The Canebrake Restaurant: An Oklahoma Diamond in the Rough

fireplace canebrakeWell, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so I thought I’d clue you in to a fine dining place in the Tulsa area you may not be familiar with. Yes, I’m talking to you, guys. Valentine’s is exactly 10 days away. So you need to start planning, making reservations, booking a babysitter, etc. etc. NOW. Do it. Tonight.

With that being said, I’m about to share with you a hidden gem of a restaurant in Wagoner, Oklahoma. Yes, Wagoner. You’ve probably never been there, even if you’ve grown up in Tulsa. But now is the time to go. The restaurant destination is The Canebrake. And if you have some extra time, you may as well spend a night or two at their highly-acclaimed Resort (rumor has it, there is a special buy one, get one night free from now through Feb. 16).

Dining at The Canebrake is a true Oklahoma experience: from the long, gravel road you traverse before arriving at the Resort, to the restaurant filled with Native American decor and an Oklahoma state flag hung proudly over the fireplace. More importantly, the menu is authentically Oklahoman. Before our visit to The Canebrake, if someone had asked me, “What does Oklahoma food consist of?”, I probably would have answered, “Mazzio’s, Ted’s Cafe Escondido, and barbecue.” And while all of those answers are pretty spot-on, The Canebrake prepare Oklahoma cuisine in a truly elegant, yet rustic manner. (Click here for their dinner menu; click here for their lunch menu).


soupbean hummusFor our starter, we selected the Black Bean Hummus, served with grilled house tortillas and veggies. I will admit, the appearance of the hummus itself was a little startling…we’ll leave it at that. But it was a healthy and satisfying selection.

We also felt obliged to try a cup of soup after my husband heard the words “Gruyère and Broccoli Soup.” Gruyère is his absolute favorite cheese, and this thick, decadent soup was not your average broccoli cheddar soup.

steakOn to the main course! My husband selected the Grilled Ribeye: 12 ounce Oklahoma beef with smashed garlic horse sauce (I am not sure if that’s short for horseradish?), served with sauteed seasonal vegetables and pommes frites (fried potatoes). Talk about a steak! The thing had to be larger than 12 ounces! Devon had nothing but fabulous things to say about that steak and was especially delighted that there was plenty left over for his lunch the next day.

beef stroganoffI was thinking of being adventurous and trying the Quail, but I chickened out and went with the Beef Stroganoff. Wow…it definitely surpassed the version I make in my Crockpot by about 10,000%! Tender sirloin tips, pearl onions and wild mushrooms served over a bed of egg noodles with a decadent cream sauce, alongside sauteed vegetables. Everything about this meal was perfect! The sauce was nothing short of inspiring, folks.

smores creme bruleeWe would not be true Okies if we didn’t save room for dessert. Seriously, don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean, you Braum’s lover, you. We couldn’t resist trying the “S’Mores Crème Brûlée.” First off, let me just say that everything about crème brûlée makes me giddy as a school girl. I am a sucker for texture, and crème brûlée has it all: a slightly burnt, crispy exterior, paired with a pudding-like, smooth interior. When you pair that with the flavors of chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers, you get magic in a cup.

Alas, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the incredible staff at The Canebrake Restaurant. Not only was our meal entirely delicious, but thekitchen staff ensured that our every need was met, and the chef himself came out to check on us. One of my favorite features of the restaurant is the open window into the kitchen, where you can watch the talented staff as they prepare your meal. The chef wittily remarked, “Not only do you watch us, but we watch you!” And I’m sure he noticed nothing but satisfaction on our faces as we enjoyed a truly exquisite Oklahoma meal!

The Canebrake may be a bit of a drive for Tulsans (it’s about an hour drive), but once you get there, you will be glad you took the time to discover a true diamond in the rough.
The Canebrake Restaurant, Resort & Spa on Urbanspoon

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