Island inspiration

Sisserou’s adds Caribbean cuisine to the ethnic offerings of the Brady Arts District.



The jerk chicken features half a chicken, marinated and grilled, served with spicy grilled corn, rice and beans.

In Oklahoma, August has a tendency to register somewhat tropical on the thermometer. However, we experience the tropics without the palm trees, ocean beaches and food stands selling coconut drinks and conch fritters. 

So, second to booking a flight, packing your bags and sunscreen, and traveling hours southeast to, let’s say, the small island nation of Dominica, the easiest way to enjoy delicious Caribbean cuisine is to hop in your car and drive downtown to the Brady Arts District. 

Eben Shillingford, whose family hails from Dominica, planted his Brady beach umbrella in early 2014 when he and his wife, Natalie, opened Sisserou’s at West Archer and North Main streets.

The restaurant pays homage to his home island’s cuisine, as well as other parts of the Caribbean. The namesake Sisserou is a beautiful (and now endangered) parrot, found only in Dominica’s mountainous rainforest, and the bird appears on the nation’s flag.

Chef Ben Alexander heads up the kitchen. You might recognize him from Wolfgang Puck Bistro, where he cooked before coming to Sisserou’s, but he is now putting his spin on Shillingford’s family recipes. 

My parents and I enjoyed every dish we were served when we stopped in on a recent Friday evening, so it appears Alexander has hit his stride.

As soon as we were seated, our enchanting server, Gregory, shared a bit of background on the restaurant and hinted at a few menu highlights. 

Seafood dishes at Sisserou’s are super fresh. Shillingford found a supplier in Key West who flies in fresh-caught mahi mahi, red snapper and other seafood daily. All of the fish served is roughly 24 hours from its last swim in the ocean.

We took our cues from Gregory and started with the popular coconut shrimp ($14). Six jumbo shrimp, coated with shredded coconut and deep-fried, are plump and tender, yet crisp, and pair well with the slightly sweet orange marmalade dipping sauce.

We also enjoyed the Accras, the Sisserou’s version of hush puppies ($11). Although deep fried, these fish cakes made from salted cod are light and airy, and are served with cool cucumber and dill sauce — a cross between ranch and tartar sauce.

We heavily considered the Plantain Poppers ($8), ripe plantains stuffed with guava, cheddar and hot sauce and then deep fried, but decided to save them for the next visit. 

We fought over spoonfuls of my dad’s bowl of Callaloo ($7). The traditional Caribbean soup is made from spinach, okra, herbs, spices and coconut cream, pureed until smooth and served with a dollop of lump crabmeat and a Parmesan crisp. Next time I’m getting a bowl for myself.

The menu features an assortment of salads and sandwiches, the standout being a Cuban sandwich ($13). Alexander marinates pork shoulder in Mojo — the traditional marinade of Cuba that includes garlic, orange juice and oregano — before roasting it low and slow until tender. 

After being shredded, the meat is stuffed into a toasted Cuban roll, drizzled with habañero mayo and topped with thinly sliced ham, Swiss cheese, sweet pickles and coarse Dijon mustard. 

Mahi mahi and jerked chicken are two mainstays of any Caribbean menu, and both are represented well at Sisserou’s. Thick filets of mahi mahi ($22) are quickly pan seared and served over steamed rice and a delicate medley of shredded cabbage and thinly sliced onion flavored with a good dose of spice.

The jerk chicken ($15) takes a bit longer to come together. The marinade — made from allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, a mixture of baking spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg) and lots of thyme, garlic and green onions — sits for 24 hours before the chicken is added. Then, the chicken marinates another 24 hours. After a stint on the grill, the flavorful meat is served with rice and beans and delicious, grilled street corn coated with creamy mayo and cayenne pepper. 

Other island-inspired offerings include stewed oxtail ($16), Caribbean curry with chicken or shrimp ($13; $17) and whole red snapper for two ($45), which is stuffed with crab, shrimp, breadcrumbs and lemon, baked and then carved tableside. The snapper takes 30 minutes, so call ahead to order it or be prepared to sip a few rum drinks while you wait.

The signature Banana Crepe Soufflé (crepes filled with a soufflé mixture, baked and served over flambéed bananas with a drizzle of chocolate rum sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream; $10) also takes awhile to cook, so be sure to order one when you decide on dinner.

Other desserts include chocolate lava cake ($10), coconut crème brûlée ($8), rum cake ($8) and an assortment of sorbets ($8).

The restaurant’s interior takes a cue from colorful island life, including the Sisserou parrot, with bright fixtures, painted walls and artwork. The tall ceilings and wall of factory windows in the old Ward Building hint at the restaurant’s past life as an industrial space. 

For now, enjoy the building’s resurrection as a local ode to island life. Order a rum drink, snack on some delicious seafood and relax as Shillingford and company welcome you to their Caribbean getaway.

Sisserou’s: A Taste of the Caribbean
107 N. Boulder Ave. (enter through the parking lot on North Main and East Archer streets),
918-576-6800, www.sisserousrestauranttulsa.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 

 

 

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Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
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Join us for the 59th Annual Book Fair! Saturday, February 23, 2019 8:00 am–3:00 pm Holland Hall Primary School Gym Open to the public. Tickets $1, 18 and under free. No RSVP required,...

