There’s a lot of great food to be eaten in the smallest of our three “downtown” areas. The burgers and pizza at Bunny’s are amazing. The poke and rice bowls at Broadway Food Hall hit the spot always. Masjita Grill has some of the best Korean food around. Crane Alley is a proven winner. Xinh Xinh does a great bowl of pho. The Courier Cafe is a classic unlike any other in the entire county.

But for all that food, Downtown Urbana doesn’t have much in the way of true sit down restaurants with a full bar to boot and Silvercreek remains the only true sit-down-let’s-be-adults-and-have-a-nice-dinner-out place around.

Fortunately, it’s a magnificent restaurant, one that deserves reverence and patronage from all of us, and in the end, one that has stood the test of time.

Allen Strong built it inside of an old flower shop (and what I believe was a lumber yard before that) and the aesthetics within are lovely. The bar never fails to make me a great cocktail, measured correctly, and stirred or shaken, appropriately. The price point is absolutely on point for what you receive. The quality is, and has always been, top tiered.

A couple of notes about Silvercreek that I think it’s worth pointing out:

  • When it opened in 1990, it was smoke free from the get go. At that time, it was almost unheard of, and I remember my mother saying how she wished we could afford to eat there more often just because it felt good to breath easy and eat well at the same time.
  • It’s the dead of winter, so the outdoor deck is not really an option for us right now, but did you know that you can “rent” the space out for a remarkably low cost? Like, for real, you and a dozen friends can have it on an off night (Sun - Thur) for basically the cost of your meal. It’s a real fun way to throw your own party in a pretty gorgeous setting, that overlooks the remodeled Boneyard Creek walking path.
  • Speaking of a great place to have a party, the Greenhouse out back is a real winner for a fun time, too. The two can be rented in conjunction with one another, or separately.
  • We’ve spoken about this at Smile Politely in the past, but the Sunday Brunch is perhaps the most decadent and worthwhile way to really hurt / love yourself at the end of a weekend. There is nothing like an omelette station.
  • I hope at some point they take down the silkscreen band posters from the walls. It’s the one thing that doesn’t work in the space. Aesthetically it doesn’t fit at all. Included in those posters is a PYGMALION poster from 2009. It’s a cool poster, but in the context of the space, it feels weird, and breaks up the otherwise gorgeous environment.

For Restaurant Week, there’s a nice lunch option, as well as a very affordable $27 dinner option, but for the sake of really getting the most bang for your buck, let’s just focus on the $39 dinner option, shall we? Yes, we shall. After all, we are here to have an adult dinner, and that means a splurge, which is something that is good for you and I do to on the occasion where we can afford it and feel deserving of it. It’s about to be February, and that means we are only one month or so away from the clocks changing again, so I think we deserve it. Check this out:

There’s a lot from which to choose here, but I am going full comfort food on this one, and soaking up the season with the Brussels sprouts, the New Zealand lamb served with au gratin potatoes, and finally, the bread pudding for dessert.

You could probably share this with a friend or loved one, honestly, if you went with the calamari and 16 ounce Porterhouse, but I want my own meal tonight, and I want to savor it and treat myself.

I love Silvercreek, and would encourage you to stop in to give it a whirl if you haven’t before. If it’s already a staple in your rotation, here’s a great chance to eat there and save a few bucks in the meantime.

Silvercreek
402 N Race St
Urbana
M-Sa 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. + 5 to 10 p.m.

Photo by Jessica Hammie