Last night’s Thursday night dinner was the largest yet. With a table for nine at Urbane, we increased our largest Thursday dinner by about five. After a brief, but mildly panicked expression of concern from our friend, M, I’ve decided not to call anyone by their full name and continue in the vein of B. In case you’ve ever wondered, B is called B by his choice. What’s funny about it is that I now find myself referring to him that way in conversations with people who actually know him.
I’ve had a two instances of people this week being absolutely baffled by me taking photos of my food. The first was Wednesday when I attended the food tasting for my team Christmas party (which was amazing, by the way). One of my coworkers told me the next day she’d never seen anyone take pictures of food. Thursday night, M seemed at once shocked and confused by our other friend, B², taking photos of the food I couldn’t reach from my side of the very long table. Apparently, he had never heard of people taking food photos either. I sort of felt like a novelty… or an oddity.
Anyway, on to Urbane. It’s a little tough for any restaurant to manage a group that large. We all arrived at different times, talked too much and took forever to decide… basically committed all the sins a large table can commit. The team at Urbane handled it very gracefully.
Urbane’s theme is farm to table with a goal of sourcing as much as possible from 30 miles or closer. The menu wasn’t elaborate, but it was certainly interesting and there was plenty to choose from. Unusual for a Thursday night dinner, I didn’t try everything I have a photo of, but they are worth sharing. If I had to choose something about the experience I didn’t love, it seemed like they were out of a lot of items from liquor to food. This definitely put their staff in an awkward position.
Since we arrived out of order, those of us who were a little early ordered drinks. B had a Kuratini and I had a Hemingway daiquiri. I almost don’t want to post the Hemingway photo since it’s so blurry, but I have to because it’s also so wrong. There are just so many problems with a pink cocktail named after the manliest of men.
For appetizers, we ordered the beef carpaccio, charcuterie plate and oysters on the half shell. I was thrilled that P and his lovely wife, M² shared a dozen oysters with me because B never will.
For entrees, a few folks at our table ordered the pork shank (including B). It tasted amazing, but the portion size was a bit absurd. Really, he didn’t need the whole pork shank. I had the half Mad Hatcher chicken which was equally delicious. For sides, we had the skinny fries and the roasted potatoes. It’s really hard to screw up a potato in my mind, so if you get it even almost right, I’m happy. These were both very good. For dessert we ordered their Theo chocolate cream pie. It wasn’t really my taste.
People often joke with me and B about Thursdays being date nights. The fact is, though, we love it when people join us for Thursday dinner. We were lucky this week to have such a large group with us. Next week, we’ll be joined by two of our other friends and their daughter. It’s so much fun for us to share these experiences with great company. Granted, it’s a little nerve wrecking for me since I usually choose the restaurant and if we’re true to Thursday Night Bites, it’s somewhere we’ve never been before. If it goes badly and it’s just me and B, it’s a bummer. If we’ve brought others with us, I’ll feel terrible! Fortunately, Urbane didn’t let us down.
After dinner, four of us continued on to Mistral Kitchen for an after dinner drink. B and our friend, D were very enthusiastic to visit Mistral Kitchen out of love for their favorite drink, the Courting Rachel. The Courting Rachel is a bourbon based drink infused with hickory smoke inside a carafe before pouring it over a hand cut, huge round chunk of ice.
You’ll notice there’s a bit of sunlight in the background of the second photo and B’s arm looks a little lightly dressed for winter in the last. That’s because this photo is from late Spring. I couldn’t take a photo of the Courting Rachel on Thursday night because their smoking machine broke and, rather than replacing or repairing it, they took the drink off the menu. I honestly thought B and D might cry. They both ordered something else suggested by our server and their bartender, but everyone at the table agreed. The new drinks just didn’t compare to B’s proclaimed “best drink ever.” My Moscow Mule was very good, but then again, I love pretty much anything served in a copper mug.