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Universal appeal

New south Tulsa eatery The Ridge Grill features a wide variety of tasty traditional entrées with Mediterranean flair.

Executive Chef David Dean

Executive Chef David Dean

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” Virginia Woolf wrote in her 1929 essay “A Room of One’s Own.”

After a recent dinner at The Ridge Grill, the quote, perched high atop this restaurant’s menu, made me think that today, Woolf would be happy to tuck in to one of The Ridge Grill’s many hearty dishes — and be pretty happy for it.

Mir Khezri owns the popular south Tulsa/Bixby restaurant with his brother Mehdi, although Mehdi spends most of his time at the two popular locations of Ti Amo Ristorante Italiano, which the pair also owns. This new restaurant, which opened in June, offers the same polished and professional service in a family-friendly environment.

While the dining room is fairly large, the color choice for the walls (a warm, almost burnt orange), in addition to an expansive rock wall and wood tables and booths, creates a cozy atmosphere. The décor is still quite elegant, but the space lends itself to family gatherings.

During nice weather, customers can enjoy dinner on the spacious covered patio, which features a large fireplace and ornate fountain. The dining room was fairly packed on the Wednesday night we visited, a welcome sight for any restaurant in these times.

Before teaming up with the Khezris, chef David Dean was the chef at Atlantic Sea Grill for the last few years it was open. Coincidentally, he brought some of that staff with him to The Ridge Grill.

The menu offers a wide variety of dishes, suitable to virtually every palate. As is the rule in most restaurants these days, the portion sizes are quite generous. However, the plate styling errs a bit to the old fashioned — entrée, starch and veggies. Nothing too exciting here. But I have to stress that everything we tried tasted really good, and that’s what ultimately matters, right?

After we ordered dinner and drinks, our server, Melissa Wilson, brought out a basket of warm, crisp rustic bread served with a saucer of olive oil and a dollop of black olive tapenade.

My parents and I started our meal by sharing an order of stuffed artichoke hearts ($8), which were stuffed with a rich, creamy cheese mixture; topped with breadcrumbs; and baked. The order of six was served in a super-hot dish, on a bed of garlicky cream — perfect for smearing on our bread. Other popular starters include a hot blue crab dip ($12) and the Ridge Bruschetta ($8), both served with crostini.

We all enjoyed simple garden salads ($4) topped with a variety of the kitchen’s homemade dressings — lemon oreganato is a delicious, popular choice — which all go nicely with the menu’s other salad offerings, including two that are topped with seared Ahi tuna.

We passed on the section of the menu offering burgers and sandwiches, in favor of a bit more fancy dinner, but many diners in the restaurant were enjoying the Moroccan blackened chicken sandwich ($10), served on focaccia, as well as classic old-fashioned burgers ($10).

My father, Jim, chose the Paella de Catalonia ($22) for his entrée. While the assortment of meats and seafood was abundant — lobster, mussels, prawns, chicken and sausage — the overall dish turned out a bit dry for our liking. The filet of sole picatta ($18) and orange-coriander lacquered tuna ($24) are just a few of the popular seafood choices.

My mother, Micheal, opted for the rich chicken Angelica ($16), a hearty portion of sautéed chicken, artichoke hearts, spinach and mushrooms in a rosemary-white wine cream sauce over fettuccine. Our only complaint about the dish was that it was so rich, after the three of us nibbled on it, she still had a substantial portion to take home.

I was craving a big, juicy steak, and that was exactly what I received. The rib eye is my favorite cut, and The Ridge Grill’s 16-ounce bone-in black angus rib eye ($32) was grilled to a perfect medium rare and finished with a generous dollop of fresh herb compound butter. I also was able to eat only about a third of it, especially taking into account the smashed Yukon Gold potatoes and fire-roasted vegetables served alongside, but it made for a delicious steak-laden stroganoff the next day.

Other entrées include fig and walnut pasta with gorgonzola ($13), pan-seared scallops meuniére ($24) and coconut-encrusted tilapia ($20), among many others.

The bar area, which seats a little more than a dozen people, features more than two dozen beers and wines by the glass, along with a wine collection of more than 60 labels. Pop in to the bar for half-priced appetizers and thin-crust pizzas from 4-6 p.m. daily.

Whether you choose to call its location south Tulsa or Bixby, The Ridge Grill already seems to be a regular stop and is on its way to becoming a true neighborhood joint.

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