An unassuming brick storefront with bamboo-shaded windows barely contains the thrum of voices and simmering broth that roils within Tokyo Pot. Shabu shabu is by necessity an active method of dining and The Oklahoman’s Food Dude Dave Cathey says “It’s impossible to sit through a meal at Tokyo Pot in silence.” This vibrancy arises from the broth-filled pots that sit in the middle of each table and remind diners of the genuinely social nature of cooking and sharing fare as they dunk thin slices of meat into the hot liquid. Gentle pendant lighting brings to life the colors of bright cut blossoms and illuminates jets of rising steam that resemble famous clouds.
Beyond Opus Prime Steakhouse's arched brick entrance lies an alternate reality where surf 'n' turf have settled their differences and appear in concord on plates. Red-hot grills sear Chicago Stockyards prime beef steaks and cold water lobster tails that appear together and separate, a feat Abbott and Costello could never quite achieve. The menu that gives the red-hot grills their instructions also presents cocktails and beer, while cataloging nearly 1,000 wines from across the world. A sleek marble bar illuminated by blue lights and high-backed seating capped by elegant semitranslucent glass panes help conjure the steak house's upscale atmosphere.
Sunlight filters through the thick leaves of whispering pine tress, illuminating a 20-acre clearing of vineyards, lily ponds, and lush gardens. This is the site of Whispering Pines Restaurant and Lounge, whose fairytale backdrop and upscale French fare has won the veneration of Discover Oklahoma. Guests who find their way onto its grounds are greeted by a towering 1900s-style mansion adorned in ivy and surrounded by a wrap-around porch. Inside, white-clothed tables scatter across deep-red carpets amid hanging artwork and a roaring fireplace.
Owners and head chefs Chinda and Rany Kchao await to serve guests, drawing on years of fine-dining and French-continental culinary experience. The Kchaos and their family bring forth plates of upscale French fare and decadent steaks, punctuating each course with a house-made, palate-cleansing sorbet instead of a palate-cleansing spray from the garden hose. After dinner, guests of the inn climb the grand staircase to the main-house suites or meander across the grounds to independent cottages, where whirlpools and baskets of treats await them. In the morning, servers deliver freshly prepared breakfasts to each room.
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.
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.