Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining month is a great opportunity to try out some of the city’s best restaurants, and I was recently invited to preview the Magical Dining menu at Urbain 40.
Chef Tim Keating (formerly of The Flying Fish at Walt Disney World) has crafted a delicious menu that pays homage to America’s melting pot influences, notably Italian and French.
Our sampling started with a quartet of appetizers:
- The Chef’s Seasonal Salad (mesclun greens, fresh & kiln-dried strawberries, cucumbers, red onions, radishes, aged feta cheese, tiny tomatoes, Greek olives, drizzled with a lemon dijon vinaigrette) – A fresh, crisp, and light way to start the meal.
- Soup du Jour – Ours was a corn bisque that tasted like it just came off the cob. So fresh and delicious!
- Crepe Urbain (mushroom-laced eggplant caponata, gruyere, yellow tomato & sweet pepper sauce, balsamico drizzle) – I couldn’t try this because of the mushrooms, but my fellow diners liked it a lot.
- Urbain 40 Northeast Atlantic Costal Mussels (cast iron skillet sea salt-roasted, butter, lemon & white wine) – This choice incurs a $5 extra charge, but if you love mussels, you’ll enjoy this restaurant best-seller.
Then we progressed on to the five entrees:
- Risotto di Giorno (pan-roasted sweet red Argentine shrimp with artichoke, tomato, basil, mascarpone & pecorino romano-laced risotto di carnarolli) – This dish doesn’t skimp on the shirmp, and the risotto provided a creamy balance.
- Butchers Block Reserve Veal Milanese (with housemade pesto pasta dumplings, broccolini & a lemon squeeze) –
a simple dish done well, and the pesto pasta had a gnocchi-like texture I enjoyed.
- Free-Range Organic Chicken Parmigiano Bianco (with Mediterranean vegetable-laced fregola sarda, mozzarella, parmigiano and fontina crèma) – A tasty twist on the classic dish with a white cheese sauce.
- Grilled Gulf Coast Grouper Fillet (on a bed of fingerling potato, spring onion, tiny pepper & late summer crop squash hash) – This dish was rated best if you want a light entree. It does incur a $5 extra charge, as well.
- Orecchiette alla Campana (pasta, Italian fennel sausage, eggplant, rhapini, and grana padano, tossed in an erb-infused olive oil) – While i enjoyed all the entrees I tried, I seriously wanted to hoard this whole dish for myself. Definitely my favorite.
We barely had room for dessert, but when the chef brought out the trio of offerings, we had to try them:
- Blueberry “Cobbler” Croissant Bread Pudding (featuring Florida blueberries, toasted oat streusel, vanilla bean gelato, with a drizzle of warm caramel sauce) – This was the table favorite! It had a really nice pairing of contrasts – sweet with a little tart, soft with a bit of crunchy. I thought it was a great finish to my meal.
- Coffee Caramel Crème Brûlée (topped with Madagascar vanilla chantilly cream, and a cherry and cocoa nib biscotti) – For those who enjoy an after meal coffee, this flavored Crème Brûlée will hit the spot.
- Panache of Urbain 40 Macarons, Cookies & Seasonal Torta – The chocoholics will love this assortment of treats.
Kudos to Chef Keating for the wonderful meal! I enjoyed listening to him talk about each dish…you could feel the passion he has for his food. I also appreciated the attention he took to accommodating my food allergies.
Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month runs through September 30, 2018. For $35 (plus tax/gratuity), you get a three-course dinner, and $1 of each meal benefits two charities – Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.
Disclaimer: The author attended a media event where she sampled the menu. As always, her opinions are honest, and her own.
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