A Southern table isn’t fully set without a proper entree and three sides. Colloquially known as a “meat-and-three,” it’s a staple of hospitality and a way everyone knows that dinner is serious business. Later, as the region moved away from an agrarian way of life, the meat-and-three moved to lunchtime, catering to office workers.
Although the tradition never really vanished, Town Hall wants to restore it to its place of pride. Executive chefs Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal’s 15-year-old Southern restaurant in SoMa has begun a $45 Meat & Threes menu every Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Diners can choose from either andouille sausage gumbo or a butter lettuce salad, and then one of eight meats — including blackened catfish, St. Louis-style ribs, or country pork chops — plus three of 11 sides.
That’s where it gets tricky to narrow things down, especially when you’re faced with crispy fried okra, mac ’n’ cheese croquettes, hushpuppies with lavender honey, and grilled asparagus with lemon picada. Dessert options include Key lime pie and carrot cake, while you can add on extras in the form of cocktails, like a Ramos Gin Fizz or Mint Julep, as well as a supplemental taste of country ham served with buttermilk biscuits and red-pepper jelly.
Housed in one of the first buildings constructed after the 1906 earthquake, Town Hall has endured all the commotion from the nearby Salesforce Tower and Transbay Terminal for the past several years. Now that’s a topic of conversation to dive into over pimento cheese and a cup of late-19th-century Fish House Punch.
Town Hall, 342 Howard St., 415-908-3900 or townhallsf.com