TULSA: 4 new elegant excellent restaurants opened last week!
2010 was a fine year for Tulsa dining. Wolfgang Puck and The Kitchen both opened on Brookside. We now have authentic Peruvian, Venezuelan, south Indian, Malaysian and even Chinese food. And, in an incredible culmination, four new restaurants, all upscale, all with top chefs, all eminently chow-worthy, opened in one week.
On opening night of Smoke on Cherry Street I expected barely controlled chaos, but when I looked in the kitchen, I saw master chef Erik Reynolds running the place like the veteran he is. He was chef at 34th St. Catering in Austin and lots of top restaurants in Texas and Colorado before that. I’ve heard he plans to feature local produce when possible and offer a menu that will change weekly, sometimes daily if they get a great deal at the farmers’ market. I had a hanger steak (the first I've seen in Tulsa) that was nothing short of incredible.
“This isn’t cowboy cuisine, this is haute cuisine!” That’s what I told the chef at Go West halfway through my excellent pork chop, and he agreed. Not surprising, since chef Doug Atkinson’s Houston area restaurants won accolades in Texas Monthly magazine. You’ll get a cowboy welcome and the waiters (and the incredibly friendly owner) wear jeans, but the decor is elegant and the food is indeed haute cuisine.
Brady Tavern, Eliot Nelson’s sleek new attempt to marry pub ambiance with haute cuisine, opened on Wednesday. I wasn’t there. I’ve heard it’s inspired by Mario Batali’s Michelin-star-winning Spotted Pig Bar in New York City. The menu is not yet online, and it will change weekly, but I’m told entrees average about $15.
The next night, Gemma’s Woodfire Kitchen opened (again without me) in the space left by the late lamented Caramel Bakery. They offer pizza, grilled meat, and, since Steven Howard, the creator of KoKoa, is in the kitchen, great desserts.
In future weeks, expect some more newcomers. Blue Rose Cafe, Duke's Southern Kitchen ,Tree House, and Waterfront Grill are set to open soon. But they'll find those 4 new places discussed above a tough act to follow.
1542 E. 15th Street
6205 New Sapulpa Road
3410 S. Peoria Av
I drove out to scout out the location of Go West today. It is way out in the boonies. I was glad I went even though it was closed today (I just wanted to find the place today) because I'm not sure I'd want to go searching for it at night - that area West of the river by I-44 is such a maze. I have to say the building looked very nice from the outside - quite a contrast with all the wreckers, auction yards and cement factories on Sapulpa Drive. I think I'll go back next week for lunch and check it out a bit more.
re: Brian S
Brian, man you really keep on top of everything. I have now tried 3 of the new places, I didn't realize that Gemma's had opened. I had wondered what Steve was up to these days, I have to put him on my must try list. And the Urban Kitchen on Cherry Street. Not to mention the new Ella's at 30th and Harvard.
There's another new place, Duke's Southern Kitchen. Same chef as the Brasserie. I went there last week and the food was good but not extraordinary. However, this was probably due to opening week problems and if they fix these, they will be a great restaurant.
A few things from their dinner menu, which I copied down. Appetizers include fried green tomatoes with lemon basil aioli ($7) and creole crab cake with tabasco garlic sauce ($9). There are soups like she-crab bisque and gumbo (both $5 a cup), and sandwiches including grilled shrimp po boys ($9) and biscuit and gravy burger ($8). Entrees include fried catfish with remoulade and sweet corn dressing ($12), shrimp and sausage etouffee ($15), shrimp and grits with hominy and red pepper succotash ($15), barbecued salmon and ribs (both $19), hickory grilled chicken with cheddar-apple grits ($14).
open daily at 4 PM
Over the past year or so, the Brasserie has been reborn, and it now qualifies to be set alongside Smoke, Brady, and Gemma's. Chef Marcus Vause arrived from Houston and has completely revamped the menu. Entrees, beautifully presented, feature meats and fish with modern versions of classic French sauces. One entree features five fabulous scallops. On top of each scallop is a dollop of foie gras, and the rich, unctuous foie gras flavor blends with the superb natural flavor of the scallop. There’s a bit of spice infused oil around and, at the center of the pentagram, a lightly spiced fennel puree that is cooked sous vide. If the chef told you he'd trained with a top chef in New York or Paris, you'd believe it.
re: Brian S
And now, sadly, Doug Atkinson has left Duke's and the Brasserie. Marcus Vause is still there, and better than ever. Now what if you went to the Brasserie and looked at the menu and (though I can't imagine this ever happening) you didn't see anything that you liked? Well go next door to Garlic Rose, where Tim Reed prepares innovative daily special entrees in addition to their regular Italian-inflected menu.
3509 S Peoria Ave Ste 120, Tulsa, OK 74105