Saturday, January 27, 2018

Beast Feast Fowl At Cucina Urbana San Diego

Cucina Urbana on Bankers Hill is the flagship restaurant for the Urban Kitchen Group.  They started a series of dinners that are called Beast Feasts each Beast Feast features a protein Fowl, Pig, Fish, Beef.
The protein then is the the theme of each of the servings and will contain some featured part of the Beast.  Our evening was all about Fowl.  This adventure is as much fun for the chefs as it is the feasters.  Just think they work with a local purveyor to select any member of the fowl family to make each dish.  So for Fowl it could be duck, egg, grouse, chicken, goose, I think you are getting the picture.  You  will not be familiar with any of the dishes they prepare because they are challenged to be creative and start from scrat5ch on every plate.  Some things are stars and some things are not.  The dinner is only for 16 people and is very reasonable at $85 per person not including drinks.  Overall it is a good experience for a good value.
The meal is served family style except for the main entree. Be prepared there is plenty to eat but no doggie bags.  Also the family style service ensures that you will meet some pretty cool people that are foodies just like you.  We met Jack a retired San Diego Fireman and his wife Cathy, Bruce the Amtrak Coaster Conductor and Claudio a Play Producer.
Fowl Polpetta
The evening of Beast Feast was also the second night of Restaurant week so the restaurant was sold out and very active and lively.
Our Feast was held in it's own area near the wine shop.  One of the cool things about Urban Kitchen Group Restaurants is that they have wine shop where you can buy wine at retail and for $9 have it corked and served, so you can get some pretty good wine deals.
Salad With Duck Egg and Prosciutto
Our meal started with Fowl Polpetta stuffed with Foie Gras and served on a Celery Root Puree topped with a dried plum.  A Polpetta is a Meatball, in this case it was made with ground Fowl with a dollop of Foie Gras in the middle.  The meatball was moist most likely from the fat in the Foie Gras and the puree combined with the plum gave it a earth and sweet bite.  The dried Plum tasted like a sweet sun dried tomato, overall a pretty good way to start the meal.  It was accompanied with a salad that had hard boiled duck egg, duck prosciutto, sunflower and sesame seeds and hearty greens.  I am not a big fan of hard boiled eggs but I was told they were very tasty as was the salad sans the egg for me.
The main meal then came out which consisted of Fowl Ducken consisting of Squab, in

Bird and People Food;-)
a Silkie, in a Guinea Hen, in a Duck or a SquilkiGuineaDucken.  The dish was served with some terrific root vegetables including new potatoes, carrots and turnips and the Fowl had a great Chimichurri Sauce to bring it some moisture.  I really liked this dish enough to have seconds, mine was moist and the combination of these four birds really went well together.
Chef's Joe and Mark
Chard with Duck Feet
Along with the entree came a couple of sides.  Stuffed Guinea Hen Rotolo in Risotto Style Seed, Grain and Berry.  The thought here was that Fowl would eat seeds, berry and grains, overall the Risotto was great unfortunately the Guinea Hen Rotolo was very tough and dry.  The second Side was a little more adventurous Creamy baked Chard with Smoked Chicken Feet, Rosemary and Bread Crumbs.  Chicken Feet were never really on my list of things to try but  Fireman Jack urged me to give it a go and honestly they were disappointing.  I will just have to say that they added flavor to the rest of the dish.  I know it sounds that I was disappointed but honestly was not, keep in mind these dishes are experiments and the dish without the fowl was excellent.
Lemon Pie and Duck Meringue
At this point before dessert the Cucina Urbana Team came out to introduce each other and thank us for participating.  Executive Chef Joe Magnanelli, Executive Sous Chef Mark Schmitt and Marketing Manager Owen.  They explained the thought put into the dinner and introduced the purveyor of the evening @whatsupwithjack.
We wrapped up with a Lemon Pie and a Duck Meringue, I love tart tastes and this pie hit the spot.  It was a good way to cleanse the palate and wrap up the evening.  I would encourage all readers to go to this event if you are in San Diego.