Thursday, December 6, 2007

Urban Solace

(From November 6)

I was excited to try
Urban Solace, a new restaurant in North Park. If anything, this one's a keeper. I love to try new places and even more excited when they turn out to be good. They focus on gussied-up comfort food, hence "urban solace." Comfort food turned hip for an urban neighborhood.

D. ordered the house burger with aged white cheddar and grilled onions. He said it was an excellent burger, especially since they cooked the meat to his liking. Served with yummy sweet potato fries, the dish was a great deal at $8.75.

I had the Maine lobster and artichoke pot pie with the fennel infused pastry . The pastry was crispy and the filling tasty, but I didn't detect any fennel in the pastry, nor was there a lot of artichoke or lobster for a good-sized pie. There were lots of cubes of vegetable, which I'm pretty sure were carrots. I couldn't see color at all, but they were crunchy and a little underdone for a pot pie. The chunks of lobster were quite good and a little sweet. The warmed frisee salad was delicious with cooked tomatoes and a bit of olive oil.

D. and I split a side of the mac 'n' cheese. The charred tomatoes and bacon added a nice touch to a well-made mac 'n' cheese. I like it best with sharp white cheddar and that's how it's done here.

M. had the yellowtail BLT. He said the fish was overcooked and a bit dry, but it wasn't a bad dish overall. Also accompanied by the sweet potato fries.

J. had already eaten, so she had a cup of the tomato fennel soup. It was interestingly presented in a jar and topped with a large crouton and a drizzle of creme fraiche.

For dessert, I had the peanut butter chocolate creme brulee. Yes, that's right, three of my favorite things in one dish. The custard was a bit dense, but I didn't expect a light custard when peanut butter's involved.

D. ordered the chocolate cake. It was really small and we didn't think it was worth the $6 price tag. It was good, though.

J. ordered the key lime pie. It was excellent. I thought it was very fluffy and the lime flavor was fresh and light.

I'm definitely going back to this place. Service was good. Our server seemed a tad overwhelmed (they were busy), but others stepped in for her, so that was nice to see. They have a bluegrass brunch on Sundays, so that's something to look forward to.

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