Page 1

HAPPY HOUR!

Where to find yours

ROMANTIC GETAWAYS

Travel for two, both near and far

LOOKING SHARPE

A stylish smaller nest

It’s a date! Including

Advice From the Experts Online Perspective Dos and Don’ts Budget-Friendly Ideas


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in this issue

Features

34

TIME TO CELEBRATE

It might not be called “happy hour” – Oklahoma has some lingering legal complications tied to the concept – but the 405 has plenty of places that provide timely ways to enjoy delicious and inexpensive camaraderie. If the occasion calls for celebration, consider this roundup of local possibilities.

40

MAKING THE MATCH

Whether you’re looking for happily ever after, a carefree fling or simply some human connection, the dating process should be as hassle-free as possible. We spoke with professional matchmakers and veterans of the social scene – hopefully, these tips can help make the road to romance a little smoother.

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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018

FEBRUARY 2018


in this issue

FEBRUARY 2018

In the 405

romantic getaways … because some sights are better when shared.

15 When it comes to home accessories and beautiful gifts, elegance lives at longtime Nichols Hills Plaza emporium Bebe’s; aesthetician-recommended skincare products for staying radiant whatever winter brings; the obscure local reason why one tribe is rarely mentioned with the Trail of Tears; a guide to translating whiskey tasting notes from a writer who’s not a fan; looking back on Oklahomans’ sacrifices in World War I with a trip to England’s Brookwood Cemetery; area education professionals discuss the importance of technology in modern classrooms.

Dining

63 New Plaza star The Press shines by concentrating on comfort food, even for vegetarians; a rich polenta recipe from Rococo chef Jason Heald; local experts dip into the savory science of cooking oils; karee puffs to curry, Uptown 23rd’s Sala Thai offers a delectable array of cold-fighting variety; Hatch’s spiked coffees elevate an everyday ritual into a wintertime treat.

Events

Home

49 Less than a year after moving in, the Sharpes can already tell their beautifully designed, renovated and decorated bungalow is their forever home; a selection of side tables whose combinations of convenience and style should make them the center of attention.

Travel

55 From the mountains of Santa Fe to an enchanting hotel in Portugal, we put together a handful of recommendations for

ON THE COVER

Feel-Good Flavor

64

Tangy bleu cheese, cool ranch, lingering spice from the boneless buffalo chicken bites and creamy mac and cheese to tie it all together – this heaping helping of warm, delicious goodness is one of several highlights on the menu at comfort food haven The Press, and among the many reasons to give it a visit.

79 Exploring a legacy of Pueblo painting at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art; culinary worlds combine at the star-studded sampling event Taste of OKC; Norman’s PTA association gives candy lovers sweet dreams by resurrecting the Chocolate Festival; the OKC Ballet prepares to make a brand-new adaptation of a fairytale romance part of your world.

In Every Issue 10 From the Editor 12 Web Sights 22 On the Scene 70 Food and Drink 82 Speakerbox 84 On the Radar 88 Backstory

Lindsi and Raymond of C&A Models prepare to hit the town. Photo by Charlie Neuenschwander

VOLUME 4 / NUMBER 2, 405 MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY 405 MAGAZINE, INC., 1613 NORTH BROADWAY AVENUE, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73103. APPLICATION TO MAIL AT PERIODICALS POSTAGE PRICES IS PENDING AT OKLAHOMA CITY, OK AND ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO 405 MAGAZINE, P.O. BOX 16765, NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA 91615-6765.

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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018


TM


FEBRUARY 2018

Editor-in-Chief Heidi Rambo Centrella heidi.centrella@405magazine.com EDITORIAL Managing Editor Steve Gill steve.gill@405magazine.com Style Editor Sara Gae Waters saragae.waters@405magazine.com Travel Editor Matt Payne matt.payne@405magazine.com

Congrats on the new title! (p. 56 )

Fashion Editor Jennifer Salyer jennifer.salyer@405magazine.com

VOLUME 4 • NUMBER 2

Loves th e fried chicken sandwic h at The Pres s (p. 64)

ADVERTISING Associate Publisher Tom H. Fraley III tom.fraley@405magazine.com

Executive Director of Advertising Cynthia Whitaker-hill cynthia.whitakerhill@405magazine.com

Account Executives Melissa Bake melissa.bake@405magazine.com Carrie Bailey carrie.bailey@405magazine.com Account Manager Ronnie Morey ronnie.morey@405magazine.com

Editorial Coordinator Louise Scrivens Contributing Writers M.J. Alexander, Mark Beutler, Jerry Church, Christine Eddington, Lauren Hammack, Greg Horton, Elaine Warner ART Art Director Scotty O’Daniel scotty.odaniel@405magazine.com Graphic Designer Brian O’Daniel brian.odaniel@405magazine.com Design & Production Coordinator Tiffany McKnight tiffany.mcknight@405magazine.com Hooray, ! new baby

Contributing Photographers M.J. Alexander, Shannon Cornman, Fran Kozakowski, Charlie Neuenschwander, Don Risi

405 Magazine Volume 4, Number 2, February 2018. 405 Magazine is published monthly by 405 Magazine, Inc. at 1613 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, 405.842.2266. © Copyright 2018 405 Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of 405 Magazine content, in whole or part by any means, without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. 405 Magazine is not responsible for the care of and/or return of unsolicited materials. 405 Magazine reserves the right to refuse advertising deemed detrimental to the community’s best interest or in questionable taste. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ownership or management. Basic annual subscription rate is $14.95. U.S. single-copy price is $4.95. Back issues are $9.50 each

READER SERVICES 405 Magazine 1613 N. Broadway Oklahoma City, OK 73103 Phone 405.842.2266 Fax 405.604.9435 info@405magazine.com, 405magazine.com Story Ideas and Letters to the Editor Your views and opinions are welcome. Include your full name, address and daytime phone number and email to editor@405magazine.com. Letters sent to 405 Magazine become the magazine’s property, and it owns all rights to their use. 405 Magazine reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Back Issues Back issues are $9.50 (includes P&H) each. For back issue availability and order information, please contact our office. Bulk Orders For multiple copy order information, please contact our office. Subscriptions 405 Magazine is available by subscription for $14.95 (12 issues), $24.95 (24 issues) or $34.95 (36 issues). Subscription Customer Service 405 Magazine P.O. Box 16765 North Hollywood, CA 91615-6765 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST Phone 818.286.3160 Fax 800.869.0040 subscriptions@405magazine.com 405magazine.com/subscribe ADMINISTRATION Distribution Raymond Brewer Website and social media 405magazine.com

@405Mag

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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018


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FROM THE EDITOR

Dating and Congregating I T SEE MS A S T HOUGH the days of meeting someone socially,

HEIDI R A MBO CEN TRELL A Editor-in-Chief heidi.centrella@405magazine.com

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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018

PHOTO BY SIMON HURST

or being set up by a mutual friend, and going on an old-fashioned, dinner-and-a-movie date have given way to websites, planners and services. Some people on the dating scene relish the idea of planning and preparing for a first date; others loathe the process of trying to be creative and innovative, while wondering what pricepoint this first attempt at a potential new beginning might entail. For instance, I have a friend who, while on the dating scene, had a pretty solid approach. While he used a dating site online to initially vet the potential new “her,” he stuck to his tried-and-true system: After a bit of back-and-forth messaging, date No. 1 was meeting for coffee or tea in a very public place to discern whether the other person’s claims of physical and intellectual attributes were accurate. If this initial one-on-one proved legit, and mutual attraction prevailed, there would be date No. 2. The second date elevates to lunch, where the two get to know a bit more about each other. If all goes well here, the third rendezvous is a dinner date, at which point, the suitor is fairly confident he might be interested in pursuing a relationship with this gal. Turns out, it worked quite well for him. Congrats! However, for those who don’t have such a system, much less the time and energy to go about getting to that first date (and planning it), we called in the pros (p. 40). The advice ranges from matchmaking services to speed-dating to dates-in-a-box – yes, it’s a thing – for all your planning needs. Some are budget-friendly, some … not so much. But the prospect of a promising relationship might well be worth a little financial outlay; that’s up to you. For those who aren’t on the dating scene or have no desire to be, we’ve got you covered, too. See Greg Horton’s piece on happy hours and small bites on page 34. Many of our premier local venues offer something for just about anyone – drinks, bar snacks, light fare and plenty of atmosphere. These are the places you might go with a group or on your own. Either way, you’ll find fellow flockers with whom you’ve got something in common: an appreciation for delicious food and tasty beverages. No judgment if you’re staying home, since February is an excellent month to hide out on the couch with a bunch of blankets and some streaming movies. But there’s also a lot to enjoy waiting out there in that big, chilly world. Cheers!


Art For Your S weetheart

Web Sights What’s online at 405magazine.com

Broader Horizons “Colors at Sunset” | 10" x 10" Pastel | By Tom Perkinson

INTERIOR DESIGN | FINE ART GALLERY

6432 N. WESTERN AVENUE | WWW.HOWELLGALLERY.COM | 405.840.4437

Century Story

A YEAR FROM NOW

This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the cessation of World War I, and a recent trip to London gave M.J. Alexander the opportunity to visit the section of Brookwood Cemetery dedicated to honoring the memory of American soldiers who died in the British Isles. Find her story of the Oklahomans in this hallowed company in this issue (“Oklahomans Over There,” p. 26), and then head online for a more detailed read, including a more in-depth look at the casualties’ service records and statistical context for the conflict. Visit 405magazine.com/ February-2018/Oklahomans-Over-There/ and read a chapter of our state’s part in the Great War.

YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU STARTED TODAY MIDTOWN

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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018

From trans-continental treks to getaways practically under our noses, the world is a vast, fascinating place to explore – and we’re about to delve into it a little more thoroughly. This month marks the launch of our newly expanded travel section, with a variety of firsthand descriptions of suggested destinations in print and online. To find Elaine Warner’s visit to an enchanting hideaway in Portugal and more, visit 405magazine.com/travel/ and go exploring.

Lovers of fine dining, rejoice! We’re celebrating the season of amour by bringing back one of our bestloved giveaways: the Friday $50 is returning. Each Friday in February, we’ll hold a random drawing and give one lucky reader a $50 gift card to one of the restaurants featured in this month’s issue or one of our other local favorites. And all you have to do to enter is make sure you’re signed up for our free newsletters by visiting 405magazine.com/newsletters/ and then click on the link inside when they reach your inbox. Good luck – we’d love for you to win.


SPRING ARTS CAMPS

Ignite creativity this Spring Break March 12-16 and March 19-23 | Pre-K to Grade 6 Enroll now in Oklahoma Contemporary’s Spring Break Camps! Campers can gain confidence and learn new skills in ceramics, robotics, cartooning and more! See camp descriptions and enroll at

bit.ly/OCspring. more info: oklahomacontemporary.org | @okcontemporary 3000 General Pershing Blvd. | Oklahoma City | 405 951 0000


405

in the

PHOTO BY MJ ALEXANDER

Still Remembered

A century after the Armistice, Brookwood Cemetery near London maintains a memorial to U.S. servicemen and women who died in the British Isles during World War I – including 11 soldiers from Oklahoma. See page 26.

FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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in the 405 FAVORITE THINGS

Christian Tortu vert frais candle, $66 “It takes me to my happy place! Who understands scents better than a Parisian florist?”

Deborah Sears posset pot, $350 “The shape says it all.”

Lafco chamomile lavender soap, $11 “The fragrance is so clean, and it is a luxurious little gift for the price.” Ben Nockels

John Derian for Astier De Villatte color palette serving plate, $190 “I use this for a spoon rest.”

Griottines cherries, $25 “My favorite cocktail cherry by far, and I have tried them all.”

Bringing Elegance Home The many pleasures of Bebe’s

Jill Rosenwald bowl, $330 “I love most blue and white, especially this pattern, because it reminds me of papel picado.”

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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018

Rotter Glas double old-fashioned glass, $340 “Very expensive, but all cocktails taste better in a beautiful glass. Check out their Instagram and you will appreciate the price.”

John Derian butterfly paperweight, $60 “Our customers’ go-to hostess gift is a John Derian paperweight. The first piece of John Derian I had is over 25 years old, and of course, it is a butterfly.”

PHOTOS BY DON RISI

John Derian jewel heart paperweight, $46 “I love John. He is a dear friend and the most talented person I know. If you are in NYC, his shops are a must!”

IF F EBRUA RY is the month of love, then Bebe’s, 6480 Avondale in Nichols Hills Plaza, is just the place for you to fall into it. And it’s that “love at first sight” kind of love. Forget the cliché about judging a book by its cover; the window displays at Bebe’s are incredible, and once inside the doors, you will find yourself completely smitten. This is, of course, not by accident. Karen Samis, who began her ownership of Bebe’s by buying it from her good friend Bebe MacKellar in 2001, is a true artist, and her palette is the store. With amazing artisans from John Derian to Jill Rosenwald as starring presences, the selection is perfect in every way. “My mother influenced me greatly,” Samis says, “especially in artistic ways.” She further added that she wasn’t referring just to the traditional ways of painting and sculpting, but cooking, entertaining and decorating their home. It’s no surprise, then, that each of those endeavors are represented and well stocked in Bebe’s, in addition to a well-rounded selection of items for gift giving. Be it a high-end treasure or a beautifully chosen affordable gift, you are sure to find what you need. Samis herself is a treasure, always wanting the best for those around her, with a generous and welcoming spirit that permeates the shop. Your retail love is waiting. - SAR A GAE WATERS


FALL

in Love

WITH YOUR LOOK

Feb 31st - $700

Kirk & Kirk - $480

l.a. Eyeworks - $450

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in the 405 TRENDS

Tata Harper regenerating cleanser, $78; Tata Harper crème riche velvet moisturizing cream, $185; Sisley phyto-blanc lightening cleansing milk, $150; Sisley Black Rose skin infusion cream, $195; Chantecaille rose de mai cream, $210; Chantecaille flower-infused cleansing milk, $68 from Cos Bar

A Season for Skincare Keeping a fresh face in winter

I T ’S DEF I N I T ELY W I N T E R , and we hope

Éminence arctic berry peptide radiance cream, $90; Bright skin overnight correcting cream, $64; Monoi age corrective exfoliating cleanser, $38; Stone crop gel wash, $38; Stone crop cleansing oil, $52 from Aura Hydropeptide face lift advanced ultra-light moisturizer, $78; Hydropeptide exfoliating cleanser, $44; Hydropeptide power lift advanced ultra-rich moisturizer, $98 from Renaissance Salon and Spa

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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018

Aura, 2001 W Main, Norman; Renaissance Salon and Spa, 10440 N Broadway Extension, OKC; Cos Bar, 5820 N Classen, OKC

PHOTOS BY DON RISI

at the top of your personal care list is treating your skin right! While most of us think more about sunscreen and protection during our harsh Oklahoma summers, we should be equally certain that we have bright, not necessarily shiny – and definitely not flaky – faces during the cold, dry winter. We’ve asked some local spas and beauty bars for recommendations from among the products they’re carrying, so that your skin can stay clean, fresh and hydrated. - SAR A GAE WATERS


ART CAN MENTOR

With you art can change a life. Celeste changed paths after participating in an Allied Arts-funded mentorship program that teaches students leadership, etiquette and more through free competitive ballroom dancing instruction. She’s now attending college.

When you give to Allied Arts, you’re giving to more than 40 local agencies that, together, reach about a million people each year. We help fund initiatives that use art to help people in need and strengthen Oklahoma communities.

FEBRUARY IS ALLIED ARTS MONTH // DONATE TODAY

alliedartsokc.com/donate


in the 405 OKLAHOMYTHS

The Lost Tribe A true tale of Oklahoma falsehood

THE CLAIM: “There were actually six tribes that walked the Trail of Tears. One tribe, Chipachawamie, died of famine early on. The tribe was small and only consisted of about 1,000 members. Those that survived were accepted into the Choctaw tribe. For whatever reason, this is largely ignored by history books.” THE SOURCE: “15 Incredible Facts About Oklahoma,” Only In Your State, Nov. 10, 2015. FACT CHECK: False. THE TRUTH: The reason the Chipachawamie have been largely ignored by history books is not a mystery: The tribe never existed, save for in the imagination of a writer for satirical website The Lost Ogle. In honor of April Fool’s Day 2010, Royce Young offered “12 Entirely True Facts About Oklahoma.” Among his tongue-in-cheek claims: Tulsa-born Garth Brooks is actually a native of Big Spring, Texas; the Red River belongs to New Mexico; a pre-teen Gary England was cast as the lead in a 1948 cinematic retelling of Oliver Twist, but his family in Seiling forbade him to travel to London for filming; and the musical Oklahoma! was originally named Wyoming! But it is the tale of the lost tribe of the Chipachawamie – lifted word-for-word by Only In Your State and posted as one of the state’s “15 Incredible Facts” – that lives on. The claim now has been cited as fact nearly 200 times online, and been translated into several languages. - M.J. ALEX ANDER Editor’s note: Oklahoma is rich with history, lore and fun facts, but some of them aren’t quite factual. In this series, M.J. Alexander hunts for the accuracy – or lack thereof – behind some of our state’s stories.

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FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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in the 405 ON THE SCENE

2

3

Go Red for Women NYE Fans of heart health ring in 2018 at the Will Rogers Theatre, at a party supporting the American Heart Association.

4

1. Danielle Miller, Mike and Marla Morgan 2. Trey and Carissa Starr, Greg and Jennifer Blair 3. Dr. Elizabeth Ngo, Dr. Alain Le 4. Theresa and Jeff Beck 5. Seyan and John Hefner lll

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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018

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PHOTOS BY FRAN KOZAKOWSKI

1


1

2

3

5

PHOTOS BY FRAN KOZAKOWSKI

Red Andrews Christmas Dinner An OKC tradition since 1947 continues, as volunteers come together to share the holiday spirit by helping to give a warm meal to thousands of homeless and less-fortunate Oklahomans. 1. Sean Cummings, Mary Pointer, Cathy Cummings 2. Dianna Mullikin, Blake Garrett, Mime Jordan 3. Paulette Anderson 4. Sharron Clifton, Debi Huff, Roger Marchand, Claudia McGehee 5. Santa and Mrs. Claus, Leyon Watkins

4

To see more On the Scene photos, visit 405magazine.com/On-The-Scene/ To have them sent directly to your inbox, subscribe to our free weekly Snapshot! newsletter.

FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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in the 405 LAUGH LINES

THE 12-YEAR-OLD SINGLE MALT

Color: Golden Nose: Distinctively fresh and fruity with a hint of pear Taste: Sweet, fruity notes; develops into butterscotch, cream, malt and subtle oak flavors Finish: A long, smooth and mellow finish TRANSLATION Color: Urine sample Nose: Isopropyl, with hints of wet cardboard box Taste: Isopropyl, with hints of wet cardboard box Finish: A long, burning finish, mingled with regret

THE SPECIAL RESERVE SINGLE BARREL

Color: Amber Nose: Oaky, dry; plenty of fruit, mostly dried; chewy peels, floral, spicy Palate: Complex, enjoyable top notes, chewy oak, dark stone fruits, deep spices, peppy and rich Finish: Long, toffee, drying

A non-aficionado’s critical translations DU R I NG A R A R E , mid-week date night, the Beau recently invited me to accompany him to a whiskey tasting party. This, of course, was a mistake. While I now know the difference in their names, I don’t drink whisky, whiskey, bourbon, scotch or any of their cousins. A whiskey expert (who by my estimate has been drinking whiskey since his mother soothed his teething gums) regaled the group from one pour to the next for a couple of hours, taking us through each label’s history and novelty, pointing out various subtleties between this glass and that, while offering tips for tasting and savoring. Initially, I followed along, holding the glass up to the light at his suggestion to judge its coloring and clarity. Easy enough. Next, the expert asked the audience to take in the fragrance, or the nose, and to call out any familiar notes we might perceive. Other guests – including the now-delusional Beau – eagerly asserted, “I smell vanilla!” or “I’m picking up on some nutmeg!” The first whiff of my pour – which contained neither vanilla nor nutmeg – should have been the only warning I needed to take a hard pass on its consumption. “This is acetone and Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil,” I told the Beau in a hushed tone. Still, because I cared about the childless widow who was somehow connected to the whiskey recipe, I sent it down the hatch. In less than a second, I clutched my neck, stuck out my tongue (now on fire), heaved and gasped for air. My olfactory was spot-on: It was nail polish remover with a jigger of Hawaiian Tropic. As I frantically searched my phone to dial Poison Control, the others in the room seemed positively delighted, carrying on as if they’d just tasted a lovely dessert. The featured whiskies became more exclusive as the flight progressed, a fact that I found difficult to appreciate fully, having sacrificed the top layer of my tongue to the first swill. The whiskey expert, who may very well have destroyed his taste buds decades earlier, continued to push every one of my buttons with his descriptors, hypnotizing me with words like butterscotch, caramel ice cream, toffee and honeysuckle. It’s a hard, cold, sobering fact that, no matter the drink, experts and tasting notes never reveal the truth in relatable terms. Before you raise a glass on your next date night, keep these translations handy and make a toast to good wine. - LAUREN HAMMACK

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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018

THE 17-YEAR-OLD SHERRY OAK SCOTCH

Color: Brown with orange tint Nose: Sherry, oak, cherry stones, tangerine, mint, vanilla, bananas, wet forest floor, resins, leather, hints of cinnamon Taste: Sherry, nectarines, tangerines, malt, oak, blackberries, orange ice cream, cinnamon, strawberry marmalade Finish: Soft, lingers TRANSLATION Color: Kip’s Big Boy’s hair Nose: Cepacol Sore Throat Spray Taste: Deionized water, flavor, neotame, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, potassium acesulfame, PVP, SD alcohol 38B Finish: Throat-numbing, lingers

