by Borderstan.com August 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,104 0

From Sarah Lipman. You can email her at sarah[AT]@borderstan.com.

"Urbana"

Urbana’s great summer menu: 2121 P Street NW. (Sarah Lipman)

I’ve been a devoted fan of Urbana since I moved to the city three years ago. Embarrassingly enough, I’ve only recently learned that I’ve been pronouncing the restaurant’s name incorrectly. To save everyone the humiliation of continually raving about a restaurant without even getting the darn name right, the correct pronunciation is [ur-BAH-nah].

Part of Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar on P Street NW, the best way to describe Urbana is a chic, Italian-French-Mediterranean wine bar. For those with food allergies or for the picky eaters out there, it’s worth noting that the kitchen is incredibly accommodating to diner’s specific requests for substitutions and changes, and even offers a gluten-free menu.

The restaurant and bar can be a bit of a scene on weekends (in a good way!), and weeknights find the space more laid-back, with more Hotel Palomar guest diners versus a local patronage. Service is solid, and Chef John Critchley, who took over in 2010, made his rounds around the dining room on my last visit.

The menu’s got a lot going on, with cheese and charcuterie plates, sides, pizzas, starters, and mains, and it changes with the seasons. To help narrow things down for you, here are my Urbana summer menu picks:

Drink

P Street Blue. Yes, I did say it was a wine bar. But this olive-infused vodka martini, with olive juice and over sized blue cheese-stuffed olives is my favorite martini in the district.

Side Dish

Mushroom Ragout. This surprisingly large plate of herb-roasted mushrooms is topped with a runny egg, which adds richness to the dish.

Wood Stone Pizza

Peach. This unusual pie features roasted peaches and speck with cracked black pepper and a rosemary cream sauce. Both the sweet and the savory flavors shine.

Starter

Foie Gras “Corn Dog”. It’s a house-made foie gras bratwurst in corn dog batter, with chopped relish and cognac mustard for dipping. Need I say more?

Main Course

Cannelloni. Lighter than expected, these pasta logs are filled with sweet braised beef short rib, leeks, reglise, and truffle pecorino.

Dessert

Pot du Crème. I hardly ever go for a dessert without some chocolate. This one’s a dark chocolate crème with whipped hazelnut anglaise and hazelnut biscotti.

Urbana: The Details

  • Where Am I Going: 2121 P Street NW, between 21st and 22nd Streets.
  • When Am I Going: Urbana is open for dinner from 5:30 to 10 pm Sunday through Thursday, and open until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Breakfast is served from 7 to 10:30 am during the week, and brunch is served 8 am to 3 pm on the weekends. Lunch options are available 11:30 am to 3 pm during the week. The bar is open from 3:30 to 11 pm Sunday through Monday, open until midnight Tuesday through Thursday, and open until 2 am Friday and Saturday.
  • Paycheck Pain: Starters are $15 and under, entrees range from $19-$29. Cocktails are $13.
  • Say What?: Seating close to the bar can get noisy on weekends, but weeknights are pretty subdued noise-wise.
  • What You’ll Be Eating: French/Mediterranean-influenced fare.

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by Borderstan.com October 14, 2011 at 9:45 am 1,939 0

DC Wine Week, Alejandra Owens

DC Wine Week starts Saturday, October 17. Get the details on events and specials in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area and beyond. (Alejandra Owens)

From Ashley Lusk. Check out Ashley’s blog Metropoetrylis and find her on Twitter at @arlusk. You can email her at [email protected].

This Saturday kicks off the first-ever DC Wine Week — a citywide opportunity to enjoy wine, wine education and to help support the area’s growing local wineries, wine shops, wine bars, restaurants and merchants. (The event is sponsored by a number of local establishments and businesses.) There are several participating establishments in the Borderstan area; full details below.

The event starts with an opening bash at Sonoma in Capitol Hill on Saturday, and if the popularity of the invitation-only event has been any indicator of what you can expect this week, you should probably make your plans soon. However, if The Hill is a little too far from Borderstan for your Merlot fix, there are some great events closer to home.

Events in Dupont-Logan-U Street

Saturday, October 15

  • Happy Hour from 3 to 7 pm at One Lounge (1606 20th Street NW) with half off selected wines.

Sunday, October 16

  • Happy Hour from 3 to 7 pm at One Lounge (1606 20th Street NW) with half off selected wines.

Monday, October 17

  • At the Twine Up Urbana (2121 P Street NW) will be offering a $5 per glass happy hour special that includes a Chardonnay and Cabernet plus a special for DC Wine Week — Macabeo, a varietal from Cava and a red grape, Tempranillo.
  • Happy Hour from 3 to 7 pm at One Lounge (1606 20th Street NW) with half off selected wines.
  • Happy Hour from 4 to 7 pm at Urbana Wine Bar (2121 P Street NW) with $5 red and white house wines.

Tuesday, October 18

  • Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe (1517 Connecticut Avenue NW) will be hosting “Does Terroir Really Make a Difference?” an education in the soil, climate and environment needed to produce a spectacular wine. The event that includes flights of three Sauvignon Blancs and/or three Pinot Noirs from three distinct wine regions — for just $10 per flight.
  • Happy Hour from 3 to 7 pm at One Lounge (1606 20th Street NW) with half off selected wines.
  • Happy Hour from 4 to 7 pm at Urbana Wine Bar (2121 P Street NW) with $5 red and white house wines.

Wednesday, October 19

  • Head to Policy (1904 14th Street NW) for “Wine Down Wednesday” and get 50% off wines by the bottle.
  • Happy Hour from 3 to 7 pm at One Lounge (1606 20th Street NW) with half off selected wines.
  • Happy Hour from 4 to 7 pm at Urbana Wine Bar (2121 P Street NW) with $5 red and white house wines.

Thursday, October 20

  • Just up the street in Adams Morgan… head to Rumba (2443 18th Street NW) for tapas with Chilean wine pairings.
  • Happy Hour from 3 to 7 pm at One Lounge (1606 20th Street NW) with half off selected wines.

Friday, October 21

  • Happy Hour from 3 to 7 pm at One Lounge (1606 20th Street NW) with half off selected wines.
  • Happy Hour from 4 to 7 pm at Urbana Wine Bar (2121 P Street NW) with $5 red and white house wines.

Saturday, October 22

  • Happy Hour from 3 to 7 pm at One Lounge (1606 20th Street NW) with half off selected wines.

Specials and Tastings: Don’t Miss Events

If you can’t make it to one of the special DC Wine Week happy hours, the event website points out some great wine-focused specials and tastings to check out.

  • Wine Riot on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, 7 to 11 pm both evenings. Location is the Daughters of the Revolution Constitution Hall and ticket price ($50 to $60) includes sample size pours of any and all wines at the Riot.
  • Washington Wine Academy Potomac River Cruises on Friday, October 21 from 6:30 to 8 pm and 8:30 to 10 pm. At the DC Southwest Waterfront, $55 per ticket.
  • Chocolate, Cupcakes & Wine at Co Co. Sala at 929 F Street NW on Friday, October 21 from 6 to 7 pm.

For a complete listing of events and wine tasting specials, visit www.dcwineweek.com

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