With its rollicking roster of sweet and savory crêpes, espresso, and creamy gelato, the recently opened Mod's Coffee & Crepes injects a much-needed shot of continental pancakery into downtown's throbbing lunch vein. Mod's crêpes are made to order, allowing diners to watch the thin batter metamorphosing into a delectably light meal-casing before it migrates southward down their esophagi. Though Mod's delights sweet teeth with classic crêperie concoctions of Nutella and banana ($4.50) or chocolate-covered strawberries and cream ($4.50), savory crêpes provide a hearty lunch in a light, airy wrapper. The club crêpe (ham, turkey bacon, brown mustard, tomatoes, mozzarella, $6.50) channels classic noontime fare, and the spicy turkey and cranberry crêpe ($6) recaptures the tryptophan-laden harvest feasts of youth. In addition to crêpes, Mod's also serves scintillating salads and soups, such as tomato basil and creamy mushroom brie (cup $3.50, bowl $6).
The Mantel Wine Bar & Bistro has something in common with San Francisco's Ritz Carlton, New Orleans's Emeril's, and New York's Tavern on the Green: its chefs were invited by Cornell University's Cross Country Gourmet series to recreate their restaurant experience in Ithaca, New York. There, thousands of people sampled their signature dishes and Oklahoma hospitality during the Cross Country Gourmet Extravaganza.
Oklahoma City residents, of course, get this European-inspired dining experience year round. At the Bricktown district location, guests partake of everything from wild-caught seafood that's flown in fresh daily to prime-grade steaks in an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. There's lunch service as well, with both traditional entrees and an upscale grilled cheese with smoked salmon, caramelized shallots, and fresh heirloom tomatoes, great for nostalgic grown ups and top-hat-wearing children. The friendly staff at flagship restaurant of the Deep Fork Group also offers knowledgeable advice on a selection of wines.
Lamenting the lack of European baked goods in the Norman community, the Jazzar and Khouri families united to open a bakery filled with flaky French pastries, three-layered Bavarian cakes, and freshly baked European breads. As La Baguette Bakery & Café's popularity grew, the families opened two more locations and began supplying their breads, desserts, and twirled moustaches to more than 200 hotels and restaurants. The Jazzars and Khouris also added a menu of lunch and dinner fare, purveying such café-style eats as quiche lorraine, croque monsieur, and italian pasta dishes.
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.
The owners of Tidal School Winery and Vineyard chose a fitting venue for educating the public about their selection of European-style and Oklahoma sweet wines—an 8,000-square-foot historic schoolhouse. Originally built in the 1920s to educate John D. Rockefeller’s workforce, the building now houses a banquet hall and tasting room where visitors can swirl, sip, and see who can spit take the farthest with the vineyard’s wines. Further entertaining the senses, the winery hosts monthly musical events that are free to the public and spotlight Oklahoma-based bands.