Sometimes in the parlance of my old neighborhood, I am a mooch. Well who wouldn’t if they had a chance to have dinner at the Rugby Grille at the Townsend Hotel and then spend the evening there. There have been occasions when I get to accompany my Bride on some of her Board Meetings and they are grand times. The Townsend Hotel is a great boutique hotel located right in the heart of downtown Birmingham and sometimes the hardest part is maneuvering around the side streets to get there.
If you have been in the customer service industry as long as I have, you will fully enjoy your stay at this hotel, where the word “no” is not in the vocabulary of the staff. After getting to the room, I decided to go downstairs and look for other members of the Board and have a drink, while I was waiting for my Bride to arrive. More and more members arrived, and it was finally time for us to go have dinner. The Rugby Grille had set up a nice table on a semi-private section, so that we would not be disturbed. The Rugby Grille has an English country ambience with the cherry wood walls and the fireplace, a room one could get used to being in.
The planning committee had made prior selections, so we had a more abbreviated menu, but that was just fine, both for the guests and I am sure for the kitchen. My Bride started with “Scottish Smoked Salmon” with Dill Crème Fraiche, while I had Mini Burger “Bites”, a trio of sliders with Ahi Tuna, Kobe Short Rib and Angus Sirloin. This was followed by a very nice house salad. My Bride had Seared Day Boat Hawaiian Tuna Sashimi, while I enjoyed the Crispy Duck “Panzanella.” There were a couple of other choices, but we were both happy with our selections. For dessert we had a Warm Chocolate Cake with Truffle Center, Cherries Compote and Ice Cream, as well as some wonderful coffee.
There was a selection of wines on the table for our dining enjoyment. We went for two of the wines. We started with a wine from the Wagner Family, namely Conundrum 2008. This is there proprietary white wine, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay and Viognier and they leave the percentages a mystery, as they are not stated on the bottle. Ever since our trip to Napa and our stop at this winery, Conundrum has always been a popular wine for us and it has never been a disappointment. The other wine that we had that evening was also a favorite of ours, from the very same trip, because we had stopped at the Duckhorn Vineyards as well. This evening we had their Paraduxx 2007. While I am not a big fan of Zinfandel, this wine which also is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc always is right on the money. It is full bodied, with a great nose and great color. It may have over powered the Duck dish, but I was not going to complain. It was a wonderful meal, and it was a good thing that we were staying the night, as we also had a wicked Spanish Coffee later, that was indeed decadent.