THE 10-YEAR-OLD SCOTCH

Color: Full sparkling gold Nose: Big, smoky muscular peat notes Taste: Seaweed-led with a hint of vanilla ice cream Finish: Big and drying, as the savory, tarry notes build up with an iodine complexity TRANSLATION Color: Coors Light Nose: Medicated Band-Aid that’s been set on fire; strong notes of goldfish food Taste: Medicated Band-Aid that’s been set on fire; strong notes of goldfish food Finish: Peaty, with notes of dirty fishbowl

THE 10-YEAR-OLD BOURBON

Color: Rich copper Nose: Sweet, spicy, caramel-nut-fudge Taste: Fruity, medium-to full-bodied palate with intense dried fruit and toasted nut notes Finish: A very long, bold wave of peppery brown spices, floral honey and charred barrel flavors TRANSLATION Color: Dirty penny Nose: E10 Taste: E10, dirty penny Finish: Endless waves of tongue-stripping hot lava

ILLUSTRATION BY ERIC SCHOCK

The Whiskey Tasting

TRANSLATION Color: Valvoline SynPower SAE 5W-30 Nose: Black permanent magic marker Taste: Black permanent magic marker Finish: Long, crippling finish of motor oil and a magic marker contact high; headache guaranteed


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405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018


Oklahomans Over There British cemetery honors Oklahoma’s WWI dead BY M.J. ALEX ANDER

The morning train from London stops at the platform for Brookwood, 40 minutes outside Waterloo station. I am the only one to disembark. The stairway down leads directly into Brookwood, the largest cemetery in Great Britain. Established in 1854 on 2,000 acres set aside for the dead of London, its manicured paths wind through old-growth trees and English gardens. Although it’s three hours after daybreak, frost still shimmers on the grass and glistens on the rough edges of century-old grave markers. I am on my way to visit one corner of the vast burial ground set aside in honor of the American dead of World War I. The Great War, as it was then called, raged from July 29, 1914, to Nov. 11, 1918. This year marks the 100th anniversary of its end. In the 19 months during which the United States joined the Allies on the battlefield, 116,516 U.S. servicemen and women lost their lives. More than 2,000 of them died in the British Isles – lost at sea, killed in accidents, claimed by illness – and Brookwood American Cemetery and Memorial was dedicated in honor of their sacrifice. The 4.5-acre cemetery-within-a-cemetery is the final resting spot for 468 U.S. veterans, including the bodies of 41 unknown soldiers. Its 467 snow-white crosses – and one Star of David – surround a Beaux Arts chapel with walls engraved with the names and homes of 563 additional servicemen with no known grave. Amid the storied cemetery, a word is etched 11 times in memoriam: OKLAHOMA. Eleven fallen soldiers who enlisted at Oklahoma recruiting offices a century ago were part of more than 4 million U.S. troops who would join forces to fight The War to End All Wars. The graves of five of the men are marked by marble crosses, their lives claimed before they made it to the battlefield: Harry J. Griffin, David L. Conner and Michael Zuerlein died on Oct. 6, 1918, as the HMS Otranto was caught in a powerful storm in the north Atlantic and rammed by another ship in its convoy; Loranzy P. Cope and Isaac Washington Waller succumbed to pneumonia in Liverpool within five days of one another. Six other Oklahoma veterans are memorialized inside the cemetery chapel. U.S. Army privates George C. Perry, William G. Smith and James R. Patillo were on the steamship Tuscania, which was carrying 2,397 U.S. soldiers to the front near Le Havre when it was torpedoed by German submarine U-77 on

Feb. 5, 1918. The trio was among 210 Americans lost to the sea eight miles off the coast of Ireland; their bodies were never recovered. Virgil Edgar Harrington was lost at sea on Nov. 5, 1917, aboard the USS Alcedo, the first American vessel lost in World War I, torpedoed by German submarine UC-71 off the coast of France. Milton Ellsworth Hobbs was lost April 11, 1918, when the USS Lakemoor was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-64 in the Irish Sea. Jesse Clifford Sampson was serving aboard the armed frigate S.S. Tyler on May 2, 1918, when the ship was sunk by UB-48 in the Mediterranean, with the loss of Sampson and 10 of his shipmates. As I wander the grounds, Gail Anderson emerges from her office at the cemetery visitor’s center. She invites me in to see original ledger books chronicling each burial, and notes that Michael Zuerlein of the Otranto was initially one of the unknown American soldiers; the pull of the waves had stripped his dog tags away. His name was learned only after his family Editor’s note: Read a more detailed account of the Oklahomans remembered in Brookwood online at 405magazine.com/February-2018/Oklahomans-Over-There. FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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territory ahead wrote letters to the recovery effort in Islay, offering details that helped solve the mystery of his identity. She is pleased when I tell her that American Legion Post #80 was dedicated in his honor in 1919, on the one-year anniversary of his death, and still carries his name. She noted that few family members came to visit the graves, although pilgrimages were arranged for Gold Star families in the 1930s. A century later, visitors are more interested in the overall history rather than in the individual soldiers buried there.

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A U.S. flag flies in the center of the graves, atop a cast-bronze flagpole base identical to the one at Belgium’s Flanders Field American Cemetery. The view to the north faces an inscription above the chapel’s entrance, its five words glowing in the winter sun: “PERPETUAL LIGHT UPON THEM SHINES.” The train back to London rumbles in the distance, and I backtrack down the icy path to return to the empty platform. The doors open. No one disembarks.

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education TECHNOLOGY

Technology in the Classroom Equipping the next generation with skills for the modern market

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Tablets help put technology in the hands of John Rex students.

Richards added that new technologies such as distance learning and digital textbooks have been “explored,” but at present these tech tools are a hope for the future. For now, all OSSM classrooms are at least equipped with SMART boards and “Using textbooks that are digital projectors. FIVE TO 10 YEARS OLD is Petty admitted not helping our students; that it’s hard to fund the cost of bringing we need to invest in techthe ever-evolving nology that can be uptechnological world graded and won’t create a to the classroom, but sees it as a worthy 30-POUND BACKPACK .” investment. CA S SIE PET T Y “Using textbooks that are five to 10 years old is not helping our students; we need to invest in technology that can be upgraded and won’t create a 30-pound backpack,” she adds. There is a thin line between technology serving as a distraction and a necessary tool – a line many schools grapple with each day. Yet this isn’t a new issue; it wasn’t that long ago teachers were debating whether or not calculators should be allowed in class. Technology in the classroom is not without its pros or cons, but ultimately it ensures our children are prepared for the rapidly evolving digital age – for better or worse. - LOUISE SCRIVENS

PHOTO COURTESY JOHN REX SCHOOL

T HE M A JOR I T Y OF students entering the classroom today have been using devices such as smart phones and tablets since they were babies. Technology is a vital tool in keeping these young minds engaged. It has the ability to sustain a student’s love of learning, and ensures they are equipped with the skills needed to be competitive in the workplace after they finish their education. At John Rex Charter Elementary School in downtown OKC, technology is viewed as an essential tool in the development of a child’s education. “I view the use of technology as one of many instructional tools that we may utilize. Students can be a consumer of information and/or a producer of information with the assistance of technology in the classroom – there is a role for both approaches at John Rex,” says head of school Dr. Joe Pierce. “More importantly, technology serves as a fantastic tool for us to personalize our curriculum and engage students at a deeper level.” At Classen School of Advanced Studies, desktop computers with dual monitors have been the norm for years, according to the school’s Career and Technology Education Instructor Cassie Petty. “I would love to go to laptop computers and create an atmosphere of alternative seating,” she adds. “Studies have shown that alternative seating, along with portable technology, opens up a more collaborative environment. The days of sitting at a desk tethered to a wall with cables are numbered.” Petty admits that technology can be a wonderful tool in the classroom but also a huge distraction, as most kids carry gadgets of some variety with them at all times. However, technology is advancing at breakneck speed, opening a whole new world for students regardless of their socio-economic background; it can be a great equalizer for disadvantaged children. Petty agrees it should be available to all, adding, “It would be in the students’ best interests for education to keep up with the times and create students that will be ready to enter the workforce with the skills needed to be productive.” For some schools, not much has changed in the way children are taught – which may be a funding issue or just a matter of choice. At Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM), Acting VP for Academic Services Brent Richards said that not a lot has changed in the way technology is used at the school since the mid-’90s. “Most of our courses are still taught the old-fashioned way; most professors teach their classes with just a few markers and a whiteboard, and the students study from traditional textbooks.”


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TIME TO CELEBRATE A festive primer on happy hours around OKC BY GREG HORTON // PHOTOS BY SHANNON CORNMAN

Most bar history is written by drunk people. That may be an exaggeration, but it is inarguably written by people who drink (often too much), so attempts to learn where something barrelated comes from tend to end in failure. Such is the case with the concept of happy hour – according to the much-maligned Internet collective mind that edits Wikipedia, the origin of the term could be anywhere from Shakespeare’s Henry V to the USS Arkansas, a battleship of the U.S. Navy, in 1913. Nothing inspires confidence like a 300-plus-year window of possibility, right? That means we are left to puzzle out the concept’s origin, but like all good things, the question is less important than the enjoyment, and so we offer this guide to happy hours and small bites around the metro.

IS IT ILLEGAL?

Any guide to so-called happy hour hotspots in Oklahoma has to contend with the reality that happy hour is legally complicated in our state. Bars and restaurants are not allowed to advertise drink specials, and if they do offer them, the price must be honored for seven consecutive business days during all hours of operation. That makes happy hour a losing approach for many establishments because profit margins are already narrow – usually in the single digits, and often low single digits. It turns out there are two kinds of bar patrons: those who respect the hard work of the owners and staff and so keep “happy hour” a sacrosanct period of time with a definite start and end, and the others who just want a discount. Occasionally, bars have tried to offer a “bar

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menu,” but many guests will demand that those foods be made available in all areas of the restaurant, even though the idea was to get people to sit at the bar. Any bartender or server will tell you which of those two groups gets better service, better treatment and the occasional buy-back drink. Rather than navigate the complex grammar of legalese, and doubly beset by the “discount shoppers,” many bars and restaurants simply eschew happy hour, and that is sad for our state. In other cities, happy hour is a cultural given, a special time of camaraderie, fun, decompressing and networking before heading home to the other half of our responsibilities. If observers of Oklahoma’s new legislation are to be believed, these happy hour restrictions are on the way out. One of the few good parts of the new booze laws is the change to happy hours, really all liquor specials. Beginning in October 2018, bars and restaurants will be able to advertise, set prices, say no to the discount shoppers and exercise greater control over their hours, specials and features. We’ll drink to that.


ANTHEM (908 SW Fourth) Monday through Wednesday, the taproom closes at 6 p.m., so if you get there at 5, it really is happy hour. PRAIRIE ARTISAN ALES (3 NE Eighth) The brewery is finally open, just east of Broadway. They are open until 9 p.m. seven days a week, so cheers to them for the extended hours. STONECLOUD (1012 NW First) If you haven’t tried the Stonecloud beers, it’s difficult to explain exactly how great they are. The taproom is open until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so it’s happy hours at the old Sunshine Cleaners building. In addition to the taprooms, don’t forget our old friends who introduced us to “good beers” back in the day: TAPWERKS (121 E Sheridan) and MCNELLIE’S (1100 N Classen Drive). They have been faithfully slinging beer for a long time, and they know their product. PUB W (3 locations, pubdub.com) A new kid on the block of sorts is Pub W, with two locations in OKC and one in Norman. They’ve done incredibly well in cocktail competitions over the past two years, winning one outright – which means someone in charge knows how to put ingredients together! The beer list is excellent, too, and you can put four 4-ounce pours together to make an outstanding flight. They keep labels such as Anthem, Roughtail and Vanessa House on draft, which means you can get a local flight. Bites: Get the pretzel. It’s baked fresh, and its cheese sauce – which should be served in a tankard – also works well on the pigs-in-a-blanket and the house-made chips. For the health-conscious, there is edamame.

