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3407 Montrose Blvd. (Hawthorne St.) Send to Phone

Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sun.

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Urbana Restaurant Review

: With dark wood, chunky abstract mosaics in icy blues, greens and yellows, John Puente's sleek eatery looks as cool as can be. Yet what pours forth from the kitchen is neither minimalist nor pretentious. The extremely generous portions are like comfort food for the educated diner. Executive chef Jim Mooney is a savvy culinary traveler: He makes the most of chiles in Southwestern dishes; pastas highlight Italian fare; ginger spikes Asian specialties. American fare also scores: You can't go wrong with melt-in-your-mouth rib eye or Chicken Cha-Cha with asparagus and an award-winning avocado salsa. Try anything with the gently tingling ginger cream sauce (such as smoked salmon over penne pasta) and any of the three dishes with sesame seed-encrusted yellowfin tuna as the centerpiece. Salads are gorgeous and appealing, even when only simple field greens dressed with a ginger-lime vinaigrette. The well-stocked dessert tray varies, but consistently warrants a close look. We found delight in a sturdy lemon tart, an enormous wild berry cobbler and a chocolate torte oozing with richness. The place might be packed especially the handsome bar area but you'll still probably feel the desire to linger over a cappuccino or liqueur. The outdoor patio, sheltered on three sides and above, offers an urbane vantage point for people watching. Deserving special mention, too, is the attentive and informed staff.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.