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“Escape from intern central”

Urbana Restaurant & Wine Bar

2121 P Street, NW

Washington D.C. 20037

DC in the summer is a town full of ambitious and caffeinated interns who, after 5 p.m., slide out of their awkward, ill-fitting new suits to hit up the various happy hours around town. I admit it’s been fun, but one night, I was looking for a change: I was willing to spend more than $1 per drink or appetizer in exchange for good food in even better company.

In that sense, Urbana fit the bill perfectly. It’s a dark, quiet escape from Intern Central, serving americanized French and Italian cuisine. My friend and I shared two appetizers, two entrées, and a dessert while catching up on each others’ lives; it was nearing 11 p.m. before we knew it. The best dishes of the night were the burrata ($13), a panzanella bread salad with fried eggplant and fresh mozzarella, and the squid ink linguine ($19), a house-made black pasta topped with calamari and cherry tomatoes in a light garlic sauce. On the other hand, the Seared Diver Sea Scallops ($13) were salty and overcooked. The bianco Pizza ($13), topped with red onions, pistachios, and about all the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese you could find in Italy, sounded more unusual than it tasted and reminded me of the BP oil spill. The banana foster cheesecake ($9) was creamy and delicious, save for the burning sensation of the rum-infused syrup.

With a bar, a lounge, and a multi-room dining area, Urbana is ready-made for a night out with close friends. It serves few interns and even fewer tourists, making it somewhat of a hidden gem in this city of temporary residents.