Drinking Cheap vs. Happy Hour Specials Some places – I call them happy places – offer inexpensive drinks during all hours of operation. This is not as sketchy as you might suppose; branding mostly has little to do with quality and much to do with psychology, which is to say, there are still quality products at low prices. In the wine world, much is made of the quality-to-price ratio. That’s largely because some regions have more mystique – or the real estate is super-expensive – and they may, in fact, have a long tradition of producing excellent wines. But those same regions also produce terrible wines, and in a wonderful corollary, regions not always known to produce great wines can do that occasionally. Take keg wines, for example. They are struggling to catch on in Oklahoma, but it’s the exact same wine you find in bottles, only it’s cheaper because of the volume and the lack of waste. The same is true of beer and spirits, although branding would lead us to believe otherwise. Yes, you can spend $12 on a Belgian beer, and it will be delicious, but it’s also likely you can spend $5 on a domestic microbrew and fall in love with it. Local taprooms are now open to you, and you should take full advantage of a little happy hour brew while you explore Oklahoma craft beers.

As for wine happy hours, there are a few go-to locations around town, beginning with THE PRITCHARD (1749 NW 16th). Mindy Magers, the sommelier at the Plaza District wine bar, has built a list that includes ridiculously affordable, Mindy Magers and high-quality wines from Chef Shelby Sieg around the world, including some in kegs. (The best thing about wine in a keg: You can try a sample easily, because it’s a keg.) Bites: The menu includes Chef Shelby Sieg’s small plates, such as duck, lamb and the best cacio e pepe you’re likely to find in a non-Italian restaurant. O BAR (1200 N Walker) Wine Down Wednesday at O Bar in the Ambassador Hotel is like a bacchanalian festival every week. Manager and sommelier Jeff Cole picks a wine of the week, and pours it for $5 a glass until it’s gone. The view is stunning, and the oysters are always $2 each. Bites: In addition to the oysters, they have house potato chips, escargot, Italian meatballs and chef Leo Novak’s country pate. PASEO GRILL (2909 Paseo) Bar manager Johnny Walker picks featured wines, one red and one white, that are $6 a glass until the bottles are empty. Bites: The smoked trout dip is a must, and you can get oysters “grilled or chilled.” FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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Discount Food With or Without Drinks Because happy hour is so legally dicey, some restaurants just offer food specials to keep your overall ticket price down, and these places don’t just serve bar snacks (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

BOULEVARD STEAKHOUSE (505 S Boulevard) Every Thursday and Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m, the Martini Lounge at Pete Holloway’s Edmond restaurant has free food. Yes, free food in Edmond. “We put out some snacks, like chips and queso and finger foods,” Holloway says, “but we also make orders of sliders and other dishes regularly in addition to the bar snacks.” THE DRAKE (519 NW 23rd) This is going to sound a little counterintuitive, but the beef tenderloin slider is reason enough to go to The Drake. Yes, the oyster bar. From 4:30 to 7 p.m., The Drake has a “Fling” menu; it includes seafood, of course, but you will also find hot onion bacon dip, the sliders and a few adult beverages at very affordable prices, including Miller High Life and a rotating seasonal draft. RED PIANO LOUNGE (1 Park) Luke Fry was busy last year rebooting Park Avenue Grill at the Skirvin Hilton, and he’s also turned his attention to the Red Piano Lounge. The downtown bar – just a short walk from Thunder games – has a solid wine list and good cocktails, and they also feature small plates, including calamari, ahi tacos and chicken biscuits. ROCOCO (2824 N Penn) Chef Jason Heald is constantly experimenting with new things, and the 5@5 menu is one of his favorite places to experiment. Oysters Rockefeller, fried pickled okra with chipotle ranch, “naked” buffalo shrimp and beef kabobs have been recent features. It changes regularly, which makes each trip an adventure of sorts. THE MANHATTAN (210 Park) Bruce Rinehart’s newest concept, this one in downtown, features a full list of variations on the signature cocktail, as well as a happy hour menu of food options. The famous Rococo crab cake is included, as are deviled eggs and house-made potato wedges.

Beef tenderloin sliders from The Drake

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THE BARREL (4308 N Western) You can get Dave Attalla’s outstanding Chicago-style deep-dish pizza made by hand any day of the week, but circle Wednesday on your mental calendar, because that’s when they’re halfprice from 4 to 8 p.m.


THE NEW HAPPY HOUR NEIGHBORHOOD Fresh off the reboot of Other Room, Shaun Fiaccone’s and Kim Danserau’s neighborhood bar in the Paseo, Fiaccone is on a mission to make the Paseo Arts District a happy hour destination. Between now and press time, at least two other concepts will have opened in Paseo, with more on the way. What used to be a neighborhood with four choices – OTHER ROOM, PASEO GRILL, PICASSO and SAUCED – will be home to at least three more: CRAFT, FRIDA and SCRATCH. The team took a risk with Other Room, as it’s been a popular destination for smokers and food service industry insiders for many years, especially late night – even when it was Isis. They have taken out all the lounging areas, expanded the bar and ended smoking, except on the patio.

SPEAKING OF SCRATCH Brady Sexton’s restaurant and bar has been one of the best reasons to go to Norman since it debuted, and he opened a new location in Telluride, Colorado, at the end of 2017. His Paseo location opened in early 2018, and the creative queen of Oklahoma City bartenders, Kristin Weddendorf, is overseeing operations. Like its Norman counterpart, Scratch-Paseo offers half-price appetizers for happy hour, including spinach dip, pulled pork nachos and arancini. They also have a line of affordable cocktails, all priced at $5 – the well booze is good quality, so don’t try to enhance the drink with a “call” booze, as it’ll just make the price go up. The lineup features Daiquiris (real ones, not the sugary frozen slushes ordered by drunk people on cruise ships), Gimlets, Manhattans, Margaritas and Old Fashioneds.

A

Best and Worst Cocktail Ever

It’s the margarita, that blessing and bane of happy hour. Bartenders usually hate when you order them, especially when they’re frozen and not batched (made in advance in large quantities, like a margarita dispenser). They’re also up against a trend, and that trend is a giant tub of a glass, full to the brim with sugary, syrupy sweet-and-sour mix and a little bit of cheap tequila at a very low price. How to combat this? BARRIOS (1100 N Hudson) has a very simple – only three ingredients – and very affordable basic margarita for $6. It’s slightly tangy, as a margarita should be, and it’s served in a rocks glass, because people ought to be civilized when they knock back inexpensive but delicious cocktails. FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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WHEN YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE ON DRINKING THAN EATING Taylor Blake is a college student, hippie born much too late and late-night wanderer around the metro. The food service veteran, both server and bartender, has been planning to write an insider’s guide, but we convinced her just to give us her secrets about where to eat and drink as cheaply as possible, including free. SUNDAY FREE BRUNCH AT THE BLUE NOTE (2408 N Robinson) at 4 p.m. Yes, that’s late for brunch, but this place caters to industry people. Blake warns, “Just like free brunch at the Hi-Lo, the food is made by a different bartender all the time, so you never know quite how good the food will be.” Again, though, it’s free. TAMALE TUESDAY AT LOST HIGHWAY BAR (1613 N May). “They have free tamales, and there is no beer on the menu over $5,” Blake says. Sharing is caring, especially helpful information. Tamales available at 8 p.m. For Blake, Lost Highway Bar is the hidden gem of Oklahoma City. “They really take care of industry people, but it’s a bar for everyone,” she says. “Those beers under $5 are good beers, and they even have some great cider. It’s outside the downtown bubble so people tend to think it’s too far out of the way, but it’s really a short drive.” WIENER WEDNESDAY AT THE OTHER ROOM (3009 Paseo). To be honest, they may not call it that, but who cares? It’s free hot dogs and chips at 10 p.m. Remember when you were young enough that you could eat processed meat at 10 p.m. and still fall into a blissful slumber before 4 a.m.? The Other Room always has half-priced pizza and $2 Hamm’s.

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A Trend We Love

Daniel Chae is pushing “baby vodka” at his Uptown 23rd restaurant, CHAE (1933 NW 23rd). No, it’s not vodka for children; it’s soju. While relatively new to Oklahomans, soju is a traditional Korean beverage that is made from distilled rice or grains, and in the case of inexpensive soju, diluted ethanol from sweet potatoes. It’s a neutral spirit after distillation, much like vodka, but many producers add flavors after the distillation process to create a very pleasant, mild, quaffable spirit that pairs well with spicy food. Chae has added a whole line of cocktails made with soju, and you also can drink it as it’s poured in South Korea – straight, in a small cup. Ask the bartender for the alcohol content, because soju runs the spectrum from about 18 percent up to make-you-go-blind.


Bar Snacks You absolutely should not stick your hand in a bowl of peanuts on the bar. You probably should avoid them altogether unless you have a strong immune system. Just ask the bartender about the last dozen people who stuck a hand in the bowl, and you’ll even pass on spooning them onto a cocktail napkin. Bar snacks are a grand tradition, though, and they should not be scorned. When done right, they offer just enough salt and savor to make the cocktails or beer go down better.

Oysters No, they aren’t “bar snacks,” but they are snack-y. Oysters used to be an expensive indulgence around these parts, and still can be, but several metro locations make it easy to try these delicacies for very little money. TOMMY’S ITALIAN AMERICAN GRILL (5516 W Memorial) Tommy Byrd’s eatery spent years on the north end of Northpark Mall, where it developed a solid reputation for hearty Italian food and a good wine list. The reboot on Memorial is updated considerably, and the menu includes oysters for a buck. Yes, for one dollar, you can get oysters. Ask the bartender or server what’s available, and as a general rule for the newbies, the Northeast has briny oysters, and the West Coast has cucumber-y or melon-y oysters. The Gulf? No. Not a good place to start. O BAR (1200 N Walker) Chef Leo Novak may be the best shucker in Oklahoma. He knows oysters, and they’re always $2 at the O Bar or downstairs at Viceroy. THE DRAKE (519 NW 23rd) The oyster bar in Uptown 23rd has the best selection in the metro, maybe in the state. They also come with a choice of several mignonettes, but everyone should try the Yuzu. PASEO GRILL (2909 Paseo) The oysters are on the happy hour menu at the Paseo Arts District restaurant, either grilled or chilled.

