Eat This: Urbana's Seafood Stew
"Coconut" is one of those words that reels me in on a menu. So when I dipped my spoon into a beautiful bowl of coconut and citrus broth piled with an artful heap of shellfish during a recent media dinner at Urbana, I had high hopes.
And the fragrant stew delivered. The starter dish of shellfish stew ($15) is one of chef John Critchley's new creations. Critchley took over the kitchen at the restaurant inside the Hotel Palomar back in December and has been revamping the menu. (Don't miss the housemade bread, either.)
Inside the bowl, you'll find tender clams, mussels, crab, shrimp and calamari, topped with skinny chili threads and preserved lemon.
And it may have been the coconut that drew me in, but it was another ingredient in the broth that added the most intriguing note. Critchley uses Calamansi lime, popular in Southeast Asia, to give the dish a unique flavor and a bright citrusy hit.
Maybe I'll add "Calamansi" to my list of menu keywords.