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 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. All entrees include tabouli salad, hummus dip, a cabbage roll, and baked potato.
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.
Boulevard Steakhouse doesn't think that beef should be too fancy. The kitchen decorates its custom-aged, hand-cut USDA Prime steaks in nothing but salt, pepper, and butter, preferring to let the fillets take the flavor spotlight. Some arrive completely free of accoutrements, such as the blackened bone-in rib eye. Others have a few costars on the plate: fillet tips come with mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes, whereas beef medallions pair with blue crab.
Regardless of the presentation, each of the entrees is sophisticated in its simplicity—an ethos that applies to the entire restaurant. The dining area gives off a rustic vibe with wood ceilings and deep red wooden accents, which match several of the wines on a sprawling list. Set against exposed brick, the martini lounge is just as warm and antiquated. Here, bartenders craft classic cocktails from gimlets to Manhattans, as well as seasonal offerings such as The Great Pumpkin, a much better autumnal brew than eggnog or The Okay Pumpkin. Visitors on some weekend nights can sip their drinks as live music fills the space.