Saturday, July 18, 2009

Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar

Last date I was here: 07/18/2009

Restaurant: Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar (

Location: Dupont Circle

Total Rating: 4.5
Food: 5, Price: 4, Service: 3, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

Summary: Urbana has been highlighted in many local papers and restaurant reviews and features an imaginative and approachable menu influenced by the rich culinary traditions of the Western Mediterranean. Offering signature pastas, pizzas from the wood-burning oven, grilled meats and seafood, Urbana is most popular for its Appertif Hour and specials that are available at the swanky bar from 4-7pm. Urbana is also known for its wine experience and displays an entire dining room filled with wine bottles as well as a list of 35 wines by the glass. The floor plan is open and split between the dining room to the left and a wood-burning oven in the back and the lounge/bar area to the right. The lighting is dim to create that romantic feel with direct spot lights to tables to make sure you look at your food. Closest Metro is Dupont Circle.

When we arrived for an early dinner, the dining room was empty except for one other couple. We were seated at a nice half circle booth towards the middle of the room – our backs to the kitchen. Our server informed us that tonight was a new menu featuring a 3 course tasting in celebration of Urbana’s third anniversary. After ordering our wine and perusing the menu, we decided to go ahead and try the tasting menu. Our scallops were cooked a little on the light side but tasted very good and the presentation was very pretty and colorful. As more patrons filled the room, our entrees took a while to come out. Our server kept using the excuse that the menu was new so the kitchen was backed up, but we saw another large table of 5 who has arrived as we were eating eating our appetizers and ordered our same dishes get served before we did. When our dishes did come out – there was a mix up of mine. The tasting menu listed a pappardelle with tomatoes and zuchinni in a light lemon butter sauce – however this was apparently a typo and was supposed to be the linguine dish where as the pappardelle is served with pork in a tomato sauce. The server was apologetic and the kitchen fired up the promised dish in quick time. The server informed us that it was indeed a mistake and that they would re-print all the menus before the next night’s service. I did not mind so much as the pasta was very light and fresh – exactly what I was anticipating. Our desserts were pretty and the perfect portion. Keith’s cheesecake was more like a panna cotta, but the flavors were there. All in all, Urbana was a classy restaurant with an ambitious persona to please its patrons. I would definitely come back again, especially since the small seasonal menus are constantly changing and the appertif hour is pretty good deal.

What I ate:

Seared Sea Scallops
With a white bean puree and red bell pepper and mango relish

With grape tomatoes, zucchini, and pine nuts in a lemon butter sauce

Trio of Crème Brulee
espresso with brown butter maple foam
rosemary and caramelized apples
local honey with blueberry compote

Plus Keith ate:

Bacon wrapped Pork Loin
served with anson mills polenta, melted vidalia onions and baby carrots

Bananas Foster Cheesecake

Urbana on Urbanspoon

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