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Sep 8, 2008 06:17 AM

Tulsa: Brasserie & Stonehorse

First visit to Tulsa. Two dining reports:

The Brasserie: DH had been before and liked it and it’s well-received on these boards. We were there Friday night, 7 p.m. Indoors the restaurant was totally empty though the outside seating was full. Hostess sat us at a two-top which we quickly discovered was directly under the air-conditioning vents. She did accommodate us when we asked to move. No big deal. An interesting sounding “southern” tasting menu accompanied the regular menu. I was disappointed (and a little put off) when I asked if those items were available ala carte—the server replied, “No, because we have the portions counted out.” That seemed a strange bit of info to share with the customer but whatever. I settled on a salad app and DH had moules frites. His frites were quite good but the mussels really had no business being served. They were miniscule and flavorless. I was surprised these were allowed to leave the kitchen (we saw that the exec chef was expediting plates). My Brasserie salad consisted of lots of chopped tomato (60% of the plate was chopped tomato), slivers of fennel, and a small piece of goat cheese rolled in pistachio nuts (Overall, the menu featured a lot of nuts and goat cheese). The salad was underdressed and unimpressive. Until I found a hair in it. That was impressive. Stopped eating it at this point but didn’t say anything to the server as I was trying to remain positive. For an entrée, DH had pistachio crusted scallops (see, there's those nuts again) over tapenade and homemade pasta. The pasta was good. Scallops were decent (large, not too exciting). Neither of us thought the pistachio crust added anything to the dish. I had salmon. A generous piece of fish though very pale and somewhat bland (menu didn’t specify farm or wild raised). The spinach accompanying was lemony to the point of distraction. Overall, not remarkable either way. We shared profiteroles for dessert. These were decent (though I don’t think profiteroles should ever be the size of softballs and there were three in the order!). DH assures me his prior visit was more successful but I wouldn’t go back here.

Stonehorse Café: DH had been before and liked it and it’s also reviewed favorably on these boards. Saturday night, 7 p.m. Place was jam packed and extremely loud. Luckily, we had a reservation. Our server immediately asked if we were rushing to get to the Eagles concert. When we said no she breathed a sigh of relief. She assured us the place would quiet down when the large parties left for the concert (they did, and the din subsided). Our server, though busy, was perfectly gracious and attentive throughout the meal. Menu here was interesting—I had a tough time deciding. DH started with crab cakes. Interesting preparation—sort of deep fried with a terrific chutney. I had an excellent beet and green bean salad. Really a memorable plate—chilled beets, green beans, pear tomatoes, white beans, goat cheese (I have to say, goat cheese and nuts were popular on this menu too, oddly.). A great start. DH had the pork chop and panzanella entrée. Excellent chop—well-brined, perfectly cooked. My chicken piccatta was amazing (they were out of the meatloaf which had also caught my eye). A huge portion, two incredibly juicy (Kosher birds according to the server) chicken breasts with crisp skin and lots of capers and a well balanced lemon sauce. We shared a side of scalloped potatoes. These were great also—piping hot, creamy, with bits of ham and mushrooms. For dessert we shared a terrific blueberry cobbler (prepared to order so took a little longer but well worth it). Not a single misstep in this meal. By far a better experience then the Brasserie. I’ll make this a regular stop next time I’m in Tulsa.

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  1. I'm glad you enjoyed Stonehorse. You weren't in the mood for the pistachio-crusted halibut, eh? ;) I've only made one visit to the Brasserie, but it was a better experience than yours. Next time you're in town also check out Palace Cafe on 15th and Peoria.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jocelyn P

      My DH had the halibut on a previous visit and loved it-- maybe next time. What's with all the pistachio-crusting in Tulsa though? I was joking that maybe nuts and goat cheese were recent discoveries in this neck of the woods!

      1. re: GSM

        I think it's coincidence. I just skimmed the Palace Cafe dinner menu and didn't see a single nut. There is a lot of smoke flavor here because of their wood grill, though. I really like their bento options.

    2. Thank you for writing these detailed reviews. I love Stonehorse! They have a store next door where you can buy those pork chops, brined but uncooked, and also whole huge chickens, rubbed with herbs and also uncooked, and lots of other things besides. Sometimes I buy a 1 pound pork chop, 2 inches thick, for $5, it's a great meal.

      Stonehorse is my favorite but there are other restaurants in Utica Square too, here is my review of all of them:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Brian S

        Unfortunate review of the Brasserie, my friends and I dine there often and it has always been very good and quite busy. We also frequent the Stonehorse and I agree the quality at Tim's restaurant is also very high. Interesting that you frequented what I consider to be the two best restaurants in Tulsa and hit a sour note on a typically very good establishment. Goes to show you're only as good as your last meal in the restaurant biz. You should consider giving them another chance.