One of our favorites is the popcorn at PIZZERIA GUSTO (2415 N Walker). They have different flavors, but if you’re there on truffle day, you will always want to know when truffle day is. The staff makes huge batches and portions it into personal bowls after you sit down at the bar, mainly because they love you and don’t want you sharing diseases with other bar guests. We tried this personally, so here’s the best pro tip: They seem not to mind when you ask for a second bowl. This is probably because they want to be able to say, “Sorry, we’re out of popcorn,” for the rest of the night – but as long as you benefit, you’re welcome.

ROCOCO (2824 N Penn) Oysters Rockefeller, old school. That’s really all you need to know. LA BAGUETTE (7408 N May) Alain Buthion is a local seafood genius, and the oysters at La Baguette are always an excellent choice. He gets East and West Coast selections. MCCLINTOCK SALOON & CHOP HOUSE (2227 Exchange) Oysters in the Stockyards are a thing. Michel Buthion said he believes the oysters at McClintock are as good as those at his other restaurant, La Baguette. We assume he’d know. FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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Making the Match IN SEARCH OF WORTHWHILE DATES

BY CHRISTINE EDDINGTON PHOTOS BY CHARLIE NEUENSCHWANDER

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LESLIE WARDMAN PHOTO BY CHAS PHOTO

DATING. DATING.

There are many ways to look at the unpredictable mix of equal parts joyful possibility and angst-ridden dread. Sort of like a job interview, but potentially for the rest of your life. When young people date, it’s different than when older people date, as the goals tend to be slightly different, and the younger generation is more likely to make use of more ways to find dates than ever before – all the websites and apps and swiping. But along with these very modern methods, an ancient one is making a comeback: matchmaking. Leslie Wardman became a professional matchmaker almost by accident. “I didn’t seek it out, matchmaking came to me. It was a fluke. I had been working in broadcasting when I saw something about matchmaking. Long story short, I was curious – and after reaching out and chatting with the owner of the company, the next thing I knew, I’d been offered a job. I was hired out of a pool of 250 others,” Wardman says. “I thank God every day for that.” She now has outposts of her company, Ambiance, in multiple cities in three states. It’s expensive, exhaustive and process-driven, and that’s very much by design. “Love is the biggest mystery, isn’t it? Our process has several stages. We are picky – very, very picky – about who will become our clients.” When Wardman pronounced the word “process,” she gave a slight, lilting roll to the r, as though to imbue it with a little more mystical authority. She is jolly. There’s no other word for it. Even by phone, her joyful, curious spirit is clear. She loves her job, and her clients. Back to that process, though: A short, basic form comes first, then an intensive questionnaire, followed by a personal interview (which can last up to 90 minutes or more) conducted by Wardman are the first steps. Each day, from about 9-11 a.m., Wardman goes into what she calls serious match mode, and immerses herself in the nuances of each person. “I start with the basic skeleton, like, ‘Does this person fit this person’s age requirement?’ Then I start matching

“A HAPPY DATER, SOMEONE WHO IS GOING TO BE A SUCCESSFUL DATER, IS SOMEONE WHO HAS THEIR DUCKS IN A ROW. THAT PERSON IS MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY HEALTHY, KNOWS HIMSELF OR HERSELF, AND IS GENERALLY A HAPPY PERSON. HE OR SHE HAS DONE THE WORK TO BECOME SELF-AWARE AND OPEN.”

Leslie Wardman

other elements. Where a person is in their career is very important. Balance is huge. I look for humility and good energy in people. People can go through phases of ego, and ego can get in the way.” Once she makes a match, she notifies each party and gives them a little synopsis about one another: eye color, height and so on. Then, Ambiance coordinates a date, including making a reservation for the couple at one of the company’s partner restaurants. The following day, she or a team member calls each person to see how the evening went. “A happy dater, someone who is going to be a successful dater, is someone who has their ducks in a row. That person is mentally and physically healthy, knows himself or herself, and is generally a happy person. He or she has done the work to become selfaware and open,” Wardman says. On the flip side, an unsuccessful dater is someone who has not taken the time to work out his or her issues, and is generally prone to negativity. “There is nothing worse than sitting down with someone who says something like, ‘Wow, this place is so expensive,’ or who leads by talking about an ex. People are allergic to that. You’ve got to watch what comes out of your mouth.” FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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Extra e t a D n Fu ROCK CLIMBING

VISIT CLIMB UP OKC, 200 SE 4TH, TO GET IN A GREAT WORKOUT AND ESTABLISH TRUST RIGHT OFF THE BAT BY BELAYING YOUR DATE, THUS KEEPING ONE ANOTHER FROM PLUMMETING TO YOUR (AT WORST) BRUISING. AND IF YOU BOTH WANT TO CLIMB, TRY THE STYLISH NEW THRESHOLD CLIMBING & FITNESS, 6024 WESTLAKE MEMORIAL.

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KERRIE LOYD

treats dating like an adventure and keeps an open mind, which matchmaker Wardman would applaud. She enjoys meeting new people and is something of a unicorn, in that she adores first dates. “For me, first dates are the most fun. I think [that] because I’m a writer, I really enjoy getting to know people and asking them about themselves,” Loyd says. Second dates are still fun, but a little different. “By the second date, you are both trying to envision this becoming a weekly thing, and evaluating how that would feel. By the third date, if there is one, you pretty much know,” Loyd says. She’s become proficient at reading her dates quickly, and with startling accuracy. “At the end of a first date, there’s usually a kiss, and that can tell you everything you need to know about whether you’ll want a second date.” She is an effervescent, smart, blonde, 40-something, never-married professional whose impressive career took her to the Big Apple for more than two decades – where she worked in publishing for large companies including Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Harper Collins. Among other cool career highlights, she led the marketing effort for the best-sellerturned-movie He’s Just Not That Into You. In other words, she’s a catch. Two decades in Gotham was enough for her, and two and a half years ago, after earning a master’s degree in strategic communications at Columbia University, she moved home to Oklahoma City, where she works as a professional writer in the health care industry. And dates. She’s naturally outgoing and vivacious, and often has several dates a week. Loyd has used dating websites and apps, and is currently just using one: Match.com. “I have tried OkCupid, Tinder, Match.com and Bumble, and for me Match is the best fit. I actually had a date the second night after I got to Oklahoma.” She likes Match.com because there’s a financial commitment, which she feels helps “weed out some of the scoundrels” … but a few manage to slip through the cracks. “Lots of people lie about their age,” she says. “In fact, I dated a man for a while, and was actually at his father’s funeral, and I just couldn’t make the math work. It turned out he was 12 years older than he’d said.” That scoundrel was in New York, but she’s found knaves of the same ilk, and worse, here. She mentioned a photographer she dated who intentionally lists his age as 47 (he’s in his mid-50s) so he can underhandedly attempt to snare 30-somethings.

“BY THE SECOND DATE, YOU ARE BOTH TRYING TO ENVISION THIS BECOMING A WEEKLY THING, AND EVALUATING HOW THAT WOULD FEEL. BY THE THIRD DATE, IF THERE IS ONE, YOU PRETTY MUCH KNOW.”

Kerrie Loyd

“There are all of these men who are in their late 40s and beyond, who are trying to date women in their late 20s and early 30s. Even the really good guys, who aren’t scoundrels, are all about the 20-somethings.” The feature she likes about Bumble is that the woman must make the first contact, which eliminates the sometimes hundreds of unsolicited and potentially downright creepy messages she has received through OkCupid. “OkCupid is the worst in terms of unsolicited messages. It’s always the dregs, too, because they have nothing to lose and are playing a numbers game.” These days, she has largely stepped off the whirlwind merry-go-round of online dating, and is taking a step back. “Everyone is multi-dating. There’s a rush when you first meet someone, it feels like anything is possible. But the dance just goes on and on. I’m interested in finding a long-term partner now, and sometimes I wonder what it will take to find ‘the one.’” When Loyd does go out these days, she employs a series of go-to questions for her date, which clues her in quickly to things like honesty or weirdness. “I’ll say, ‘So how’s it going on Match?’ and their response will tell me a lot. For whatever reason, one man I was on a date with, an attorney, took that as an opportunity to show me a photo a woman he was talking to in Colorado sent him. She was naked and doing something disturbingly intimate. Why would you show that to a date?” Why, indeed? FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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“I TELL MY CLIENTS THAT PRACTICE DATING IS IMPORTANT. WHETHER IT LEADS TO ANYTHING OR NOT, JUST BEING ABLE TO SAY, ‘I HAVE A DATE,’ MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY.”

Eileen Eleftherakis

PERHAPS SHE

should have referred him to Eileen Eleftherakis, founder of the OKC dating service City Social Club, who coaches her clients on how not to turn off their dates. She also offers a low-cost, low-pressure, fun way to socialize and meet other single people in your age range. Membership is available at a budget-friendly $25 per year. From there, events, blind dates and matchmaking services can be added on at a variety of price points. “Most people come to me to find a mate,” says Eleftherakis. “Lately, my clientele has skewed toward people in their 50s and 60s, but I also have a large group of 30-somethings. For me to set up a blind date is $25 per date. I want to be as inclusive as possible, low-cost and low-risk.” Each Friday night, her company holds a social dinner open to a particular age bracket, and Saturday nights are blind date nights. Speed dating events are one of her specialties, and she holds them monthly. “I tell my clients that practice dating is important. Whether it leads to anything or not, just being able to say, ‘I have a date,’ makes people happy.” She holds follow-up calls on Mondays, and coaches her clients based on the feedback when necessary. “I have one client who is brilliant, but he annoys women. He’s in my unlimited program, and we have been working with him for two years.” The things women tend to dislike in a date are sloppy chewing and bad table manners, people who don’t tip well and men who won’t stop talking about themselves. “Men tend to be kinder in their critiques, but they can be very selective up front about looks or age, sometimes to a fault. I coach both sides to read the other person’s profile and figure out three questions and three follow-ups for the date,” Eleftherakis says. Her advice echoes that of Wardman and aligns with Loyd’s philosophy: Stop being ridiculously selective, and realize that no person is perfect. We all have flaws. “Look for the core things that matter and have a reasonable approach about the rest,” she encourages. The last Saturday of every month is City Social Club Speed Dating at Joey’s Pizzeria in OKC’s Film Row district. There are five age brackets, and they are all represented. Each participant will meet five prospective dates, and each speed date is eight minutes long. It’s loads of fun, and it’s free. Eleftherakis sums it up: “My goal is to help people just get out and be social. Once people get over their fear or feelings of being overwhelmed at the idea of dating, they have a lot of fun!”

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DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT LINES We asked a group of interesting people about their highs and lows on the dating scene.

