On a wall behind a cozy, wraparound booth a quote from Buddy Hackett reads, “As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it, or leave it.” With options such as grilled steak medallions crusted with blue cheese, bacon, and shiitake mushrooms, it’s unlikely anyone would choose to leave Urban Eatery, but the playful spirit embodied by Hackett’s pithy saying doesn’t undermine the restaurant’s dedication to fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Today’s Reserve selection invites you to an urban feast for two on either Sunday–Thursday or Friday–Saturday. The meal includes your choice of the following items:
- Appetizer or side dish
- Two salads
- Two entrees
- Two regular or decaf coffees
- Complimentary valet service after 5 p.m.
With its recently renewed focus on American comfort food, “the Urban Eatery kitchen crew is clearly having a great time,” writes Rick Nelson of the Star Tribune. The menu is full of such twists on classic dishes, such as the smoked-duck nachos or the smoked pork chop, which trades the traditional applesauce for a cider glaze, apple chutney, parmesan risotto, and a balsamic reduction. Every dish is presented in elegant fashion, but the chefs don’t sacrifice appetite for style—this is comfort food, after all, and meals are still served in hearty portions.
In warmer weather, the outdoor patio lets guests enjoy the breeze off Lake Calhoun, but lakeside views can be found inside as well. There, track lighting and oversize glass bulbs illuminate the walls of exposed brick, rustic wood, and chalkboards. Throughout the eatery, playful quotes such as Hackett’s pepper the walls, much as a mayor spray-paints his signature under every city bridge.
Comedian Buddy Hackett once said, “As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it, or leave it.” Though this playful quote adorns a wall inside Urban Eatery’s dining room, it stands at odds with the restaurant’s philosophy. With a focus on fresh and local ingredients, chefs inundate their menus with diverse culinary styles. They reinterpret traditional recipes such as smoked duck nachos, mushroom-crusted steak medallions and whiskey-soy salmon.
Servers pair these dishes with more than 55 international wines and eclectic cocktails, served under stainless-steel ceilings and light from industrial glass bulb lamps. Guests lounge in leather banquettes against wooden-plank walls or stare out at the waters of Lake Calhoun from tall bistro-style tables after their cars are stored by complimentary valet parking.