Stonehorse Cafe and Market -- New York quality food in Tulsa, Oklahoma
I've finally eaten at Stonehorse Cafe in Utica Square, and the meal chef Tim Inman prepared was as good as many a two-star restaurant in New York City. My family often buys food at the restaurant's shop. I've never seen anything like that store, even in NYC. They sell food that's raw but prepped for cooking. Two and a half inch thick pork chops brined and marinated, huge chickens brushed with a garlic and rosemary paste, and prime-quality steaks, all from small farms and ranches in Colorado or Okla., and all excellent. But I'd never eaten there before. I went for lunch and had halibut, crusted in pistachio in the style Wylie Dufresne made famous, served on a bed of minced shallots, tomato and huge shrimp, and surrounded by a wonderful sauce that was little thicker than consomme, the color of lobster bisque with flecks of cream, but was redolent with flavor -- a tart citrus vied with Chardonnay. Certainly worth mention.
I've just come back from Stonehorse Cafe and the quality was as high as last year. Wild king salmon was gently poached, and served in a broth, as was last year's halibut. This broth was white, with cream, wine and a subtle spice I couldn't identify. In the broth were butter beans, spinach and plum tomatoes. Atop the salmon was a dab of tomato chutney. (It looked great, but the taste conflicted, so I scraped it off and put it to the side.) All in all, a meal that would certainly get two stars in New York.
My newest find is the R Bistro at 71st and Yale on the southeast corner in that shopping center. The restaurant is owned by a couple from Birmingham, the menu is the best "New Orleans" I have found in Oklahoma. It isn't necessarily cajun but more Creole. The chef was brought in from the city. I recommend the crawfish fish beignets, the grouper ponchatrain, the grouper pecan, the dessert (they are made by one of the owners - Misty, try the Peanut butter pie).
For Mexican, i go to either La Hacienda on S Peoria(can you say carnitas?) and Rio Verde.
I have loved Tim Inman's food at Stonehorse Cafe since I moved here when they were down at the Consortium. I like the new place better at Utica Square, it is closer to my house. And I shop at the market often, the ciabiatta bread is excellent.
For Italian, Tucci's on 15th street(cherry street), Doug the Bartender can be very entertaining. Also Dallesandros on S Boston at 18th, I like the Brodo and the lasagna. It will make you swear off the Olive Garden for life.
For BBQ, I go two places, Albert G's on S Harvard has the best smoked meats in town. And Elmers It Be Bad has the best attitude around.
Kokoa chocolatier is now serving lunch on top of having the most killer chocolates outside of Kansas City. Plus they do a once a month tasting menu that is to die for. It is the last tuesday and wednesday of the month and well worth the price at 8+ courses. Stephen does dynamic work.
I am hearing about a place called Michael V's but I haven't been there yet.
For funky, go to the Blue Dome to Arnie's Bar. Just off downtown.
Oh, phooey. I could have used your input just last night--we were at Riverwalk (before visiting the Aquarium, now open on Tues. nights) and considered Gina & Giuseppe's but my nieces opted for Tsunami instead, which was just OK and very very slow. The Riverwalk complex has potential (culinary and otherwise) not yet realized--but, having grown up in and around Jenks when it was truly out in the boonies, every time I visit I am still struck with amazement that it exists at all.
Now I am in beautiful Rochester, MN for the next 10 days or so, but will return to Tulsa thereafter and will certainly keep your recommendations in mind, subject to my usual constraint of having to find places that can take care of three picky kids (my own son plus my 2 Tulsa nieces).
Thanks, Brian S. Just wanted to let you know there are readers out there who appreciate the Tulsa posts. Since I will be visiting Tulsa TWICE in the next month I very much appreciate the updates.
How would you compare Stonehorse to the other more ambitious Tulsa places (eg Flavors which remains my dad's favorite)?
PayOrPlay, what sort of restaurants are you looking for? Casual? Formal? Intimate? Live music & dancing? I recently moved away from Tulsa, but I might be able to offer a few suggestions.
If you like Flavors, I recommend The Polo Grill (located on the eastern side of Utica Square).
I think much of the food there is on par with Flavors, but it's much quieter & more intimate. They're also well known for their wine list.
I'm also a fan of Kokoa on Brookside.
You can stop in for a box of chocolate truffles, or stay and have one of their desserts (I enjoy the pots de creme). They stay open late on the weekends to cater to the post-dinner and post-theater crowd.
I'm glad someone else is reading this. Here are a few more Tulsa places aside from Stonehorse Cafe.
Italian: Two family-owned places that remind me of Brooklyn. D' Alesandro's 1742 S. Boston Ave., and Gina and Guiseppe's, Riverwalk, Jenks.
Spanish: Alioli (Peoria near 36) has surprisingly inventive small plates from a chef who is good enough that he might not linger too long in Tulsa.
Mexican: Lots and lots of small places in the Mexican neighborhoods of Lewis south of Admiral, including Rio Verde on N. Trenton, and of east 21 and 31 way out around Garnett Ave. Senor Tequila is semi-authentic; it gets a crowd of Mexicans seeking carnitas and Oklahomans seeking those $10 quart margaritas.
Thai: Lanna Thai can make very good Thai meals if you manage to convey that you don't want the flavor dumbed down for what they think are American tastes.
Traditional: Shiloh Diner has been around for years, it's always full, and when I asked them if the country fried steak was cooked with lard, they looked horrified to learn that any place could cook it any other way. (Many places use vegetable oil.) It's just off the BA expressway, though it was around before the highway. 12521 E 52nd St,
Dessert: Kokoa on Peoria and 34 has handmade chocolates and sometimes serves other desserts.
And if someone insists on going to a chain, the best of the bunch (this applies to the Tulsa locations only) are Charleston's, Macaroni Grill, Elephant Bar, and PF Chang.