Today is the official opening day for Urban Table, the new concept by the team behind BRGR, at 8232 Mission. The opening date was delayed a week, says partner Alan Gaylin -- who operates the business with Glynn Roberts -- so that an additional air-conditioning unit could be installed on the roof. Smart thinking when the heat is again punishing. It was already 100 degrees when I got to the restaurant this afternoon. Inside, though, the suburban Urban Table is nice and cool inside.
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Gaylin and two Phoenix-based designers created the interior, which utilizes airy, cool shades of white, gray and charcoal to complement natural wood. The comfortable banquettes have puffy pillows, and lots of mirrors are there to help you see the exceptionally attractive young staff. You might almost feel guilty diving into that slab of carrot layer cake or a big sandwich and house-made chips when they're delivered by a waiter with a 30-inch waist.
Then again, maybe not.
OK, so a sort of obvious question: Why is this restaurant called Urban Table when it's in the heart of beautiful Prairie Village?
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"The restaurant is designed to look like the kind of bistro," Gaylin says, "that you might find in the middle of a big city. It's a sensibility, not a literal concept. When you sit down here, we want you to forget that you're in Kansas City, Prairie Village or the Midwest."
The restaurant keeps the cosmopolitan hours of a big-city restaurant. Breakfast is served each day from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Lunch hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and dinner goes from 5 p.m. until the kitchen closes. That's "about 10 p.m.," one of the servers told me. "Or a little later if we're still busy."
Breakfast and lunch are ordered at the front counter, and the meals are brought to the table. Dinner is a full-service affair, with servers taking orders at the metal-topped tables. (The tabletops appear to be constructed of zinc, like ones used in an old Paris boite
, but they're actually made from Galvalume -- sheet metal coated with an aluminum-zinc alloy.)
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The breakfast dishes include Irish steel-cut oatmeal, eggs cooked to order, jalapeno-cornmeal pancakes with orange-marmalade syrup, brioche french toast, and $2 "Urban Mini Waffles" with a variety of flavored syrups. Lunch dishes include five different fresh salads, three versions of chili including a vegetarian three-bean concoction (the beef chili is out of this world), and seven different sandwiches (including a croque monsieur and a pressed pastrami).
The dinner entree choices will change nightly, Gaylin says, but will always include one fresh fish offering, one meat and one pasta dish. "We'll try to include a vegetarian choice whenever we can," he says.
The kitchen crew includes chef Brad Gilmore, sous chef Danny White -- formerly of Trezo Vino in Leawood -- and pastry chef Laura Comer, whose resume includes a stint with Justus Drugstore. In addition to the house-made desserts, Comer is also creating the breakfast pastries. (I forced myself to eat a heavily glazed bear claw before lunch -- it was torture. Delicious torture.)
There may be a future Urban Table in an honest-to-goodness urban locale. Gaylin says: "I can see one of these restaurants in the Crossroads." So can I.