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.
One of Lawton’s only fine dining establishments, Red River Southwestern Chophouse keeps its menu sizzling with top-quality steaks and Southwestern delicacies. Kick-off the feast with an edible drum roll of New Orleans crab balls ($12.99), boursin cheese jalapeños ($7.99), or a mountain of Maryland crab cake ($13.99) before diving into house specialties such as the chilean seabass floating atop a creamy, saucy sea of lobster risotto ($28.99). Otherwise, wine and dine simultaneously with the venezuelan brisket cooked in a red-wine marinade and served over potatoes mashed in-house by a squadron of well-trained spud masseuses ($15.99). Red River's steak specialists also makes more cuts than a blind samurai, curing carnivorous cravings of every size with the lean 8-ounce top sirloin ($14.99), the hefty 16-ounce prime cowboy rib eye ($28.99), and all seasoned slabs in between. Regardless of their surf or turf allegiances, diners can unite over sides such as fried okra, creamed spinach, and wild mushrooms (all $7.99). To make sure everyone gets a taste of every dish, Red River serves its succulent shareables family-style, which means each plate comes with a buzzer in case a feud breaks out over what 100 people consider a chore that kids hate to do.
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 chefs at Jamil's Steakhouse grill up hearty steaks and seafood dishes that fuse flavors from the Middle East. One of Oklahoma City's oldest steak houses at its core, the eatery hands visitors a menu of tabbouleh salad, hummus, and main-course selections such as the Hail Caesar burger, an 8-ounce Angus steak burger topped with cheddar, Caesar salad, and tomato. There's also hickory-smoked brisket, chicken fried steak, and hickory-smoked ribs, as well as beef kebabs imbued with flavors more robust than a chocolate statue of Teddy Roosevelt. Not to be outdone, the seafood menu proffers selections such as fried catfish, Norwegian grilled salmon, and Australian coldwater lobster tail.
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.
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.