Just off the historic Route 66, Summerside Vineyards welcomes visitors into its rustic winery and meadery. Regular tours of the winery and cellar elucidate the specifics of the wine- and mead-making processes and end in the cozy tasting room. Here, surrounded by a warm color palette and antique furniture, staff walk visitors through samplings of Summerside's various wines and meads. The bottles range from dry to dessert, and each are produced and bottled in the onsite cellar. In addition to tastings, Summerside holds seasonal wine-focused events.
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.
A hearth oven frames brightly in the kitchen of every Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar, roasting gourmet flatbreads to perfection. Cooks pile the house-made crusts with premium toppings before slipping them in, creating signature offerings like the creamy lobster thermidor or the Pietro, which pairs goat cheese and prosciutto with sweeter components such as black mission figs. Flatbreads aren't the only specialty, though?the kitchen also turns out fire-roasted chicken wings, baked? pastas, and entrees such as slow-braised osso bucco. An eclectic selection of beers and more than 30 wines bring out the flavors of the menu.
Gourmet Flatbreads for Every Palate
Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar is known for its signature flatbreads, which feature an array of bold, flavorful ingredients. Below, a few highlights.
|The Ginsu||The Chicken Tikka||The Tuffo|
|Toppings such as maguro tuna, ginger, and wasabi cream sauce lend a distinctly Asian flavor to the Ginsu.||Creamy coconut and masala sauce are among the ingredients that give the chicken tikka its sumptuous flavor.||Applewood-smoked duck bacon, black mission figs, and other gourmet toppings make the Tuffo a must-try for foodies.|
Wine and French cuisine go together like salt and pepper, but their pairing is a bit more complex than that. Fortunately, French Hen makes it easy. Glass-fronted racks filled with dozens of red and whites speak to the immense variety of potential culinary buddies that might keep a roasted lobster tail or USDA Prime steak company. Diners can either ask their server for recommendations to match any dish on the menu or attend special wine pairing dinners, where multiple courses feature their own expertly chosen Old World varietals. And in the tradition of fine French cooking, spirits pervade the dishes themselves. White wine infuses the sauce of the escargot, brandy adds a zip to the peppercorn cream drizzled over the signature grilled duck, and sherry colors the pasta beneath the seared diver scallops.
Such flavors build on the 30-year legacy that infuses every dim alcove, deep-blue tablecloth, and light-red wall within French Hen's dining room. But that legacy is too big to be so easily contained. It also spills out onto the outdoor patio, which Tulsa World's Scott Cherry noted for being "out of view from any street traffic." Amid that peace, single chrysanthemums dot each table, echoing the colors that inspired Monet to paint water lilies when he was supposed to be lifeguarding.
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.
In 1999, the name "Pumpkin Town" hardly applied to married couple Lonnie and Melissa's modest produce stand. Little did they know, Pumpkin Town would become a full-time endeavor in itself, one that kids Brigette, Phillip, and Margo all helped shape.
Today, "Pumpkin Town" is a fitting title for the 20-acre farm that Lonnie and Melissa run. Most beloved for its 5-acre corn maze?open day and night, other autumn-themed attractions include inflatables, train rides, a giant jumping pillow, a treasure dig, face painting, and tractor-tire swings. And, of course, the produce stand that began it all still offers its bounty to guests.