Strings Urban Kitchen, located at 7th & N, opens for business today. I had the opportunity to sample some of their food last night.
I'd never visited the Mexican restaurant that preceded Strings, but Strings looks like it has been totally redone. It features a roomy patio for outdoor dining and a medium sized dining room, with what appeared to be reclaimed wood table tops.
We decided to sit at one of their bar height tables. Because it was a preview dinner, the food was hosted, and we were responsible for the cost of the drinks. The menu we had was limited, but their full menu will be available today.
Among the highlights were:
Baked mushrooms stuffed and topped with italian cheese (amuse bouche)
Cioppino with shrimp, crab, scallops, mussels, basa, garlic in a seafood broth
For the price, the cioppino was excellent. It was piled high with fresh seafood and they provided plenty of bread to soak up the soup for just $16. That's a dish that I've seen cost more than $20 at comparable restaurants.
I also liked the vibe of the restaurant. I can envision a mixture of Capitol Towers residents enjoying a meal at the restaurant in their complex and other nearby neighbors walking over when to enjoy an evening meal. Located at the epicenter of a restaurant dessert, Strings will likely also do well with the State Worker lunch crowd.
One of the most interesting features of the restaurant is that it's also a retail wine store. Find a wine you like? Take $10 off the price on the restaurant wine list and take it home with you. Another way to think about it is that it's a $10 corkage fee to drink the wines they offer. Restaurants often charge double the retail price for wine, not retail plus $10.
They also feature two very local breweries on tap. Last night, they were serving a Bike Dog Beer Milk Stout and a Track 7 Daylight Amber. Strings also had an eclectic bottled beer selection, including Hitichino Nest.
One issue they need to work on is that I had a hard time finding it because the location isn't obvious from the street. If you've evern been to Capitol Towers, there's a small surface parking lot at approximately 7th & O streets. If you walk past there toward their swimming pool, you'll see it on the right. I mentioned this to one of the owners, and he said that they'll work to get better signage.
String's isn't trying to be Mulvaney's, Ella or The Firehouse. It's trying to be a neighborhood restaurant in the same way that Paesanos is, and I think it succeeds.
Strings Urban Kitchen can be found online at StringsUrbanKitchen.com.
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