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