The chefs at Urban Plates refresh the menu to reflect the seasons and feature local, seasonally fresh produce and ingredients. It energizes our culinary teams to use new ingredients in their recipes. It isn’t easy to make all these changes, but it’s necessary for us to stay true to our principles of preparing real food made from scratch every day. Our culinary teams make some of the recipes over and over, so it’s energizing for us to learn how to prepare, cook and serve new menu items. Our penchant for a constantly evolving menu does pose a problem, however. Some of our guests do get attached to certain menu items. So, if their favorite item is removed for a seasonal menu change, they feel like we have taken something away from them. When we hear that some guests are disappointed about a certain item going away, we listen and see if we can bring it back better than ever. Often, after guests taste one of our new seasonal items, then it becomes their new favorite. It’s a tasty dilemma! No matter what changes we make in our menu, we love to hear from our guests. Your feedback makes us better chefs.
It’s Baaaaaack! Green Curry Tofu Braise.
Here is a great example of a item returning to our menu. You got in touch with us and stated your feelings … and we listened. We’re bringing back Veggie Curry Tofu Braise! Back by popular demand and specially tuned up, the Curry Braise is heavy on the coconut, green curry, tofu, and vegetables, like always. It has the same Thai flavor profile, but the recipe and method has been tweaked, and it’s even better than before. It’s the perfect vegan feel-good meal, whether you’re vegan or not. It’s served steaming, over organic brown or white rice; it’s filling, satisfying, and perfect for a summer meal.
Local Farm Summer Squash Hot Side
We have always been happy with our Summer Squash hot side. It has come back every summer for years when the local farm squash are at their peak of flavor and the supply is ample. This summer, our classic hot side is also new and improved. The core is the same: locally sourced organic specialty summer squashes like eight ball, petit pain, goldbar, and crookneck roasted with organic non-GMO zucchini so they have some caramelization. Then, they are seasoned to perfection and tossed with fresh cherry tomatoes, and topped with a drizzle of our house-made vegan tomato pesto.
Brand new offering for Cold Sides: Cucumber and Tomato Couscous with Gazpacho Sauce
Chef Jim and Chef Joe are putting their culinary chops on display with this new take on a tried-and-true flavor profile. Of course, it is all prepared at the restaurant. We start with perfectly cooked pearl Couscous that is tossed with fresh, crunchy vegetables that you would find blended into a classic cold gazpacho soup. The whole dish is dressed with Chef Joe’s ingenious gazpacho sauce. It is the embodiment of the word “zesty” and will be a perfect side for the warm summer weather coming our way. A perfect complement to all our proteins and a perfect partner to all our other sides, you’ll crave this “outside the box” offering you can only get at Urban Plates.
Roasted Corn and Poblano Soup
Back for another summer, this signature soup at Urban Plates is our Roasted Corn and Poblano Soup. Slightly piquant and quite sweet from the freshly roasted corn, this crowd-pleaser comes with a garnish of lime sour cream and chopped cilantro. This indigenous soup is made in-house with our own corn stock recipe, so it is vegetarian; leave off the sour cream garnish and it is vegan. Very flavorful, and very versatile, our guests tell us, “this soup is the bomb!”
Spicy (but don’t be afraid)…Habanero Mango Pork Ribs
Everyone has an opinion about ribs, and we’ll put ours up against the best. The Berkwood cooperative of farms produces certified humane, free-roaming Berkshire hogs, known for their excellent flavor for over 300 years, and that is what we call a pedigree. We start with great product, liberally dust them in a dry rub, and cook them low and slow all night long. We put some of the habanero mango sauce on them and fire them in the oven before hitting them on the chargrill to give them some great grill marks. Then we put another ladle of sauce on top as they head to your plate. Then we top that with a scoop of our pineapple mango salsa for a little cool and crunchy counterpoint. They are fall-off-the-bone, fork-tender and some of the tastiest ribs around.
Strawberry Vanilla Layer Cake
Even the pastry case gets an addition for our seasonal menu refresh. We are bringing back a strawberry layer cake, but this year our pastry chefs are building it on Angel food cake layers. The end result is very reminiscent of the strawberry shortcake flavor profile, but it has an Urban Plates twist. The strawberries are fresh, and hand-cut at the last second. The filling between the layers is our own house-made strawberry jam and vanilla diplomat cream. The whole thing eats really light and fresh, and the sweetness isn’t an artificial, sugary frosting. It uses real fruit and whipped cream. We have enough whipped cream in between and enough flavor going on that we don’t need to cover the whole cake in frosting. You can actually see the ingredients! You can tell by looking that it is closer to a classic strawberry shortbread. This cake is a great example that you can be indulgent without giving up high standards for quality and freshness. This fresh and light dessert pairs really well with our Hess Collection Chardonnay out of Napa Valley.
We are proud to have you as our guest. We are your advocates when it comes to good food. We could cook all day long, and it’s all worthwhile when you come in and enjoy the food we prepare from scratch every day. We hope you’ll try some of these seasonal dishes this summer, and then let us know what you think.