Cost: $1

Where:
Holland Hall Primary School
5666 E. 81 St.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Sponsor: Holland Hall
Telephone: 918-481-1111
Contact Name: Heather Brasel
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The Orbit Initiative, produced by The Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Trust, resumes its FREE community satellite adventures at seven local community centers this Saturday, January 12th, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Various
Various
Tulsa, OK  Various
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Sponsor: The Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Trust
Telephone: 918-596-7119
Contact Name: Jeremy Stevens
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As Lakota artist Oscar Howe wrote in 1958, “There is much more to Indian art than pretty, stylized pictures.” This exhibition highlights this depth and the 20th century American masters who...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Do you and your pup have "cabin fever"? Come out to the Botanic Garden during our "Dog Days of Winter" - Fridays and Saturdays during January and February only when four-legged...

Cost: Free for Garden members & their dogs. Admission + $4 per dog for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles — both “over there” and on the home front — in helping the Allies win World War I. The American Expeditionary Force (AEF)...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Few animals conjure the power and symbolic presence of the North American bison. Whether painted on a tipi or an artist’s canvas, minted on a nickel, or seen grazing in Yellowstone National Park,...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Pain Management Class Non-medical Treatments for Pain Non-medical treatments may be used to treat chronic pain, along with pain medicines. They might also be used alone for mild pain or...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Glenpool Library
730 E. 141st Street
Glenpool, OK  74033
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Sponsor: Success Skills
Telephone: 405-401-3519
Contact Name: Ron Watkins

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34th Chelsea International Fine Art Competition—Opens on February 5th, 2019   Agora Gallery is pleased to invite artists from across the globe to enter the 34th Annual Chelsea...

Cost: $45 entry fee for up to 5 images ($5 for each additional image)

Where:
Agora Gallery
530 W 25th St.
New York, NY  10001
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Sponsor: Agora Gallery
Telephone: +1 212-226-4151
Contact Name: Carolina Carilo
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Winter's Grace Publishing, of northeast Oklahoma, is holding its inaugural Dead of Winter Flash Fiction Contest. It opened January 1 and it closes February 28. It's open to all creative writers...

Cost: $15 per story

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Winter's Grace Publishing
Telephone: 918-852-6311
Contact Name: C.D. Smart
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Youth members of the six area Boys & Girls Clubs compete for college scholarships in the Annual Youth of the Year competition. The winners are announced at this banquet. Volunteers making a...

Cost: $75

Where:
ORU Global Learning Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: The Salvation Army
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
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Cocktails, dinner and program with live and silent auctions followed by a Casino and dancing.

Cost: $200 per person, sponsorships available

Where:
The Mayo Hotel
115 W. 5th Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
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Dancing, cocktails, Cajun and jazz...all of the goodies that Mardi Gras has!  Come join New Hope Oklahoma in a night of Mardi Gras fun!  New Hope Oklahoma strives to end generational...

Cost: TBD

Where:
The Bond
608 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Dancing, cocktails, Cajun and jazz...all of the goodies that Mardi Gras has!  Come join New Hope Oklahoma in a night of Mardi Gras fun! New Hope Oklahoma strives to end generational incarceration,...

Cost: TBD

Where:
The Bond Event Center
608 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Cocktails, dinner and program;  silent and live auctions followed by a Casino and dancing.

Cost: $200 per person, sponsorships available

Where:
The Mayo Hotel
115 W. 5th Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
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Support youth leaders emerging from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa. Each candidate is competing for higher education scholarships. Our goal is for youth leader to be a winner and advance with...

Cost: $50 Individual Tickets and Sponsor Levels

Where:
Global Learning Center at ORU
7777 S Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
Website »

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America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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6-10:30 p.m. Southern Hills Country Club, 2636 E. 61st Street. The 2019 Lunar New Year Gala at Southern Hills Country Club will be an elegant evening of candlelight, fine dining, children’s party...

Cost: $150, individual tickets; $1,000-$25,000, sponsorships.

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Dillon International
Telephone: 918-748-5613
Contact Name: Marcia Graham
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COOKING UP COMPASSION FACT SHEET ABOUT THE EVENT:  Long time donors Margo and Kent Dunbar are Honorary Chairs for the event. Now in its fourteenth year, Cooking Up Compassion raises funds for the...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tulsa Ballroom at the Cox Business Center
3rd & Houston
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Sponsor: Catholic Charities
Telephone: 918-508-7115
Contact Name: Jennifer Allen
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Winterset is an annual formal event of the Osteopathic Founders Foundation which brings together the osteopathic profession and their community partners to benefit projects which improve the health...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hyatt Regency Tulsa
100 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Osteopathic Founders Foundation
Telephone: 918-551-7300
Contact Name: Michele Caine
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Sunday in the Park with George follows painter Georges Seurat in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." Consumed...

Cost: $25.00 for adults, $22.50 for students & seniors with ID

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
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TULtalk


Art film meets dance at Oklahoma Dance Film Festival

This year's program features more than 20 films from around the world, presented on Sunday at the Central Library.

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2.4: #KnopeLife — Anna America

Anna America took the helm at Tulsa’s Parks and Recreation department in the fall of 2018, but she is certainly no stranger to life in the public eye.

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7 strategies to help you make the A-LIST

The competition is tough for small businesses on our annual readers' choice survey, but a few smart strategies can help you get ahead.

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“Sunday in the Park” is no walk in the park

American Theatre Company prepares for the Oklahoma premiere of the very technically challenging “Sunday in the Park with George,” Feb. 15-24

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2.3: Get that “Woo!” — Tom Basler

A conversation with dueling piano phenom Tom Basler about his many reinventions, both personal and professional.

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