Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appétit:
I was halfway through a ten-course tasting menu in a 22-seat restaurant in a city I’d never set foot in before. It was Thursday, prime time, and the place was all but empty. Dried wild spinach and juniper hung from the wood rafters. Pickles and other jarred kitchen experiments lined the shelves. Car Seat Headrest played on the speakers. There was a host, a server, three chefs, and no menu. I was head over heels but utterly confused. Who cooked this dish? And what the hell was this place?
It had been three months since I’d set off on my annual cross-country search for the year’s best new restaurants. I’d checked out most of the places I was “supposed” to. You know, those buzzy spots run by pedigreed chefs or by cooks who used to work for those pedigreed chefs. I’d visited San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and the other noted food cities. I’d checked out the vibrant restaurant scenes in smaller towns like Charleston, South Carolina, and Portland (both of them). But Oklahoma City? In two decades of covering restaurants, it had never popped onto my radar. And the chefs? Never heard of them.
I never get tired of reading about places like this in OKC (or Oklahoma in general). The stories always end up being as much about OKC as they are about their actual subject. It is cool to see OKC’s national reputation slowly get better and better.
On another note, it looks like Carissa and I have a new date night restaurant to try out. Or more accurately, we will when they are not booked for weeks due to being named the best new restaurant in America.