It’s opening day for the East Coast’s first Urban Plates, the California chain that serves salads, sandwiches, soups, large plates, and house-made pastries and cakes in a cafeteria-style setting.
The new Tysons Galleria location (2001 International Drive, McLean, Va.) opens at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 16 for lunch and dinner service, with seating for 132 inside and 26 on its parking lot-facing patio.
The burgeoning company — which has grown to 13 locations across California over seven years — imported its West Coast menu to the D.C. area, with some regionally-inspired twists sprinkled in. Debut dishes at Tysons include roasted Old Bay potatoes, spicy harissa corn on the cob, and wild line caught ahi tuna. There’s also new summer items like roasted corn and crab soup and barbecue pork ribs with mango salsa.
The menu kicks off with eight salads ($9.95 to $13.95), including top sellers like chicken Cobb salad with turkey bacon and organic eggs and an Asian chicken salad. Other options include specialty sandwiches starting at $8.95 and larger plates served with two sides and bread ($9.95 to $15.95). There’s also a range of sweets like cakes, macaroons, and tarts. The Urban Cowgirl cookie, with rolled oats, coconut, and dried cranberries, is a hit dessert at its California outposts. Drink options include kombucha, seasonal lemonades, wines, and local beers on tap. Summer juices made on site include watermelon pineapple and orange turmeric aloe ginger.
Each Urban Plates sports a rustic-meets-modern look, with the debut Tysons Corner location featuring glass-blown lighting fixtures, lots of reclaimed wood, and leafy plants springing out of copper pots. Diners can head to the condiments bar to heat up orders with The Pepper Plant, a cult California-style hot sauce.
The Tysons Galleria location is the first of many for the area, with plans to open a dozen here over the long term. The next will land in Columbia, Maryland (10300 Little Patuxent Parkway) some time in August. The company is also eyeing New York, New Jersey, and Boston for further expansion opportunities.
The new Urban Plates is projected to operate from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Status: Certified open. 2001 International Drive, McLean, Va.; website.
Scroll on for a look at what diners can order at Urban Plates: