100 Favorite Dishes, No. 15: Veal Bolognese with Pappardelle at Urbano
Comfort food of the highest order.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.
Comfort food means different things to different people. Most of the time it's hearty dishes that warm you from the inside out -- soups, stews and fried things all fit comfortably into the classification of comfort food. Another requirement, though, is that the dish resonates with something from the past -- in addition to being filling, it also has to evoke certain memories that are comforting on a spiritual level. This is how food soothes us.
But some dishes are so damn comforting it doesn't matter what you grew up on. And while I'm sure Italian people who grew up with a nona rolling out pasta in a kitchen perfumed with simmering tomatoes will especially appreciate the bolognese at Urbano Cafe, this is comfort food that easily speaks to everyone.
Bolognese isn't just another meat sauce. It's a careful balance of delicate, ground veal and vegetables, including carrots and tomatoes. A good bolognese (and this is a good one) is cooked down till it's so thick you could eat it with a fork, a task made easier when it's served with tender pappardelle noodles.
That it's served in a cozy neighborhood cafe helps, as does the fact that the cafe is BYOB. Bring your favorite bottle of vino from home to turn this dish into an occasion, and if you've forgotten your bottle, Jimmy's has plenty for sale next door.
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