FAVORITE DATE (SO FAR!) “My all-time favorite date was back in college. We test-drove expensive cars that neither of us could afford at the time, and then went over to Boulevard for dinner and drinks. We followed it up with a movie on the couch. It was just a fun, random day. I have to say, Top Golf is a pretty fun date spot, as well … especially if your date doesn’t know how to play.” JARRAD HEWETT, author and healer “At age 16, my boyfriend and I could do a movie and Casa Bonita ($1.79 + drink + tax for $2 total each) for a 10 spot! And, of course, he paid for everything.” DR. JOAN HARDT, owner of Rejuvena “My husband, Clyde, and I had so many great dates when we first met over 25 years ago. Perhaps the best was our first out-of-town date to Dana Point. But from the moment I met him, he was always such a gentleman. He made me laugh and feel like I was the most important person in the entire universe, and we became great friends before becoming romantically involved. He listened and encouraged me to be whoever I wanted to be. When I decided to be his girlfriend, I knew I would never find anyone else who would love me as much.” KAREL FORD, executive, Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women

WORST DATE “I’ve been married 29 years. A worst date now is when we fight and have to go home with each other.” LORI JOHNSON, Anglin Public Relations “I had a date that started so badly, the Uber driver suggested I run. My date was 20 minutes late, had failed to mention having just moved back home with their mother because they didn’t drive, and then ordered shots instead of dinner. There was no second date.” JARRAD HEWETT “It was with a politician. It was all about him. Dull conversation, limited interests. He wanted to have sex on the first date. I didn’t even know him.”  KAREL FORD


Cheap Date COFFEE

THERE’S A COFFEE SHOP FOR EVERY PERSONALITY TYPE. BOHEMIAN? TRY THE GRAY OWL IN NORMAN (233 E GRAY), OR RED CUP IN OKC (3122 N CLASSEN). COFFEE SNOB IN A GOOD WAY? TRY ELEMENTAL IN OKC (815 N HUDSON). UNIMAGINATIVE? THERE’S A STARBUCKS RIGHT OVER THERE.

FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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Basic Date

DRINKS AND LIVE MUSIC JONES ASSEMBLY, 901 W SHERIDAN, IN OKC’S FILM ROW IS PERFECT FOR BOTH. IN NORMAN, HEAD FOR THE MONT, 1300 CLASSEN, OR BLACKBIRD, 575 S UNIVERSITY, ON CAMPUS CORNER, AND FOLLOW IT UP WITH A STOP AT THE DELI, 309 WHITE, OR OPOLIS, 113 N CRAWFORD.

MORE IDEAS FOR YOU AND SOME LUCKY SOMEONE CHEAP DATES Tried and True Try the OKC Zoo, 2000 Remington, or Edmond’s Hafer Park, 1034 S Bryant, for Frisbee. Stroll around the Duck Pond in Norman, 403 E Brooks, but feed the quackers lettuce, not bread. Martin Nature Park, 5000 W Memorial, in north OKC is always gorgeous.

EXPENSIVE DATES Head for the Border Thackerville, Oklahoma, is home to the world’s largest casino, WinStar, 777 Casino, … which, in turn, is home to top-tier concerts, 15 excellent restaurants including three fine-dining establishments, a golf course, a dreamy spa and plenty of retail therapy. The pool is an oasis. Rooms and suites are lavish, and prices match. OKC From Above Interstate Helicopters, robinsonhelicopterdealers.com, can take you and your date for a breathtaking helicopter tour of Downtown OKC, or wherever you’d like. It’s about $615 an hour, and totally customizable.

BASIC DATES Dinner and a Movie Go to the balcony or Director’s Suites of the Warren in Moore, 1000 Telephone, and do them both in the same chair. Or visit the theaters at Penn Square Mall, 1901 NW Expressway, where you can lie down, nice and awkward, if it’s a first date. Before or afterward, hit up one of the many Classen Curve hot spots, such as RePublic, 5830 N Classen, or OKC institution Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria, 5801 N Western.

EXTRA FUN DATES Horseback Riding The Riding Stables at Draper Lake, 7900 SE 104th, offers one- and two-hour guided trail rides on beautiful trails throughout the 6,000 scenic acres of land around Lake Stanley Draper.

DATES IN A BOX Planning is a skill that not everyone has, or wants to use in every situation. Here in 2018, there are plenty of ways around it: When someone needs a new outfit, Stitchfix chooses it. When they want to make dinner, Green Chef plans it, measures the ingredients and drops it off with instructions (and pictures!) on their doorstep. Now, DateBox will plan and send you stay-in or go-out dates, complete with activities, playlists and even topics of conversation. If this appeals to you, give it a try. You can even download a free date itinerary at getdatebox.com.

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Sole’renity for Two: Spend some time together reconnecting! Indulge in a Solemates Couple’s Massage with your love. Treat yourself to chocolate-dipped strawberries, champagne and reminisce as you enjoy soaking in the spa whirlpool. Create your own spa experience at home with bath salts, massage oil, candles, bath and body lotions from Sole’renity Spa Boutique. Priced at $250.

Mind ~~ Body ~~ Soul

For inquiries and appointments please call Sole’renity Spa at the Artesian.

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TOUCHMARK AT COFFEE CREEK Full-service Retirement Community 2801 Shortgrass Road • Edmond, OK 73003 • •Touchmark.com Learn more: 405-562-9155 TouchmarkEdmond.com 405-340-1975 1716467 © Touchmark, LLC, all rights reserved

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405.842.2266 info@405magazine.com is a biannual publication from 405 Magazine.


home

PHOTO BY DON RISI

Rhapsody in Blue The Sharpes’ kitchen design takes its cues from one special piece: the blue-and-white chandelier that belonged to Carla’s mother. Ann Sacks tile adds lively cheer to the backsplash, and the bright blue kitchen island elicits smiles on a daily basis. FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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home HABITAT

SMALLER AND SUPERB The Sharpes’ new forever home BY CHRISTINE EDDINGTON PHOTOS BY DON RISI

FOR M A N Y H A PP Y years, G. Calvin and Carla Sharpe lived in the grand and iconic Crown Heights home at the corner of NW 38th and Walker. They raised their family, she enjoyed designing and maintaining the plantings in the many large flower beds, and one year passed happily into the next. But as children grew up and moved out, a small thought began to unfurl in Carla’s mind, tiny tendrils at first, reaching for the sunlight with the tentative grace of a seedling. It whispered, “MOVE. Downsize.” She told her husband about her idea, and began looking for a house. She looked and thought, and thought and looked, for five years. G. Calvin began to think of her idea as a passing fancy. Then she found a 1932 bungalow that had been on the market for nine months, taken off and relisted. “We had 24 hours to decide to make an offer. The description said it was movein ready, and it had been added onto in 2012,” Carla says.

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Carla and G. Calvin Sharpe with their beloved Frenchie, Rocket.


Clockwise from top left: The original home was constructed in 1932, and 80 years later, an almost undetectably new set of rooms was added. The Sharpes moved in just shy of a year ago; A sophisticated sectional by Baker (G. Calvin’s favorite spot for lounging) anchors the living room, which was painted a shade of woolskin to visually enlarge and brighten the space. Antique Persian rugs add warmth and color underfoot; While the old house was situated on a full acre, this one’s footprint is much more manageable. Artificial grass, installed by Brian Scroggins, removes the need for yard care, and outdoor furnishings by McGuire are beautiful and will last a lifetime; After finding the antique doors in Dallas, designer David Gipson and Carla collaborated to create this massive custom armoire, which serves as the home’s coat closet.

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home HABITAT

Among other things, Carla’s resourcefulness is on display in the dining room. According to designer David Gipson, Carla’s exquisite taste often leads her to choose objects that are beautiful, and whose prices are also impressive. So, as G. Calvin puts it, “Then Carla got on eBay!” And sure enough, she found the dining room’s console and several other key furnishings at a fraction of retail.

A tour of the home for G. Calvin was quickly arranged and he loved it, too. Soon after, the couple’s longstanding interior designer – the venerable and visionary David Gipson, principal at Gipson Design – came for a tour. “The home was in great shape, and the addition was beautifully done,” Gipson says. The couple, both attorneys, bought the house in December 2016, and moved in with their 13.5-year-old French Bulldog Rocket six months later. Gipson and his team began work in January. The first thing he did was take off for Dallas with Carla, in order to choose some of the home’s key elements. She has a great eye for design and an affinity for English bamboo pieces. Her husband has an equally keen eye for art, and together the couple has curated a tidy collection, much of it Native American. After establishing the paint colors for the home and refinishing the floors to a darker hue, it became clear that the mechanicals would need to be moved into the attic to create more storage space. The Sharpes were downsizing by more than half, which required more than a little strategy. From there, the kitchen was reimagined and went from dark and neutral to light, exuberant and colorful. And Carla is up to her elbows in landscaping ideas and projects, which makes her smile, even as she plots the locations of hundreds upon hundreds of tulip bulbs. “This is our forever house,” Carla says. “We love it.”

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The guest bath got a luxe makeover, with beautiful English tile in a perfect shade of garnet, and hand-printed wallpaper by Studio Printworks in “Petite Pineapple.” The Sharpes had used that paper and pattern in their old home, and decided to bring it with them here.


HOME FURNISHINGS|GIFTS|DESIGN SERVICES|REGISTRY|STAGING 1015 N BROADWAY, OKC|WWW.URBANEOKC.COM|405.602.2555

CONSIDERED ITEMS FOR A CONSIDERED LIFESTYLE

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home DÉCOR

Round end table with polished stainless steel legs and round wooden burl veneer top, $1,800 Letterbox-style reclaimed elm table on hairpin legs with two drawers, $470

Natural teak wood table in contemporary organic style, $227

FROM NUVO HOME

Side by Side

Enticing tables for accessorizing

Tree branch table with iron base in brass finish, supporting a top of petrified wood sliced from a natural tree trunk (no two are alike), $995

T HER E A R E M A N Y, many choices and op-

One-drawer side table with stainless steel legs, silver hardware and a wooden burl veneer top, $1,000

tions out there, but a side table of some kind is practically a must for the well-equipped home. Having a storage spot at your elbow is quite convenient – when you’re sitting back, perhaps binge-watching that new show, you definitely need access to the drink or plate of snacks that allows you to stay in that comfy place. Not to mention the added design benefits: Lamp light is a key element in the furnishing of a cozy room, and having one at hand will help you binge-read that book you’ve been putting off. These are some of our favorite local side tables – put them front and center. - SAR A GAE WATERS

Drink table with iron base and embossed shagreen leather top, $875

Stainless steel pedestal table with black tempered glass and acrylic ball details, $900

American walnut table with brass hardware and shagreen insets, $1,500 FROM THE WOOD GARDEN

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Stone-topped side table with polished stainless steel base, $1,800

Jolene side table with brass hardware and a faux bone lacquered finish, $529

FROM DESIGNER’S MARKET

FROM 3B HOME

405 MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018

The Wood Garden, 7650 N Western, OKC 3B Home, 15020 Bristol Park, Edmond Nuvo Home, 9235 N Penn, OKC Designer’s Market, 11900 N Santa Fe, OKC


travel

Destination: Romance

PHOTO BY BRENDA KELLEY

From the glorious vistas seen along the Sun Mountain Trail near Santa Fe to the picturesque – and luxurious – Vidago Palace Hotel in Portugal, travel makes a marvelous experience to share with a loved one. For a set of recommendations spanning the globe, read on.

