Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First look at chef Tim Keating's revamp of the Urbain 40 menu

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 12:34 PM

click to enlarge ROB BARTLETT
  • Rob Bartlett
The art deco, Jazz Age, speakeasy feel is still in full swing – literally – at Urbain 40 with former Flying Fish Cafe chef Tim Keating coming over to helm the kitchen.

The former trés Français brasserie is now a bastion of upscale global cuisine, and its new menu includes dishes from Italy and China along with some classic American crowd-pleasers. But don't fret: Keating left some of the French-forward dishes on the menu (like the onion soup and salade Niçoise) to satisfy fans of the restaurant's first iteration.

We were lucky enough to sit down with Keating and taste some of his new menu items. At the end of the meal, we sipped our house-made grapefruit and blackberry limoncello (by request only, for now) and listened to the trio play Sinatra standards in the lounge, we decided we couldn't wait to come back and try the rest. 
click to enlarge CLIFFORD ALEJOS
  • Clifford Alejos
Pate de Campagne ($15)
A shoo-in of a starter. Keating makes his pâté in-house using local meats and Italian pistachios. Accompanied by whole grain mustard, cornichons, jardiniere, and onion jam.

click to enlarge CLIFFORD ALEJOS
  • Clifford Alejos
Rock Shrimp and Cape Bay Scallop Ceviche (top, $17) and Crispy Jonah Crab Cake (bottom, $17)
The fruits-de-mer-forward ceviche has a little kick, thanks to the inclusion of tequila in its leche de tigre. Once you've fished out all the fish, don't hesitate to shoot the rest down the hatch. The real star of the Jonah crab cake is the bright, piquant salsa verde alongside it.

click to enlarge CLIFFORD ALEJOS
  • Clifford Alejos
Seasonal Salad ($13)
Keating told us he'd eat this salad every day while he worked in France, and we don't blame him. We'd eat it daily, too. The ripe pears, local greens, hefty cubes of gorgonzola, walnut oil vinaigrette and candied walnut halves are what salad dreams are made of.
click to enlarge CLIFFORD ALEJOS
  • Clifford Alejos
click to enlarge CLIFFORD ALEJOS
  • Clifford Alejos

Bolognese (right, $24), and Trofie di Abruzzo (left, $24)
Italian food ain't all the same, and these two pasta dishes couldn't make that more clear. The Bolognese is slow-braised beef, veal and heritage pork, topped with shaved Parmesan atop fresh pappardelle from one of Keating's favorite artisan pasta shops. The corkscrew-style Ligurian dumplings soak up flavor from duck confit, duck sausage and mushrooms native to northern Italy.
click to enlarge CLIFFORD ALEJOS
  • Clifford Alejos
8-ounce Certified Angus Beef Filet ($40)
It's an expensive entree, to be sure, but this filet is easily one of the best we've tasted (and we love steak). Keating serves his with choice of six different sides — this one came with grilled jumbo asparagus spears and herb-roasted mushrooms.

click to enlarge CLIFFORD ALEJOS
  • Clifford Alejos
Ginger-Teriyaki Char-Crusted Yellowfin Tuna "Filet" ($34)
Showing off his pan-Asian side, we loved Keating's take on a modern classic, the seared tuna steak. His iteration bursts with ginger, carrot, lemongrass and coconut notes from the curry emulsion on the bottom.

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