Pieces of split hickory tumble into the bottom of the smoker. On the racks above, chefs lay on freshly trimmed cuts of meat—including beef brisket, pork shoulder, and tenderloin—to braise for up to 12 hours in the velvety smoke. A veteran of the pipe-fabrication business who builds his own smokers in his spare time, Steve Ohman knew what he wanted when shopping for his two commercial smokers, which have anchored Stone Mill BBQ and Steakhouse since it opened in 2003.
But other aspects of the restaurant also bear his personal stamp. All of the menu's meats and seafood come spiced in Ohman's own blend of seasonings, and he built the restaurant's wood tables from scratch with the help of his wife and kids. The restaurant's rustic yet elegant decor of exposed wooden trusses, split-log furnishings, and a wagon-wheel-turned-chandelier complement the main dining space's stone double fireplace.
The owners and chefs at Santa Fe Cattle rely on old family recipes that demand steaks are aged and cut in-house, rolls are baked fresh each day, and signature sauces are mixed onsite. These touches transform the menu’s casual, regional eats into dishes worthy of John Wayne’s personal dressing-room buffet. Steaks, fajitas, and sliders are plated next to housemade sides of cole slaw, Santa Fe taters, and of course, a bucket of peanuts—which guests shuck directly onto the floor. The peanut shells add character to each one of the restaurant’s 20 locations, which evoke old-west saloons with touches such as brick walls draped in horse saddles and weathered wooden floors.
Aila and Johnny Wimpy serve up portions of contemporary western classics with innovative pairings in their rustic restaurant and saloon. Joseph Hamilton of Urban Tulsa Weekly said that the couple, “[has] taken what are in many cases old standards, and brought the presentations into the 21st century with... a culinary style they like to call 'upscale chuck wagon.'" This masterful mingling of old and new shines through in menu items such as the pan-seared scallops with cheese grits in green-chili broth, local ranch buffalo meatloaf from Nowata Ranch, and cowboy pork chops roping flavorful apple butter. From the gravy to the ketchup, the chefs at Go West make all their sauces from scratch, and champion local sources including Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association beef and Oklahoma-brewed beers served by the pint or ten-gallon hat.
An atmosphere of countrified class prevails throughout the bar and grill, from the heavy, carved chef's table to the trophy longhorn looming over the saloon. Outside, the patio can be spotted protruding from the ranch house, flanked by silos emblazoned with neon lassos to ensure it stays put. Ranch-flavored art adorns the walls throughout the interior, from the rustic main dining room to the Will Rogers room, which can be sealed off for a private party of up to 45.
Inside a geometric, castle-like building, The Silver Flame Steakhouse melds disparate cultures by combining traditional steak-house fare with a full cast of Middle Eastern flavors. The dinner menu brims with charred meats such as hickory-grilled rib eyes and kebabs, which compete with lobster and crab legs for the best moonwalk performance. With every hearty entree comes a mighty platter of sides, including domestic favorites such as salad and fries and Mediterranean staples of hummus and tabouli. From a fully stocked bar, drink slingers fill glasses with fine wines and domestic or imported beers, balancing flavors and sating parched tongues.
A variety of live entertainment Tuesday–Saturday nights sates the non-eating senses, including musical performances from guitar, trumpet, and piano players. Climate-separated smoking and non-smoking sections comfortably keeps smokeless diners separate from hot charcoal jugglers.
The Green Onion's dinner menu is decorated like a black-tie piñata ready to burst with robust and inventive flavor combinations. Hush chatterboxes with a face full of caprese salad ($9) and the Long Island roast duck served over wild rice and drizzled with orange sauce ($26.95). Or sate hunger with the smoked salmon filled with crab stuffing and swathed in a decadent almond, shrimp, and white wine cream sauce ($25.95). A variety of steaks, salads, pastas, homemade soups, and more round out the menu to silence stomach growlers one plate at a time.
The Polo Grill marks its 30th anniversary later this year. And while the Utica Square staple has amassed the awards and the press that firmly cement it as a local tradition, The Polo Grill has never been satisfied with resting on its laurels, choosing instead to focus on innovating and raising the bar with each and every plate.
Twice Polo Grill has doubled its wine cellar’s capacity, boosting the wine list – acclaimed by Wine Spectator – to a current count of 1,100 labels and 22,000 bottles. They switched meatpackers to Middendorf of Kansas City. They regularly track down the freshest produce from farms around Bixby. And they’ve expanded their private dining rooms, decorating their walls with items such as the burnt-brown burlap sacks in which winemakers once hauled grapes. This expansion and innovation extend to regular special events, which invite guests for educational and social dining experiences. A black-tie gala is planned around October, when the harvest and the 30th anniversary approach.