So you’re tired of the same ol’ same ol’ when it comes to eating out. Lucky for you, Tulsa is buzzing with new restaurants just waiting for curious taste buds! Here are a few of Tulsa Places’ favorite new restaurants that you should check out in 2015!
1. Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen
Don’t be confused: Napa Flats is not the same as Naples Flatbread. Napa Flats is a new, classy restaurant with a wide array of flavors located at 9912 S. Riverside Parkway. This restaurant, inspired by California flavors, has a vast number of options available on the menu that are sure to satisfy every palate. There’s a reason we’re naming Napa Flats #1 on our list of new restaurants.
Everything I tried at Napa Flats was truly impressive. The restaurant makes everything on the menu in-house, and they strive for freshness. The restaurant is the first Napa Flats in Oklahoma, and locations already exist in San Antonio and College Station, Texas. When you come across the name, “Napa Flats,” you may expect to find just flatbread pizzas and sandwiches on the menu. Not so; the menu is packed with everything from specialty meats grilled over oak and pecan wood, to unique pastas and pizzas. My particular favorite dish was the Pork Tenderloin Milanese (pictured left): pork loin pan fried in extra virgin olive oil crowned with a salad of arugula, tomatoes, red onion, and fresh mozzarella. This was no ordinary pork! It had such extraordinary flavor and crisp! I will definitely be returning so I can indulge in it again!
Among the other popular unique dishes is the Citrus Chicken (breast of chicken, grilled with a lemon/white wine, herb butter reduction, served with sautéed spinach, and garlic mashed potatoes). This is no simple chicken: the lemon butter sauce is to die for! Also impressive is Tony’s Bow Tie Pasta (wood-fired grilled chicken, farfelle pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto, peas, and red onions, sautéed in alfredo sauce). I also enjoyed the Carnivore Pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmigiano, steak, meatballs, pepperoni, red peppers, and prosciutto). The meatballs at Napa Flats are unique in that the meatball recipe was given to Napa by Damion Mandolo, the original founder of Carrabba’s.
To back-track a bit, there’s one appetizer on Napa Flats’ menu that you simply do not want to miss. The Palo Alto Dip (sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and green onions blended with cream cheese and ricotta cheese, served with Napa Flats bread) is nothing short of divine! I also tried the Chonburi Shrimp (spicy fried shrimp served over Napa slaw), which has quite a kick and is perfect for folks with a spicy palate.
Napa Flats has a number of gluten-free options available. They also have several bragging rights that make them unique: they are one of the few restaurants in Tulsa that has a pastry chef (see the lovely Strawberry Oreo Cheesecake she created the day I was there?). Additionally, Napa Flats has its own gelato counter, which you can stop in and try even if you aren’t planning on dining there.
Additionally, Napa Flats has a large wine and liquor menu. They are one of the few places in town that offers wines on tap, meaning their wines never touch oxygen before being poured. You can try a sampler of wines on tap, or spring for a glass or bottle. I tried a refreshing mixed drink, the Strawberry Sunburst (muddled strawberries, Deep Eddy cranberry vodka, lemonade, and a splash of Sprite) and a sampler of white wines.
2. All About Cha Stylish Coffee & Tea
Another new restaurant with a slightly deceiving name. All About Cha is much more than just coffee and tea … in fact, they have a full menu from sun-up to bedtime! All About Cha is one of the newest additions to the downtown Tulsa scene and is located at 206 S. Cheyenne Ave. just across from the BOK Center. All About Cha is owned by a chain of coffee/tea shop/restaurants in South Korea, and thus far, they’ve opened other locations in Edmond and Nichols Hills, Oklahoma.
The menu offers a number of unique drinks. Many of the tea drinks are blended as if they’re fancy coffees — for example, you can try an iced green (tea) macchiato, a white mocha green, or a green cappuccino. There are drinks on the All About Cha menu I would never think of trying because of how bizarre they sound, but I highly doubt any of them would disappoint. I got a little crazy and tried the Goguma Latte, a sweet potato drink blended with steamed milk. Oh my goodness! It was like Thankgiving Day Sweet Potato Casserole in a foamy latte! Delish!
Food-wise, they offer a number of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. I tried one of their mouth-watering waffles, topped with blackberry jam, Häagen-Dazs ice cream, bananas, strawberries, and whipped cream. Honestly, this was the best waffle I’ve ever eaten. Aside from the amazing decadence happening on top of it, the waffle itself was incredibly tasty and fluffy. This is a waffle definitely worth trying! Other breakfast items include crepes, quiche, a breakfast croissant, and the “All About” Breakfast (biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon or sausage and fresh fruit).
