Howard Magazine - Page 19 - Stepping up to the plate continued

Howard Magazine
- Page 19
Stepping up to the plate continued
It was cooked perfectly to the temperature I requested — medium well. And the chimichurri sauce that was ladled on top added another complex flavor that complemented the seasoned, grilled meat.

The Kimchi aioli cage free chicken ($11.95) was a treat. In addition to being a socially conscious dish, it was delicious. The aioli was slightly spicy and creamy. It completed the juicy, tender chicken breast, which was perfectly cut and plated.

The turkey meatloaf is moist, tender and flavorful. The house-made barbecue sauce that comes with the protein takes it to another level.

The Moroccan chicken braise — the hormone-free chicken slow cooked with vegetables — is a customer favorite, according to employees. And for good reason. The hearty bowl bursts with nods to North Africa as lemon, turmeric, cinnamon, and spices combine for a warm, balanced sauce. It’s perfect with rice.

The wild Ahi Tuna Banh Mi sandwich was a delight. The perfectly rare-seared tuna was marinated in a house-made harissa sauce. The grilled rustic bread didn’t detract from the tender meat, which was topped with a green sriracha aioli, sweet and sour pickled organic carrots, jicama and cucumbers. Raw cherry hot peppers and cilantro added a good mix of heat and herb.

The meatball braise ($10.50) was made from cage-free turkey bathed in a red concoction of tomatoes, carrots, onions, and fresh herbs. I was disappointed because the meatballs were slightly tougher than I expected. The sauce lacked the zesty boldness I expected from a rich tomato accompaniment.

The restaurant also features an extensive selection of wines with glasses ranging from $7.95 to $9.95 a glass. Bottles start at $30.

One employee recommended a less expensive red, which was refreshing. It was clear that she was knowledgeable about the wine selection and how it worked with the food offerings. Her choice was perfect as it went with the night’s dishes.

We were pleasantly surprised by the assortment of delicious desserts. The mango tart ($5.75 a slice) was anchored by a butter crust and filled with scrumptious rum cream. The sweet and tangy mango atop gives the dish a tropical Caribbean feel. We also liked the Heaven & Hell cake ($5.75 a slice): The pairing of angel food cake layered with devil’s food cake was a winner. The biggest surprise was the Gluten Free Pineapple cake. Usually, I avoid gluten-free desserts, but this one was moist and not overly sweet. The pineapple diplomat cream icing perfectly completed the sweet treat.

As we left the restaurant stuffed and pleased with the dishes and interactions we had with the knowledgeable employees, we remarked that we would return to the restaurant— a place that gave us fond memories of home.

At a Glance

Urban Plates
The Mall in Columbia, 10300 Little Patuxent
Parkway, #3035; 443-741-8787; urbanplates.com
Cuisine: Eclectic American
Ambience: The dining area has an elevated food hall-type feel with plenty of lighting and a number of table options from booths to longer tables that accommodate larger parties.
Service: Extremely friendly without a saccharine feel.
Reservations: For larger parties of 10 or more.
Parking: Lot
Special Diets: They can be accommodated.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Prices: Sandwiches $9.50 to $10.50; plates $10.50 to $14.95