Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nuts For Squash!

Urbana’s Six-Course Pumpkin Menu

Luckily, my trip to DC, earlier this month, happened to be over Halloween, when the charming and talented Executive Chef Richard Brandenburg kicked off the pumpkin tasting menu. All I can say remembering the pumpkin-iferous delights is “YUM!”

Though I could have easily stuffed all six courses into my ecstatic belly, I tasted only two. It was lunchtime, and I had evening plans… I tried to be prudent. It wasn’t easy.

The first thing I tried was slivered scallop ceviche atop a cloud of pumpkin puree and arugula. The
pumpkin’s light and unobtrusive taste added just a hint of sweet substance to the delicate, creamy flavor of the scallop. I could have eaten six of that dish, alone. I should have a photo to show you – it is gorgeously presented – but I inhaled it before the other half of my DC team (Liquid Muse Photographer, Moshe Zusman) arrived.

Moshe did get there in time to shoot the roasted quail with savory pumpkin pie - but just barely. The yummy little bird was a succulent accompaniment to the fluffy pumpkin torte. (Just thinking about it now makes my tummy growl.)

I was dying to taste the venison loin and pumpkin ice cream … and I probably should have in retrospect, as I am tempted to hop a plane back to the East Coast just to order that dish! If you go, please, tell me how it is. (And, I want every last, juicy detail!)

Rather than itemize the whole menu, I encourage you to just go and try it for yourself (before November 22). Wine pairings are available – and trust me, they kick butt. I had a perfectly balanced Hofstatter Pinot Grigio with the scallop. After all, Urbana is a wine bar too, and the folks there know their stuff.

But, wait! The fun isn’t over. While there, I strongly suggest you try The Great Pumpkintini! Ok, the name may falter a bit – and I admit that I chose to call it that. Peter Bernsten, the oh-so-stylish GM, flattered my sensibilities by telling me I could name it. (They called it Cider Pumpkintini. I didn’t do much better…)

Maybe we should have a “name that drink” contest! The winner gets a free drink and five-mintues of fame on The Liquid Muse. Any suggestions? E-me or comment below!

The mystery pumpkin cocktail is made with a 12-varietal cider, 10 Cane Rum, and Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, topped with pumpkin foam and topped with carmelized pumpkin seeds. Deee-lish.

So, get thee to Urbana and enjoy the mouth-watering cornucopia of ways to enjoy this seasonal treat. You’ll be thankful not to miss this one!


DC Celine said...


Natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

That's good...descriptive, too...

Jason Nelsen said...

I'm think The Great Pumpkintini is...well, a great name, actually! I'd stick with it.