I also tried one of the more Korean-inspired dishes on the menu: the Bul-go-gee Wrap (shaved beef marinated in Korean spices, sliced carrot and onion, wrapped in a cheddar-jalapeno wrap). It was a little spicy, but extremely tasty and one-of-a-kind. Other lunch/dinner items include the Orange Chicken Salad, the Chicken Avocado Croissant, and quiche. All About Cha also features a number of decadent desserts.
3. The Wine Loft
The Wine Loft, which shares a kitchen and ownership with La Crepe Nanou, is a great choice for an after-work glass of wine and gourmet tapas or a night life destination. Located at 7890 E 106th St. in the new Vineyard shopping center at S. 106th & Memorial, they offer more than 200 wines, displayed on the menu by region. Their staff is specially trained to engage guests with wine recommendations.
During my visit, I tried the Duck Crepettes — made with The Wine Loft’s specially crafted duck confie and homemade 4 inch tortilla crepes. They were simply divine, and the homemade, fresh crepes make all the difference. I also tried the Mushroom and Manchego Bruschetta (mélange of oyster, crimini and shitake mushrooms sautéed in a creamy demi-glace, topped with melted manchego cheese and served on a toasted baguette). This is no ordinary bruschetta! The mushroom and oyster make for an interesting combo and are definitely worth trying.
My two favorite tapas were the Spicy Shrimp and Goat Cheese Grits (spicy marinated shrimp sautéed and served over creamy goat cheese grits, drizzled with red pepper butter, pictured right) and the Smoked Salmon Mac & Cheese (pasta baked in a creamy blend of four select cheeses with our signature smoked salmon mousse).
Be sure to like The Wine Loft on Facebook … they have a complimentary wine tasting each month that is open to the first people who sign up on Facebook.
4. Brownie’s Gourmet Burgers
If you’ve been around Tulsa for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard of Brownie’s Burgers. In 2014, they opened a new location in Utica Square (21st & Utica), fittingly serving more upscale, gourmet burgers. Mind you, these burgers are a bit pricier than the traditional Brownie’s burgers, but they are packed with beaucoups of ingredients and will most certainly leave you satisfied.
I recently tried the Jumpin’ Jalapeno (tequila sautéed jalapenos, pickled red onion, cilantro, arugula, chipotle aioli, monterey jack cheese, and a lime wedge). This is one spicy, stuffed burger that will set your mouth on fire. I’ve also tried the Kimmi Burger (Korean-inspired with a hoisin-basted patty, spicy house-made kim chi slaw, cilantro lime crème, and house-made spicy ketchup).
Equally as exciting as the burgers are the “Well-Dressed Fries” served at BGB. These are no ordinary fries, and you’ll probably want to consider sharing them with a friend. There’s the Suit and Tie (truffle oil, garlic, parmesan, black pepper, and parsley), the Buffalo (house-made buffalo sauce, bleu cheese, green onions, and bacon), and my personal favorite, Sweet Dream (weet potato fries, marshmallow cream sauce, candied pecans, cinnamon, pictured right). These sweet potato fries are the best in town, in my opinion! I recommend having them served after the burger, because they are more of a dessert than a side dish! As you can see, Brownie’s Gourmet Burgers is much more than a burger joint; it takes burgers and fries to a whole new level!
5. Bravo’s Mexican Grill
Bravo’s has opened two locations in Tulsa within the last year: one at 4532 E. 51st st., and another at 8010 E. 106th st. This upscale Mexican restaurant has an extensive menu, and a few specialty items that make it unique from other places in town. I tried one of their appetizers:(grilled shrimp with onions and covered with melted Mexican cheese, served with flour tortillas). A fun twist to this appetizer and a few of the other appetizers is that it’s flaming when it arrives at your table!
Among the more interesting entrees are the Filete Bravo (rib eye steak and mushrooms in a red wine brown sauce with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled veggies, pictured left), and the Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (sauteed shrimp in sweet roasted garlic sauce, onions, tomatoes and fresh avocados over rice.
Bravo’s also features a number of mouth-watering desserts, including Churros Rellenos (Mexican churros topped with sugar and cinnamon, served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup), and Bravos Cheesecake (cheesecake wrapped in a crispy flour torilla, served with strawberry ice cream).