Table Talk: May 2014
The buzz on Tulsa’s tastiest products, restaurants and events
The first time I saw Paris, I was a 21-year-old backpacking across Europe with two of my best childhood (and now, adult) friends. By no means did we dine extravagantly while we were there that May; baguettes and Coke Light were the norm. But oh, those baguettes.
The next few times I traveled to Paris, I knew a lot more about food, and so I searched out the good things — foie gras and fromage, to be specific. I’ll never forget my birthday lunch at Taillevent with my friend Mel. An oozing wheel of raw-milk Brie stared at us the entire meal.
However, it wasn’t until I spent a few days in the Loire Valley that I got a grasp of “real” French bistro cuisine. How truly simple ingredients — no foie gras here — when left to shine, could be the star of any meal.
My friends and I stayed in an old farmhouse, shopped the local markets, and roasted fresh sardines in our fireplace. It was at that farmers’ market, near Blois, that I first had a French breakfast radish. Until then, my only radish experience was the occasional slice in a house salad.
There I discovered how, served only with fresh butter and flaky sea salt, the radish can elevate itself to hors d’oeuvres status.
Here are a few of my quick and easy radish recipes, sure to bring a little “springtime in Paris” to any meal.
Radishes with butter and sea salt Serves a few, as a snack
Set out 1 bunch of radishes, a dish of flaky sea salt and a small bowl of softened butter. Smear radishes with butter and dip them gently in the sea salt. (Alternatively, smear slices of baguette with butter, top with thinly sliced radish and sprinkle with sea salt.)
Radish and buttermilk soup Serves 2-4
Recipe adapted from Gourmet magazine
1/2 pound radishes, trimmed and quartered
2 cups cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 cups chilled buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
Purée ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately.
Roasted radishes Serves 4 as a side dish
2 bunches radishes, halved
A few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Grated zest and juice of half a lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix ingredients. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and cook until lightly browned and tender, 20-25 minutes.
New and notable
Deco Deli and Market is now open in the lobby of the Atlas Life Building. The menu focuses on fresh, seasonal and local produce, featuring a great selection of sandwiches and wraps named after downtown buildings, salads, soups, house-made chips, Deco balls (cake balls in a variety of flavors) and smoothies, in addition to prepared carryout items, box lunches, and platters and beverages. Co-owners Jeff Hartman (who owns the Atlas Life Building), his son Ryan Hartman and head chef Jake Robinson (who also owns Atlas Grill in the same lobby) used some of the building’s original 1922 granite for countertops and tables. Deco Deli and Market: 415 S. Boston Ave., 918-938-6858
Who dat new market downtown that is peddling authentic po-boys and bread pudding? Lassalle’s New Orleans Deli is who. The NOLA-themed restaurant opened recently on a corner that has seen a few other dining establishments come and go (Zorba’s Greek Grill and La Boca Loca, to name a few). Pop in for some of New Orleans natives Chris and Amanda West’s hearty muffaletta sandwiches ($6.49-$13.99), fried shrimp po-boys ($6.99/$9.99) or a steaming bowl of gumbo ($3.99/$6.99). Lassalle’s New Orleans Deli: 601 S. Boston Ave., 918-582-NOLA (6652), www.lassallesneworleansdeli.com
The Hamlet is now serving dinner. This is a good thing for those of us who drive by the corner of East 91st Street and South Sheridan Road after lunchtime with a craving for its specialty “honey-kissed” ham sandwiches. Make a stop to try chef Cameron Werry’s recently unveiled dinner menu, now available from 4-10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 4-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Menu items include crab cakes, baked brie and a farmers’ market salad for starters ($7-$11); classic Hamlet sandwiches, including ham and cheese, pulled pork and Reuben ($10-$11); and new dinner entrees featuring chicken fried steak, horseradish-crusted salmon, and grilled chicken mac and cheese ($16-$22). Steaks, chicken and a double-cut pork chops also are available ($16-$29). The restaurant recently underwent an intensive makeover, adding a large semi-enclosed patio for dining. The Hamlet: 9107 S. Sheridan Road, 918-495-1466, www.hamlethams.com
Ah, springtime in Oklahoma. We are either outdoors enjoying the gorgeous blooms and temperatures, or we are running for the shelter to avoid a ginormous, tornado-spawning wall cloud (or even larger swarms of mosquitoes). If the former is your ideal, head to one of these local spots for dinner. Each has an outdoor dining space worth enjoying.
Café Ole I have always loved the ambience of Café Ole’s patio (the fireplace and piñon aroma remind me of Santa Fe), but over the past few years the food has been sub par. Luckily veteran restaurateur (and former owner of Savory Chef cooking school and store) Don Jones and his partners took over the struggling Brookside mainstay in 2013. He reinvigorated the restaurant as well as the menu (but kept some of the old favorites). The enchiladas, rellenos and queso are better than ever. 3509 S. Peoria Ave., 918-745-6699, www.cafeolebrookside.com
In the Raw on the Hill For one of the most striking views of the city, stretching all the way downtown, visit In the Raw on the Hill. The food is just as popular as the always-packed Brookside location, but this spot features one of the best patios in town. Most importantly, get there in time to enjoy the sunset over some sushi and Pomtinis. 6151 S. Sheridan Road, 918-524-0063, www.intherawsushi.com
El Guapo’s Cantina Head to “The Top of the Guap” to enjoy cervezas, guacamole and chips, and hearty Mexican fare as well as spectacular views of the downtown skyline in Tulsa’s only rooftop restaurant. El Guapo’s (just one of the gems in Elliot Nelson’s downtown empire) is known for muchas margaritas, taco Tuesdays and hipster crowds chowing down before a show at the BOK Center. 332 E. First St., 918-382-7482, www.elguaposcantina.net
Tucci’s Wine and pizza — it’s what’s for dinner at Cherry Street’s popular and cozy street-side trattoria. Tucci’s is known for romantic Little Italy-inspired ambience (my husband and I had our first date there), zesty Lemonata salad, and hearty pizza and pasta dishes, all for reasonable prices. Sit on the patio for great people watching. 1344 E. 15th St., 918-582-3456
Blue Rose Café Diners have been flocking to the Blue Rose since owner Tom Dittus resurrected the popular Brookside mainstay on the banks of the Arkansas River. The LEED-certified building has a wraparound deck suitable for sunset watching and chowing down on comforting bar food. We love a platter of loaded cheese fries and an ice-cold pitcher of Bud. 1924 Riverside Drive, 918-582-4600, www.bluerosecafetulsa.com