Toast to taste
Wine pairings and fresh flavors abound at the Wine Loft Bistro.
Pan-seared salmon with Broccolini and lemon risotto
The Wine Loft Bistro is a south Tulsa fine dining oasis among fast food and chain restaurants.
The sophisticated, intimate bistro began as a franchise, part of the New Orleans-based La Crepe Nanou. But owner Jenna Krimbill rebranded, creating a fresh-flavored, locally owned restaurant with an emphasis on wine pairings.
Chef Staci Atwell has created a menu of dishes that are not too heavy, as bistro-style food can sometimes be. There is a nice selection of salads and appetizers, as well as sides that could be turned into entrees for vegetarians.
We visited on a quiet weekday and were given attentive service. Wait staff are familiar with the extensive wine list and made solid suggestions for wine and food pairings.
A customer favorite at the Wine Loft Bistro is the grits made with goat cheese. They can be ordered as a side dish, and also are part of a tasty appetizer, Cajun shrimp and chevre grits ($12), with sautéed Cajun marinated shrimp over the grits, then drizzled with a red pepper butter sauce.
Salads here are a good size. Carb-watchers will love the shrimp avocado salad ($10) — a cold shrimp salad of onion, dill, capers and avocado, garnished with cherry tomato halves. The Caesar salad ($7) is a delicious riff on the classic — a Romaine wedge is topped with roasted garlic, Parmesan cheese, fried onions and fried capers.
We enjoyed a pan-seared salmon ($23) served with Broccolini and lemon risotto. The risotto was perfectly cooked and balanced the flavors of the salmon.
The blackened mahi mahi ($20) was beautifully presented with a bright-tasting red cabbage slaw. A cumin-flavored sour cream and green tomato salsa rounded out the plate.
Also popular is the bone-in pork chop ($22), which is pan-seared then oven-roasted and served with a pretty arrangement of seasonal vegetables. On the night we visited, those included roasted carrots and radishes, yellow squash, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts.
Desserts rotate with the seasons, but one interesting option is the chocolate board ($14). Think of it as a cheese board for chocolate lovers, with chocolate candies, truffles and other chocolate confections the chef has prepared for the day. It’s a shareable and fun dessert.
Atwell says 95 percent of the food at the bistro is made in-house. And though the Wine Loft Bistro is fine dining, she says it also is casual, a place without a dress code or stuffiness. “It doesn’t have to be date night to eat well,” she says.
Many dinner guests start the evening at the Wine Loft Bar, having drinks or tapas and then head to the bistro for dinner. Others have dinner at the bistro, then end the night with live music and drinks at the bar.
The Wine Loft Bistro and Bar have a selection of more than 200 wines, including wine on tap and wine flights.
The Wine Loft Bistro
Bar hours: 4-11 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 4 p.m.-midnight, Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday.
Bistro hours: 4-10 p.m., Monday-Sunday