Your Guide To Fine Dining In Tulsa
BY ANGELA EVANS & ZACK REEVES
About This List
Tulsa is a laid-back community, with a growing cadre of top-notch restaurants serving gourmet-level meals in an accessible, relaxed environment. But sometimes, the occasion asks for something more sophisticated, more romantic. A dining destination where tables are draped in crisp white table cloths, plates and proper silverware lined up like infantry, standing at the ready for your arrival. The type of restaurant where the service staff is well-versed on the menu, the wine list and the art of dining etiquette. They have a sense of timing and the ability to be present without interfering while popping a bottle of bubbly tableside.
But for many, the hallmark of a fine dining eating establishment is all about a menu that is filled with creative dishes and classic high-end cuisine, using the finest ingredients prepared by talented chefs. Tulsa has many restaurants that fit the bill for an elevated dining experience, whether looking to have a high-rolling night on the town with friends, or if you want to create an intimate experience with a special someone. Here are a few locations that provide the setting, the service and the chef-inspired menus for a perfect evening. —Angela Evans
Please note that many of these restaurants' regular operations may have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Social distancing and calling in your order ahead are both recommended. And of course, wherever you go, please take a mask.
817 E. 3rd St., Tulsa, OK 74120
Situated in Tulsa’s East Village, Lowood is a perfectly presented package of fine dining, service, and atmosphere. With low, intimate lighting and exposed brick, you know from the moment you walk in that you’re here for an experience, not just a meal.
Service is to the tee: napkins are laid just so in front of the guest, forks and knives placed with precision. Servers are friendly and knowledgeable without being snotty, and the hosts are perfectly helpful and polite.
Start with a drink, if you’re so inclined: Lowood offers a curated selection of wine (by the bottle and by the glass), beer, and signature cocktails. The “Second Hand News,” with pasubio amaro, anejo tequila, honey, and lemon, is tart and delicious with the barest hint of the tequila behind it.
Entrees include a seared filet mignon (with charred cauliflower, wild mushrooms, roasted garlic potato puree, and salsa verde), a porterhouse steak (with au gratin potatoes, spicy green beans, and pork demi-glace) and roasted chicken (with apple fennel kimchi, smoked potatoes, black garlic, and spicy buttermilk). Lowood sources ingredients from across Oklahoma and Texas, so you can be sure that the meal you’re getting is not only delicious, but it’s also local. —Zack Reeves
11 E. Reconciliation Way, Tulsa, OK 74103
One of Tulsa’s most exclusive restaurants resides in a nondescript alley in the Tulsa Arts District. Sometimes referred to as “The Bull,” this high-end steak scene establishment is tucked in the alley on the east side of The Tavern Restaurant.
Walk through the double doors and be transported far from the concrete and noise outside. The interior is reminiscent of a high-end, 1980s movie about wall street mavericks. The marble and mirrors glisten in dim lighting, with high-backed banquettes lining the walls and a gargantuan bar that lavishly spreads through the space.
The highlights at this (literally) hidden gem include porterhouse steaks, seafood towers, escargot and a martini cart. Reservations are notoriously hard to attain, but not impossible. So when looking to dine in a grandiose manner, simply look for the metal bull hanging above a green door… —Angela Evans
111 N. Main St., Tulsa, OK 74103
This locally-owned, high-end steakhouse located in the Brady Arts District takes a little extra time with their steaks. The chefs take painstakingly butchered prime cuts of beef and use dry-aging and wet-aging to create a denser, more complex flavor. Let’s just say they let their steaks grow gracefully and it creates nuance in flavor and texture.
The sleek interior, with walls bedecked in deep mahogany paint and modern art, gives the ambiance of a big city steakhouse along with top-notch service. The wine list is outstanding, and a sommelier is always available to help find the perfect wine for the occasion.
For a more relaxed (and less expensive!) experience, visit PRHYME’s fully-stocked bar on Mondays and Tuesdays for their half-price bar menu. —Angela Evans
122 N. Boston Ave., Tulsa, OK 74103
Tulsa seems to specialize in fine dining without pretention. Luxurious meals with white-table cloth service without the white-table cloth attitude. Amelia’s Wood Fired Cuisine is an excellent example of a restaurant that is creating world-class cuisine with an almost breezy nonchalance. The bistro space in Tulsa’s Arts District is bright and airy, with verdant foliage creeping down exposed brick walls. A behemoth concrete bar winds its way from the beautifully-stocked liquor shelves to the controlled chaos of the fully-exposed kitchen.
Chef Kevin Snell is the maestro of the kitchen, and his instrument of choice is the Argentine-style open flame grill. Succulent cuts of locally-produced meats sizzle above a roaring wood fire. The smell alone will make any carnivore’s mouth water, but this isn’t just a meat-and-potatoes type of place. The sides and sauces are nuanced, and sourced from local farms whenever possible, reflecting the soul of Oklahoma cuisine with a soupçon of sophistication. Amelia’s Wood Fired Cuisine is the perfect place for a formal affair, but you can also waltz right in wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
The food and the atmosphere quickly won over Tulsans, but have also captured the attention of national publications such as Food & Wine Magazine and The Boston Globe. Reservations are highly recommended for this downtown darling, especially on the weekends. —Angela Evans
3509 S. Peoria Ave. #161, Tulsa, OK 74105
The chic interior and clean, white lines of the Oren dining space in its space on Brookside are reminiscent of luxurious hot spots along the sunny California coastline. This spartan décor acts as the blank canvas upon which Chef Matthew Amberg’s cuisine can shine. Oren’s approach to dining is to allow the ingredients be themselves, using only the freshest, seasonal meats and vegetables, sourcing from local farms whenever possible. With only a minimal amount of coaxing and combining, the result is cuisine that is as bright and beautiful as it is delectable.