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travel

NEAR AND FAR

The World Is for Lovers Five romantic getaways from the 405

sprawling, verdant amalgamation of rugged natural beauty, extreme opulence and luxurious accommodations – all rooted in American royalty and perched above the eclectic city of Asheville. Asheville is one of North Carolina’s (and the country’s) most vibrant municipalities, but if you’re seeking a romantic getaway that incorporates everything from extreme luxury and world-class food to unique outdoor adventure against the backdrop of palatial grandiosity, you need not even leave the Biltmore property to have an unforgettable romantic weekend. Built between 1889 and 1895 by George Vanderbilt II, the 178,926-square-foot Chateauesque mansion overlooks more than 10 square miles that make up the estate, and is still privately owned, making it the largest privately owned home in the U.S. Tourists by the thousands flock to Asheville to wander the mansion’s immaculate gardens and explore its 250 ornate, stately rooms; each embellished with European artifacts and antiques, many dating back to the sixteenth century. While impressive, the real romance of the Biltmore begins not at the mansion, but in one of the property’s three luxury-lodging options – and extends beyond into its activities and dining opportunities. The Village Hotel on the Biltmore Estate is a high-volume hotel overlooking a walkable shopping and dining area; The Inn is a bit more intimate with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains; and if you choose to bring your buddies or the little ones along on a romantic getaway, The Cottage at the Biltmore is the way to go. Guests can partake in wine tasting in the local vineyards, horseback riding, fishing, skeet shooting, rafting and biking, and can even participate in an off-road driving experience. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and all that is romantic, here are a few more suggestions for amorous adventures, near and far, from your friends at 405. – MAT T PAYNE

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BILTMORE PHOTOS BY MATT PAYNE

T HE BILT MOR E E STAT E in North Carolina is a


With spring just around the corner, make plans to take a short drive for a getaway that feels worlds away. Located in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, overlooking Table Rock Lake, Big Cedar Lodge offers world-class attractions, inviting accommodations and spectacular dining. Call or visit the website to plan your stay.

Rated one of the Top 15 Family Resorts in the World by Travel and Leisure 800.225.6343 | BIGCEDAR.COM


travel

NEAR AND FAR

Endless skies and stunning sights in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe, New Mexico AT J UST SH Y of an eight-hour drive, Santa Fe is arguably the best drivable romantic destination for Okies. Dripping with culture and culinary experiences, this southwest town set against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is a must-see for any couple looking for a weekend getaway. La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa is a sprawling property with intimate “casita” cottages and offers romantic getaway packages. For those looking to clear the mind, Sunrise Springs spans 70 beautiful cottonwood-covered acres, and offers guests an integrative spa with therapeutically designed programming, which gives them the opportunity to pause, decompress and nourish both the body and the mind in a restorative environment. – MP

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The charming, regal Vidago Palace

Vidago Palace Hotel, Portugal

PHOTOS: FLAMENCO DANCER BY BILL DUNGAN; COUPLE BY GENEVIEVE RUSSELL; SANGRE DE CRISTOS BY BRENDA KELLEY; HOTEL BY ELAINE WARNER, COSTA RICA BY MATT PAYNE

T U R N I NG I N TO A N allée of plane trees, at the first sight of the Vidago Palace Hotel

in Portugal, my initial thought was, “We’ve arrived at the Grand Budapest Hotel!” The pink façade and decorative roofline could serve as a stand-in for the movie poster. An easy hour-plus drive from Porto, the 117-year-old hotel is in a lush area in the northern mountains; the extensive park surrounding the building features hiking paths and a golf course. The star of the elegant lobby is a gorgeous double staircase, said to be the inspiration for the main staircase on the Titanic. Rooms are gracious and comfortable. A large spa adds to amenities designed to make every guest feel like royalty. I’m reminded of this Belle Epoque beauty every time I slide my feet into the terry slippers embroidered with the hotel name and five stars in pink thread. Vidago Palace certainly earns five stars in my book. – ELAINE WARNER

Villa Buena Onda, Costa Rica COSTA R ICA’S Villa Buena Onda is a quiet, isolated boutique hotel ideally located in between three of Guanacaste’s most beautiful beaches: Playa Del Coco, along with Playa Ocotal, a smaller beach with excellent snorkeling, and Playa Del Hermosa. The two-leveled, eight-room hotel is ideal for honeymooners looking to get away from it all, but who also want to see and experiOutstanding views of the Pacific ence Costa Rica’s rich terrain and abundant wildlife. Villa Buena Onda, which originally was designed as a destination eight-bedroom home, has evolved into a world-class hotel with locally sourced, incomparably fresh seafood and produce. Each spacious room at Buena Onda offers an ocean and pool-facing balcony where guests with sharp eyes might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some of the forest’s resident monkeys, iridescent motmots and parrots. The hotel offers a two-leveled saltwater pool with swim-up bar, as well as full spa services. Its “no children” policy and serene setting well outside of town ensure guests the kind of quiet exclusivity that one seeks after adventurous days spent scuba diving, hiking, wildlife viewing and sailing, among dozens of other activities. Villa Buena Onda works closely with Costa Rica Vacations to set up high-octane adventures, from the country’s rain forest canopies to its volcanoes and rugged coastline. – MP FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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travel

NEAR AND FAR

Big Cedar’s lodging options are all nestled in the beauty of nature.

FOR A R EGIONA L getaway that can be as intimate as you want, Big Cedar Lodge, tucked in the wooded Ozark hills beside beautiful, blue Table Rock Lake, fills many bills. Probably the most romantic of the many lodging options on the property is the Spa Cottage, a Tudor treasure perched atop a stream. There’s even a glass window in the floor so you can see the rivulet below. Most of the accommodations take a woodsier turn, with log construction and mounted wildlife. The Bass Pro Cabins are reminiscent of royal hunting lodges complete with stained glass. Massive limestone fireplaces offer cozy retreats if the weather is chilly, and balconies overlook the lake and stunning sunsets. The list of activities available is long, including hiking, fishing, swimming, golf and an elegant spa. Nearby Big Cedar adjuncts include a shooting range, two more golf courses and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. – EW

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PHOTOS: TOP BY ELAINE WARNER; BOTTOM COURTESY BIG CEDAR LODGE

Big Cedar Lodge, Missouri


A NEW WAY TO STAY in Broken Arrow Experience our commitment to combining upscale hotel amenities with industry-leading guest service, offering a distinct blend of modern lodge comfort, urban convenience and resort style relaxation.

BOOK YOUR NEXT STAY AT StoneyCreekHotels.com!

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FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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dining Tidings of Comfort Food Joy

PHOTO BY SCOTTY O’DANIEL

Fresh from the team that brought OKC diners The Mule and Anchor Down, The Press is a little out of the way in terms of its Plaza District location. However, it hits the spot perfectly for lovers of Oklahoma comfort food and diet-friendly fare alike.

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dining

LOCAL FLAVOR

PUSHING FORWARD IN THE PLAZA Get comfortable at The Press

BY STEVE GILL PHOTOS BY SCOT T Y O’DANIEL

F EBRUA RY R EQU IR E S some will-

power to get through. Those who made health-centric resolutions for 2018 are trying to stay their leafier, greener course, and almost all of us are trying to endure the depths of winter – January is technically colder, but we still have some momentum from the holidays remaining to help get us through it – until March reminds us that spring is coming. Something warm and hearty in the way of food is always a good idea about now, and if the menu in question includes some healthier options, so much the better. With that in mind, this is an excellent time to visit the newest star to swell the constellation of great dining in the Plaza District: The Press. But first, you have to find it. The restaurant is tucked away in an old building at 1610 N Gatewood, about half a block south of the Plaza’s main drag. With that principal stretch so full of local businesses and housing crowding both ends, this is a good sign for the future growth of the district, as it indicates a move to broaden development beyond NW 16th. For now, The Press is unobtrusive enough and sufficiently removed from the neighborhood bustle that it takes a bit of finding, but also feels like a secret about which you’re in the know. Named for the printing business that once filled the building (after it originated as a garage), it’s a handsome space, roomy and instantly welcoming. All the textures feel THE PRESS perfectly in sync, from weath1610 N Gatewood, OKC ered concrete floor to wooden 405.208.7739 chairs to tin ceiling crisscrossed thepressokc.com

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with strands of dangling lightbulbs. Whether you find yourself in the main area or the smaller annex on the south side – both of which have multiple tables

and separate bars – you’ll get a hefty dose of natural light in a comfortable setting … and hefty helpings of comfort food. For a perfect example, start with the house tots. They’re roughly spherical, like hash brown hush puppies, and dense with


cheese, served smothered in gravy. True confession: Despite being an Oklahoma native, I’ve never been big on gravy – but this version could turn me around. Tender, juicy fried chicken, a massive chicken-fried ribeye and a dynamite execution of biscuits and gravy with eggs and pork belly continue the hit parade of familiar favorites. On the other hand, the kitchen can be kind to diners seeking something more diet-conscious: Those biscuits and gravy are only one of the dishes that can become vegan-friendly with a mere word to your server, or breakfast-lovers can dip into a big, steaming bowl of quinoa oatmeal. And there’s all kinds of goodness in the Beans and Greens, a kale salad colliding with a combination of pinto and black beans, bell peppers, corn and quinoa. To be frank, I’m stumped for a single recommendation. As we were moving around the table and sampling this dish or that, I kept coming back to take another couple of bites of the very-much-not-messing-around buffalo mac and cheese (the boneless chicken bites’ sauce is delightfully strong) … but

I could say the same about several other options, as well. The chilaquiles are fairly simple – chili sauce on chips with eggs and cheese – but filling and delicious, and the same goes for the more complex grilled strips of pork belly laid on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes, then slathered (a good verb when discussing comfort food) with an outstanding candy apple bacon gravy. In discussing this, the operating team’s third restaurant, co-owner John Harris described the feeling of bringing its concept to life by comparing their projects to working within picture frames: with The Mule, the “frame” was sandwiches; Anchor Down is a bar with corn dogs. Taking on The Press and its more complete menu means they’re painting in their biggest frame yet. “We feel like this is our first real restaurant,” says Harris, “and it’s been really fun for us.” He shared my difficulty in selecting a singular favorite item, musing that “one thing we wanted was to have brunch options anytime” while mentioning the breakfast hash, but then changing tacks to praise the veggie burger, and continuing to tout three dishes, then five. Finally, he shrugged and said, “Our biggest thing is to make the food good, and to be really nice to people.” We encountered a surprisingly big crowd in the middle of a chilly Tuesday afternoon – which makes me think that The Press has caught on pretty quickly, and that OKC crowds are happy to find a haven to cozy up in and relish some comforting cooking. It may be cold outside, but you should squeeze a visit into your schedule. FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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dining

CHEF’S TABLE

HOW IT’S DONE Herb Polenta 4 cups chicken stock 1 cup polenta or coarse corn meal 8 oz goat cheese 2 sprigs thyme, chopped fine 4 sage leaves, chopped fine

Kitchen Camaraderie Jason Heald’s luscious polenta

JA SON HE A L D GR EW U P on a skateboard, and while listening – unsurprisingly – to

punk music, he practiced graffiti art, and dreamed of being the next Charles Bukowski or Hunter S. Thompson. “I was a poet, writer and rapper,” Heald says. “I wanted to make a mark on the world.” He had a son when he was very young, so he decided to parlay his experience in kitchens into a full-time gig. Working in the industry was a good way to make money to pay for his new responsibilities, but he also was learning to love the “poetry” of a back-of-house team. “I started working in kitchens when I was about 15,” he remembers. “I loved the camaraderie and the feeling of being part of a family. It made me want to be a chef.” Heald, who is now executive chef at Rococo on Penn, grew up in the Mid-Del area of Oklahoma City, where he learned to cook from his paternal grandmother. “She was the original farm-to-table chef in my life,” he says. “We ate a lot of Southern staples: fried chicken, collards, ham hock and beans, tomatoes and macaroni – that sort of thing. I always looked forward to Sunday dinner; it was usually brisket, baked beans and rotating sides. My grandmother was definitely my hero growing up, and she always made real fried pies for me when I cooked with her. But I started working in kitchens because I wanted a car.”

