Soft opening for Townsend on East Passyunk

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Townsend, 1623 E. Passyunk Ave.

Way back in January when chef Townsend Wentz signed his lease on East Passyunk Avenue, he promised to open in the spring.

He's a man of his word, as the first-floor bar at Townsend (1623 E. Passyunk Ave.) will begin serving a small menu augmented by a limited bar list on Friday night, April 25. The entire restaurant, including the second-floor dining room, is set to open May 1.

The early menu (here) reflects the bistro's French-influenced approach, including beef tartare, pate, and foie gras mousse.

As for the wines, manager Lauren Harris says they'll pour the following whites by the glass: Jacquere, "Cuvee Gastronomie" Jean Perrier et Fils, 2013 (Savoie, France); Picpoul de Pinet, Domaine Guillaume Cabrol, 2012 (Languedoc, France); Catarratto/Grecanico "L'Isola dei Profumi" Alcesti, 2012 (Sicily, Italy); Chardonnay, Charles and Charles, 2012 (Columbia Valley, Washington State.

And the following reds: Merlot/Cab Sauv/Cab Franc, Bordeaux Superieur, Chateau Les Gravieres de Brandille, 2010 (Bordeaux, France); Cinsault/Grenache/Syrah, "Mon Bon Plaisir" Domaine du Chapitre, 2012 (Rhone, France);  Garnacha, "Vinas Viejas" Bielsa, 2012 (Campo de Borja, Spain).

Plus the following wines on tap: 2013 Gotham Projecty riesling The Finger from the Finger Lakes, and 2012 Katas Tempranillo.

Bartender Keith Raimondi will start out mixing a few, including Pimms cup (Pimms, Beefeater, lemon, soda), a rye buck (rye, ginger, lemo), and turf cocktail (Plymouth gin, dry vermouth, maraschino, absinthe, orange bitters).

Wentz - the Lacroix and Four Seasons alum who was awarded two bells for his work at McCrossen's Tavern in the Art Museum area - is awaiting community approval for an Italian BYOB at 23d Street and Fairmount Avenue in Fairmount.

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