But do not mistake this minimalist style for minimal flavor. Chef Amberg gathers flavor inspirations from around the globe, elevating something as simple as spaghetti squash with the addition of shichimi togarashi—a Japanese spice blend—along with feta, hazelnuts, mint and chives. Vegetarians are especially enamored with Oren’s menu, but the same ingenuity extends to its treatment of meat entrees. Classic proteins like filet mignon or salmon round out the entrée menu, but Oren’s “centerpieces” really steal the spotlight. The whole roasted white Peking duck is aged for at least two weeks with a blend of coriander, honey and fennel seed, and is a real show-stopper served family style. Oren’s dessert menu is also offers an ever-changing selection of artfully-composed eclectic treats.
Oren is open for dinner, but has recently started serving lunch and has quickly developed a following for its brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. —Angela Evans
2038 Utica Square, Tulsa, OK 74114
Since 1983, the Polo Grill has been the gold-standard for fine dining in Tulsa. Located discretely in Utica Square, the restaurant’s interior is as dark and decadent as the cabs and zins they pour. Their wine list is exemplary, featuring more than a thousand labels and countless bottles in their very own cellar.
Classic dinner service is executed beautifully by knowledgeable staff, sommeliers and chefs. Whether looking for a traditional surf and turf meal or innovative chef creations, Polo Grill continues to earn its place among the elite restaurants in the country and remains a relevant culinary treasure in Tulsa. —Angela Evans
1560 E. 21st St. #106, Tulsa, OK 74114 & 6058 S. Yale Ave., Tulsa, OK 74135
For more than 25 years, McGill’s has been the most accessible fine dining restaurant in Tulsa. Now boasting three locations sprinkled throughout Tulsa (one at 61st and Yale, another near Utica Square and the newest location atop the Hard Rock Casino), McGill’s is a go-to for fine dining aficionados. Guests can expect exotic fine dining fare, like escargot baked in herb butter with puff pastry dovetails, or more traditional dishes, like orange roughy and chicken marsala.
A classic surf and turf, white table cloth restaurant, McGill’s is the perfect spot for a no-fuss yet classy first date, and a magnet for regulars who keep coming back for the impeccable service, beautifully prepared meals and a well-stocked bar. —Angela Evans
6526 E. 51st St., Tulsa, OK 74145
Villa Ravenna is perhaps the most authentic Italian cuisine in Tulsa, and for good reason. The fine dining restaurant located in the Farm Shopping Center is run by an Italian family whose roots run deep in the restaurant business in Italy. The cuisine is reminiscent of the fare found in northern Italy and the hospitality is exactly what one would expect in an Italian eatery.
Serving fresh pasta, seafood and some of the best meatballs ever, Villa Ravenna is the perfect place to recreate a “Lady and the Tramp” moment with someone special, canoodling over noodles under the soft glow of candlelight. Top your meal off with a shot of their homemade limoncello or limoncello martini. —Angela Evans
1324 S. Main St., Tulsa, OK 74119
Nestled beneath the historic Ambassador Hotel just south of downtown Tulsa, The Chalkboard has been a go-to for fine dining for decades. The small bistro-style restaurant features a menu of high-end classics like beef Wellington and lamb chops, but the specials are always innovatively delicious.
And because it is affiliated with the hotel, this is a fine dining restaurant with robust hours, adding elegance to breakfast, lunch and dinner, often open on holidays. —Angela Evans
319 E. Archer St, Tulsa, OK 74120
For three decades, The French Hen has been the place to go for thoughtfully conceived French cuisine. Classic French dishes, like duck liver pate and chicken Dijon, are offered alongside inventive chef’s specials. This award-winning bistro – with its romantic courtyard patio – has been a beloved mainstay for south Tulsans who seek French cuisine presented with sophistication and charm.
The wine list is well curated, and the restaurant is host to some fantastic wine dinners featuring renowned vintners and inventive multi-course meals.—Angela Evans
1301 E. 15th St., Tulsa, OK 74120
Palace Café is a swanky joint that serves high-end cuisine in a small, intimate setting on Cherry Street. Their menu changes seasonally and always features the best ingredients prepared in surprising ways. Dinner service is thoughtful, with a clever wait staff who can walk guests through the menu and wine list with ease.
The bentos–or starters–are always prepared with a creative touch and are fun to explore. Though lunch and brunch are a bit less formal, they still maintain high standards of service no matter the time of day. —Angela Evans
3376 E. 51st St., Tulsa, OK 74135
Serving the freshest seafood in Tulsa for more than 40 years, Bodean is an upscale, seafood-centered restaurant (and market) that flies fish in twice daily to provide the freshest seafood possible in an otherwise landlocked state. The sleek interior of Bodean is elegant and modern, with a colorful lighting scheme that showcases brightly-hued local artwork.
The seafood is the real star here, but Bodean is also amply capable of handling legitimate cuts of Kumamoto Wagyu and pan searing foie gras with the same expertise they prepare the Grilled Rainbow Trout Almondine. Their dining room is also a stage for some of Tulsa’s most talented jazz musicians throughout the week, adding another layer of elegance to an already beautiful ambiance. —Angela Evans