Tim Keating, who left Flying Fish Cafe after “nine wonderful, wonderful years,” is now the director of culinary operations for Boulevard Restaurants, which owns and operates Paradiso 37 at Disney Springs and Urbain 40 on Restaurant Row. Keating is also currently serving as executive chef at Urbain.
Urbain 40’s opening chef, Jean-Stephane Poinard, left the restaurant shortly after Keating joined the company, late last year. His leaving “had nothing to do with me, specifically,” Keating told me.
Keating has introduced a new menu, and you may be surprised to learn, as I was, that it has fewer French touches. The rationale, says Keating, is that Urbain 40 is an American brasserie, and as such, its menu reflects the country’s “big melting pot of ethnicities.”
So now, alongside the French Onion Soup and Bouillabaisse Provençal, you’ll also find Ginger-Teriyaki Char-Crusted Yellowfin Tuna, Duck Confit Trofie Di Abruzzo Pasta, and Shrimp Lo Mein. (The latter, says Keating, was one of the biggest sellers on Mother’s Day.) There’s even a new ceviche dish on the menu.
The French basics are still in place, Keating said. And his own cooking style is rooted in French training.
Keating abruptly left Disney in February of last year shortly after the Boardwalk restaurant closed for scheduled renovations. (It reopened in August as simply Flying Fish.) He says that Boulevard, which is headed by Orlando attorney Jaafer Choufani — and definitely not his father, Rashid, who operates the restaurants at the Morocco pavilion in Epcot and who wouldn’t be allowed to own a restaurant so close to Disney — has some things planned “down the road,” but nothing he can discuss now. As director of culinary operations, Keating also oversees the kitchen at Paradiso 37, which has a pan-Latin-American menu.
Watch for an updated review of Urbain 40 soon.