Table Talk: November 2013
The buzz on Tulsa’s tastiest products, restaurants and events
The best Thanksgiving dinner shortcut
Many of us love having the Norman Rockwell moment before Thanksgiving dinner. You know the one: carrying out the beautifully bronzed bird on a platter, ready to carve at the table.
I have learned over the years, however, that the moment is fleeting once the bird has been cut open to reveal a dry, overcooked breast. I switched things up a few years ago by cooking a spatchcocked turkey, and I will never go back.
Spatchcocking is a fancy way of saying “cut out the backbone and flatten your bird.” There are several advantages to using this method: the bird cooks more evenly, it cooks more quickly and, since it has been flattened, it doesn’t take up the entire oven. You won’t even need a fancy roasting pan — the flattened turkey fits perfectly on an inexpensive jellyroll pan.
New and noteworthy
• Burn Co. BBQ is lighting the coals in a much larger location. The continually crowded barbecue joint across from The University of Tulsa outgrew its original digs and recently set up shop in a larger space at East 18th Street and South Boston Avenue. The space (most recently the home of Treehouse BBQ, among a host of other restaurants) gives them the much-needed kitchen space to light up a row of Hasty-Bake grills under some serious ventilation. This is a plus for customers, who now have the opportunity to watch the pitmasters in action.
Co-owners, co-pitmasters and cousins Adam Myers and Robby Corcoran have been stuffing guests (including barbecue guru and author Steven Raichlen) full of delicious barbecue since they opened on East 11th Street in 2011. Like the old location, the expanded spot will still be lunch only, but Myers and Corcoran will have more space to cook more food, so lunches should last until 3 or 4 p.m. (Burn Co. serves until they run out of food — which has typically been shortly after lunch, hence a long queue at 10:30 a.m.)
Burn Co. BBQ: 1738 S. Boston Ave., 918-574-2777
• Justin Thompson has done it again. He recently opened the third of his trio of upscale, downtown restaurants. Tavolo: An Italian Bistro features classic Italian favorites and modern, innovative plates for lunch and dinner. Thompson enjoys using local ingredients and supporting area farmers. Therefore, fresh, seasonal ingredients are always featured on the menu.
Everything is made in-house from scratch, including six varieties of pasta. An extensive wine list, handcrafted limoncello and grappa, and traditional Italian desserts (tiramisu and custard, plus sorbet and ice cream) also are featured.
Tavolo: 427 S. Boston Ave., 918-949-4498, www.tavolotulsa.com
• For those whose interests lie in modern American cuisine and creative, handcrafted cocktails, Hope Egan’s ode to nose-to-tail cooking, Tallgrass Prairie Table, is guaranteed to knock your socks off. Egan’s partner, Debra Zinke, owner of Z7 Bar Ranch in Osage County, is supplying the beef, raised (coincidently, in the Tallgrass Prairie near Pawhuska) specifically for the restaurant.
Egan has tapped chef Michelle Donaldson to head up the kitchen — Donaldson has been impressing diners for the past few years at Smoke. on Cherry Street.
Tallgrass Prairie Table: 313 E. Second St., 918-728-0168
• The French Hen has hatched a little one. The Hen Bistro & Wine opened recently in Brookside’s Consortium center, formerly home to Oui3, Garlic Rose and Stonehorse Café. Owner Kathy Bondy sent a few of The French Hen’s popular recipes up north (Have you tried the sweetbreads?), but the rest of the menu features dishes with a more casual feel, such as veal meatloaf sliders ($14) and buttermilk-fried chicken ($17).
The Hen Bistro & Wine: 3509 S. Peoria Ave., 918-935-3420, www.thehenbistro.com