Friday, November 21, 2014

Meatless Mondays: Urbane

The CSA menu in downtown’s Urbane is fresh to death.

Urbane serves up deliberate and elegant combinations with honest ingredients. Swank. Let’s just say Fifty Shades of Grey ain’t got nothing on this sexy review.

Urbane first introduced this concept in May of this year, partnering with Chinook Farms of Snohomish, WA and their CSA program to create a new weekly menu only served on Mondays based on the produce they receive. Like a Top Chef challenge, the kitchen staff must take those ingredients and create a masterpiece. There are only 6-8 servings each week so don’t dilly-dally. Get to the restaurant early on Monday so you can be sure to get a taste. Each server has the 411 on the menu and its preparation and is excited to tell you about it. So. Am. I.

Urbane Shaved Salad

Shaved cream carrots, fennel, cucumber, and roasted beets (in layman’s terms, ‘Salad’)

This fresh and fragrant salad showed up and we were already all in. The dish presented the farm-fresh vegetables beautifully and we just knew the rest of the meal would be an escape.

The wide-noodle-esque cuts of cream carrots, fennel and cucumber were a creative way to present a salad. The EVOO and salt and pepper softly touched the vegetables for an enhanced taste. Goosebumps. While I focused on the perfectly chilled pile of vegetable ribbons, I felt a gentle stare coming from the other side of the plate. Deep red cubes of juicy beets were looking me up and down and I wasn’t shy to invite them in. I’ve found that beets can sometimes taste too much like a garden, complete with dirt. These were sweet and obviously just picked. The combination between the two sides was one of mastery and simplicity. Every bite is obvious yet quiet. Subtlety has its place.

This first impression was enough to make me want a second date. With its “come hither” looks and honest flavors, I was seduced. I was taken on a luxurious yacht on a crisp summer night. Now that’s grown sexy.

Urbane Roasted Vegetables

Orange carrot puree, roasted cauliflower, walla walla onions and green beans (‘Roasted Vegetable Party’)

Urbane is accommodating. Its wait staff proved to understand vernacular and execution of fine cuisine and pairings. If you have a dietary issue, they’ll have a solution. This dish was a melding of two dishes to create the ultimate vegan entrée. Instead of chicken, Urbane introduced the famed Walla Walla onions and I couldn’t be more surprised. I have never been the biggest fan of onions, but after this meal I’ll be the psycho girl on their property trying to grab a handful of hair. The roasted cauliflower, onions, wax and green beans sat atop an orange carrot puree. Looked like fall, tasted like summer. Every element had incredible texture, creating a hearty grouping that satisfied me to the core. The first date turned into a comfortable relationship and the Juicy velour sweatpants were on. Swank.

Urbane Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes, roasted corn and tomatoes and green gazpacho (‘Fried Green Tomatoes’)

Beautiful presentation was a constant with each dish. Swankfest 3. The contrast of all the vibrant colors was a sight. I wanted a taste. How the cornmeal-crusted green tomatoes were cut and coated made each bite consistent. The ratio was exact, offering a light but crunchy texture. A summer must. You might be sporting sweatpants but don’t let this dish fool you into thinking you should completely give in to fatty neglect. The green gazpacho the fried tomatoes were dipping their toes in was sweet and bright. Fresh roasted corn and tomatoes topped with micro beet greens made for another creative salad. The dream of fried fresh healthiness has finally come true. Vows exchanged.

Urbane Exterior

Urbane’s celebrity couple name would be a blend of “Conscious”, “Artful” and “Swanky”: Conar Swank. Damn, he sounds fine. And he can grab the most well-deserved double-D cups of gravy any Monday he wants.

Urbane |  1639 8th Ave,  Seattle  |  (206) 676-4600

Come to Urbane on a Monday and you can add any CSA a la carte option they happen to have to your regular Urbane menu selection.

 Photography by Josie James Keeney

About Catherine Giudici

A proud Coug, she graduated from WSU with a B.A. in Advertising going on to the likes of Wexley School for Girls, Seattle Weekly and Taco Del Mar “Corporate”. After eating copious amounts of exotic—and not so exotic—meat on a trip to Kenya, Catherine returned to the States craving anything and everything without a face. The vegan affair began and after four years, she’s a self-proclaimed “opportunistic vegan”, cheating on her lover for very special occasions. Catherine reps 206 on the daily and has been for 20 years. Like a true Seattleite, she owns Birkenstocks, rides the Metro and loves the smell of rain.
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