Neighborhood Night" events in Towne House Restaurant

The newly launched Neighborhood Night dinners every Sunday and Monday night, explains local influencer and marketing consultant Tracci Dare (retained by Wine & Roses Hotel), will entail 3-course offerings for $45 (not including tax and gratuity). 

Entrée to Wine & Roses Hotel's Towne House Restaurant. Wine & Roses Hotel.

According to Dare, the menus⏤a different one conceived and executed each week by Towne House's classically trained chefs⏤"will celebrate the freshest ingredients put out by local farmers, growers and ranchers... all our neighbors!"

Skilled hands of classically trained chefs at Lodi's Towne House Restaurant.

Each of the three Neighborhood Night courses will also be listed on the menu with suggested glasses of complimenting Lodi-grown wines (extra charge, usually $10 or $12/glass). Says Dare, "The events will be Lodi-focused because the idea is to bring our entire community, both growers and winemakers, closer together over food and wines."

Lodi wine and food lover raves over the house-made gnocchi served at Towne House's first Neighborhood Night event. Jill Means Design.

While the setting at Towne House Restaurant is more like a luxurious French countryside restaurant, longtime Lodi natives remember the property as being, in fact, very much a part of their neighborhood. 

Influential Lodi marketing consultant Tracii Dare welcoming guests to Towne House Restaurant.

The historic property upon which the restaurant and hotel now sits was originally the home of Burton A. Towne, who acquired the land in 1902 for his wife Alice and their growing family. Towne was one of Lodi's pioneering grape and almond farmers. Up until 1984, three generations (ending with Burt Towne III) lived on this farm at Lower Sacramento and Turner roads, known in the community as "Towne Corner."

Guests enjoying the first Neighborhood Night dinner at Lodi's Towne House Restaurant. Jill Means Design.

It is said that neighbors used to stop by for picnics in the exquisite gardens maintained by the Townes, which included some 400 rose bushes. A fire in the mid-1920s destroyed their original home. In 1930 the family built a new 2-story home, which locals called the Towne House. Hence, today's Towne House Restaurant, was established in 1999 by current Wine & Roses Hotel co-owners Russ and Kathryn Munson.

Grilled Mt. Lassen trout at Lodi's Towne House Restaurant. Jill Means Design.

One example of the ever-changing menus and selections of wines to come, offered in the first Neighborhood Night dinners at Towne House Restaurant this past June 23-24:

First course

Niman Ranch Carnitas, fig-soy agrodolce, crispy rice, cayenne furikake
Suggested with 2021 Birchino Mule Plane Vineyard Carignan
Twin Peaks Stuffed Squash Blossoms, house-made ricotta, Honest Acres shishito chili sauce
Suggested with 2022 Markus Wine Co. Nimmo (Kerner Riesling)

Welcoming lights at Lodi's Towne House Restaurant. Wine & Roses Hotel.

Second course

Grilled Mt. Lassen Trout, olive-citrus tapenade, confit tomato, braised local hakurei turnips
Suggested with 2023 Bokisch Vineyards Terra Alta Vineyard Albariño
House made Gnocchi, Brentwood corn purée, alemaya summer squash, local cotija cheese, basil
Suggested with 2020 Mettler Family Vineyards Chardonnay

Crème anglaise over a fresh Lodi cherry clafoutis at Towne House Restaurant. Jill Means Design.

Third course

Cherry Clafoutis, toasted almond crème anglaise, vanilla chantilly
Suggested with 2022 LangeTwins Family River Ranch Vineyard Aglianico Rosé
Blueberry Lemon Cake, blueberry relish
Suggested with LVVR Cellars Sparkling Rosé

More wonderful photos of Towne House Restaurant's first Neighborhood Night dinner by local photographer Jill Means of Jill Means Design:



Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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