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URBAN BISTRO in Dallas (AVNER)

f
FOTK Jul 19, 2006 01:49 PM

Urban bistro opened yesterday; the menu looks thrown together. Has anyone been? Overpriced like his other venture; Aurora? Is this a sign of Avner's success or demise?

  1. f
    foiegras Jul 19, 2006 04:23 PM

    Haven't been; but as Avner's involved, I plan to visit every other restaurant in town first.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foiegras
      Scagnetti Jul 19, 2006 05:56 PM

      Classic!

    2. k
      Kirk Jul 19, 2006 07:45 PM

      Don't know if you've seen it yet, but D Magazine just selected him as the best chef in Dallas.

      Lord help us!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Kirk
        f
        foiegras Jul 19, 2006 09:24 PM

        Good Lord. Just read Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires, and have so much respect for her for visiting and reviewing restaurants as "one of us."

        Do we have any anonymous reviewers in this area? I firmly believe that's why my experiences are so different from those I read about. What I'm getting is the real thing--what they're getting is very, very special treatment.

        I remember making eye contact with Avner at Aurora, and he just stared me down, nothing remotely friendly or welcoming about it, and food and service to match.

        You can bet your boots that D Magazine has never had the Everyman experience at Aurora.

        1. re: foiegras
          s
          Scott Jul 19, 2006 10:06 PM

          I don't recall seeing any photos of Mark Stuertz in print. I don't think he's totally unknown to restauranteurs, but at least he's not putting his image up in print, online, on TV, etc., like some others.

          I guess I'll be the lone dissenting voice on this thread, vis-a-vis Samuel. Despite the fact that his menus rarely align with my personal tastes, I think he's a talented chef. Almost every meal I've had at Aurora has been solid. That doesn't mean his restaurant is a great value. It doesn't mean he's a great businessman. It doesn't mean he's a great person to work for. But if the question is whether the guy has a palate and an ability to translate his ideas to the plate, I have to say, Yeah, he does. And a lot of Dallas chefs are lacking in one or both of those categories.

          Haven't been to his new place, but am certainly willing to give it a try (and, until then, the benefit of the doubt).

          Scott

          1. re: Scott
            k
            Kirk Jul 19, 2006 11:12 PM

            So, would you agree with D that he is the best chef in Dallas?

            1. re: Kirk
              s
              Scott Jul 20, 2006 04:21 PM

              I think he's a reasonable choice for that category. (And, since you're never going to get consensus, that's probably about as good as you can hope for on something like this.)

              Scott

          2. re: foiegras
            r
            River Rat Jul 19, 2006 11:31 PM

            My experience at Aurora was totally different. I'm certainly an "everyman" and was treated wonderfully at Aurora. Food was great, service excellent and "the great one" himself stopped by the table and was very gracious. Yes, it's overpriced, but in my opinion it's worth doing.

            1. re: River Rat
              f
              foiegras Jul 19, 2006 11:52 PM

              I am having a credit card issued in the name of River Rat as we speak, so I can have your Everyman experience ;)

              Seriously, it may have been an off night when I was there ... but IMO the most expensive restaurant in Dallas doesn't *get* an off night, not when I'm spending my hard-earned money ;)

              1. re: foiegras
                r
                River Rat Jul 20, 2006 12:45 AM

                Or . . . it may have been an off night when I was there. I hope your experience, not mine, was the abberation, but it's hard to tell. Guess I'll have to try again to see!

        2. teegee Jul 23, 2006 06:19 PM

          i haven't eaten at urban bistro but i recognize on the menu quite a few of the items he served at Cafe Med & Food to Go (the place he had back in 2003, on preston & royal i think it was)... "my mother's salad" for one

          1. o
            oddball Jul 17, 2007 02:47 PM

            avner is no longer involved in this restaurant, according to the new GM. The menu has remained quite similar, although there are some changes in store. The wine list seems to be headed in an Italian direction, but I know it can take time to overhaul a wine list.

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