Urbano e Fresco

March 5, 2012

One of the most welcoming establishments in Solaris Dutamas, Urbano e Fresco is a lovely lair for well-prepared Italian salads, sandwiches & pizzas.

Imported ingredients make a marked difference _ Urbano e Fresco's tagline is "A Bite of Italy," relying on sauces, oils & spreads that come from that country of gastronomic ingenuity.

Start with a salad of fresh, beautifully balanced flavors _ crisp baby spinach leaves tossed with feta cheese for lactic lusciousness, strawberries for a citric tang & almonds for a crunchy bite.

Bruschetta, topped with buttery artichokes, mushrooms, red peppers & balsamic vinegar. Handsomely presented, marvelous for Meatless Monday (that's today!).

More peppers, stuffed with green olives & anchovy fillets. Salty stuff, produced on a hillside farmhouse in Piedmont by Cascina San Giovanni, an Italian bottled food exporter whose motto is "sun & tradition preserved in a jar."

Creamy, pillow-soft panini, warmed with roast chicken strips, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, garlic basil mayo & provolone cheese. Something this tasty gives sandwiches a good name.

Customers can construct their own pizzas, going crazy with their choice of toppings. We experimented with a meat-&-fish medley (roast beef & anchovies, married with mozzarella, tomato sauce & rocket leaves), but its sodium content seemed stratospheric.

Wine will eventually be available here (as well as cooked pasta), but for now, buy a bottle at Ben's Independent Grocer & bring it here (corkage is RM30).

White Zinfandel to end the evening on a sweet, sparkling note.

Plenty of products for purchase, courtesy of Cascina San Giovanni. Note: residents of Mont Kiara & Hartamas can call up Urbano e Fresco to order food deliveries.

It's modest compared to many other Italian outlets, but its cozy setting, considerate service & comfort-cuisine selection warrant a return trip or two.

Urbano e Fresco,
D2-G3-3A, Solaris Dutamas (outside Publika), Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 1300-30-3333