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He applied to Garfield’s in Crossroads Mall and worked as a host, dishwasher and busboy to pay for his wheels – but he never stopped working in kitchens, and except for time spent in Phoenix and Colorado, most of his culinary training has been in OKC restaurants. “I love to cook, and I especially love cooking for my friends and family,” Heald says. “I’ve cooked enough different styles that I can pretty much make them whatever they want at this point.” Rococo owner Bruce Rinehart has turned Heald loose in the kitchen, and given the diversity of Rococo’s menu, he’s an excellent choice. Heald also has been able to indulge his creative side with features that aren’t on the regular menu. For someone whose formal training was always in kitchens, it makes sense that he would continue to develop his skills there. Working for what he wants has always been his model. For his recipe, Heald chose creamy herb and goat cheese polenta. “It’s very warm and comforting on cold winter nights,” he says. “It’s also really easy to prepare.” - GREG HORTON

PHOTOS BY SHANNON CORNMAN

Bring chicken stock to a boil. Slowly stir in corn meal. Lower heat and continue stirring for 7-10 minutes until smooth. Remove from heat. Fold in goat cheese and chopped herbs. Top with melted or browned butter. Serve with braised meats or ratatouille, or enjoy it by itself.


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dining

HOME COOKING

Finding Healthy Flavor The right oil for the job FAT CA R R IE S F L AVOR . Chefs know this, apparently. For those of us who thought we oiled pans just to keep food from sticking, that cooking chemistry is a bit of a revelation. According to Chef Kurt Fleischfresser, a man who has trained more than 40 chefs, two things carry added flavor in cooking: fat and sugar. “Eating really lean is never as satisfying, because the fat really does bring extra flavor,” Fleischfresser says. The problem – well, really, there’s more than one – is that fat also brings some unhealthy realities, especially in terms of heart health and weight control. Because the world is not a perfect place, fat is not always good for us, and certain fats are worse than others. Without diving too deeply into food chemistry, the American Heart Association recommends reducing saturated fat content – these are the fats that are not liquid at room temperature, such as butter – and increasing unsaturated fat content. And since February is American Heart Month, this seems a perfect time to heed their advice. The preferred way to do that, aside from eating naturally occurring fats such as those found in plants, seeds and nuts, has been through the use of cooking oils that are high in unsaturated fats, most especially olive oil. Here is the other problem: As with all things scientific that are more difficult to understand than a 7th-grade physical science class, the information is not always easy to parse, and some of it seems frankly contradictory. Rane and Maggie Peterson own The Oil Tree in Nichols Hills because they are proponents of the flavor, versatility and health benefits of olive oil, and their store specializes in single varietal – much like wine – oils prepared to exacting standards. Maggie is happy to explain the science behind polyphenols and oleic acid for all customers, but mainly people choose their oils based on taste, so everything in the store is available to sample. “Solid scientific studies indicate that four tablespoons of robust extra virgin olive oil can help reduce the risk of heart disease,” she says. By robust, she means the flavor – because, like beer, olive oil runs the spectrum from mild to strong, and the more polyphenols,

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the more robust the flavor. And according to those studies, the more heart benefits, as well. Oleic acid occurs naturally in many plants, including olives, and some studies link it to improved circulatory health. The number for each is printed on all sample dispensers of olive oil at The Olive Tree. On the other hand, olive oil, especially the more robust varieties, can dramatically affect the taste of food, so more often than not, it’s better for finishing a dish or as a “dip.” Nor is olive oil the only cooking fat that brings some health benefits. Canola oil. The science is mixed on this one, and Fleischfresser won’t use it for cooking. It’s a bit funky on the nose. Also, no one seems to know what a canola plant is. Coconut oil. While popular with some vegan cooks, this one is widely known to raise so-called bad cholesterol. Corn oil. Like many other oils, it’s linked to a reduction in bad cholesterol, and it has a high smoke point, meaning it’s great for frying. (When an oil begins to smoke in the pan, the quality degrades, chemical weirdness happens and the taste changes. High smoke point is good for cooking, especially frying.) Peanut oil. The Peanut Institute wants you to know that peanut oil is “one of the healthiest oils.” And while this group seems uninterested in truth in advertising and branding – a peanut is a legume! – they also didn’t say much about the studies that indicate peanut oil may lead to plaque in arteries. Safflower oil. Dr. Oz recommends it on his website, so we assume it’s terrible for you. It does come from a lovely, thistle-like flower, though. Sunflower oil. Used regularly for frying, this one seems to be pretty healthy, as fried fats go. Also, Lance Armstrong liked it, and Dr. Oz never won the Tour de France. - GREG HORTON

ALOHA, OIL For another take on using fats in cooking, we talked to Chelsea Smith, a vegan chef. Smith trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York, and she said the switch away from fat-based cooking was more dramatic than the switch to veganism she made when she was 18. “I never use oil for cooking anymore,” Smith says. “On rare occasions, I’ll add the subtlest amount of toasted sesame oil to a finished dish for flavor, but I don’t cook in fat.” Smith said she doesn’t like the idea of separating the fat from the fiber, because the fiber slows absorption in the body, giving the good fats time to process. She eats olives because of the benefits discussed earlier, but she doesn’t think olive oil is a great idea. Once she figured out a method to cook without it, it made no sense to add it back in. “I used to believe the whole ‘fat carries the flavor’ thing, and while that’s certainly true to some degree, you don’t need it,” she asserts. “My clients like my food because it’s flavorful, even without the fat.” Smith typically “sweats” onions to create a broth she uses in place of fat. To do so, she dices onions, puts them in a pot, brings the pot up to temperature, covers and reduces the heat to low. In 10 minutes, the water is cooked out of the onions, and a broth remains. Currently, she and her mother are developing baking recipes that don’t require oil, as well. You can find information and recipes at EatMyVeg.com.


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$ most entrees under $10 $$ most entrees $10 to $25 $$$ most entrees over $25 outdoor dining reservations accepted valet parking new or updated entry

American ANCHOR DOWN Sip a beer or specialty cocktail and munch on a selection of gourmet corndogs in this fresh Deep Deuce concept housed within repurposed shipping containers. 30 NE 2nd, OKC, 605.8070 $ AURORA Its warmly comfortable atmosphere makes a perfect backdrop for a quick cup of Hoboken coffee or hearty breakfast or lunch assembled from superb ingredients – just be certain not to miss the beautiful secluded backyard area. 1704 NW 16th, OKC, 609.8854 $

an update with a more modern menu sprinkled with experimental twists, and a full suite of tempting cocktails, wines and spirits. 6437 Avondale, OKC, 842.1000 $$

HEFNER GRILL Upscale fare of handcut steaks and seafood plus a tempting brunch to boot, enhanced by a live piano and a spectacular view overlooking scenic Lake Hefner. 9201 Lake Hefner Pkwy, OKC, 748.6113 $$ HOUSE 333 Meatballs are only the beginning at this Campus Corner hangout; a broad menu of everything from wings to lasagna to vegetarian options sets off the ample bar very nicely indeed. 333 W Boyd, Norman, 701.3800 $$ THE JONES ASSEMBLY It’s noteworthy as a spectacular concert venue, but don’t overlook the kitchen’s output the rest of the time. The bar (try a Frosé) and main menu (try everything) are sufficient to make memories even on non-special occasions. 901 W Sheridan, OKC, 212.2378 $$ KITCHEN NO. 324 A seasonally inspired café and craft bakery serving spectacular rustic American cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner, and a thorough treat for breakfast or brunch. 324 N Robinson, OKC, 763.5911 $

BACON Sometimes the name says it all. Noted OKC chef Sean Cummings fills a menu – from soup and salads through sandwiches, entrees and desserts – with tempting taste combinations that feature one of America’s favorite theme ingredients. 7523 N May, OKC, 848.4868 $$

MARY EDDY’S Inside the inviting environs of Film Row anchor 21c Museum Hotel, this showplace of a restaurant turns out a seasonally driven menu of expertly tuned flavors and dishes meant to be shared. 900 W Main, OKC, 982.6900 $$

CAFÉ 501 Rustic stone oven pizzas, fresh salads and specialty sandwiches on house-made artisan breads. Add welcoming atmosphere and enjoy. 501 S Boulevard, Edmond, 359.1501; 5825 NW Grand, OKC, 844.1501 $$

NASHBIRD Make tracks to this 9th Street spot serving Nashville-style “Hot Dang!” chicken, with whatever spice level you like. Speedy service, whiskey cocktails and beer and a spectacular patio add extra savor. 1 NW 9th, OKC, 388.0033 $

EDDIE’S BAR & GRILL This stylish spot not far from UCO is equally ideal for a casual drink, appetizers while watching the game or a dinner date. And bear in mind that the wings are outstanding. 930 E 2, Edmond, 285.7725 $$ FLINT Approachably casual style, plus the kitchen’s impeccably serious attention to detail in the outstanding contemporary cuisine, winningly combined in the Colcord Hotel. 15 N Robinson, OKC, 601.4300 $$ HATCH They call it “early mood food,” and if you find yourself in the mood for a sumptuous made-from-scratch breakfast (or lunch), it should be right up your Automobile Alley. 1101 N Broadway, OKC, 232.3949 $$ THE HUTCH ON AVONDALE The all-time classic Coach House receives

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NEIGHBORHOOD JAM Serving tasty takes on classic American dishes and more specialized options such as pineapple bourbon pancakes, this breakfast-centric spot aims to become a community favorite through outstanding execution. 15124 Lleytons Court, Edmond, 242.4161 $ NIC’S PLACE Already justly renowned for his skill at the grill, burger master Justin Nicholas offers breakfast, dinner, drinks and late night treats served in outstanding style at this Midtown diner and lounge. 1116 N Robinson, OKC, 601. 9234 $$ PACKARD’S NEW AMERICAN KITCHEN They’re not kidding about the “new” – the entire lunch and dinner menus are filled with innovative tastes for a distinctive dining experience. 201 NW 10th, OKC, 605.3771 $$

PICASSO CAFÉ Their neighbors in the Paseo are painters, potters and sculptors, so it’s apt that creativity abounds in these zippy sandwiches, salads, pizza and surprises, including plentiful selections for vegetarians. 3009 Paseo, OKC, 602.2002 $

THE R&J LOUNGE AND SUPPER CLUB A sentimental dining

experience with vintage recipes and atmosphere. Seating is limited but the patio is a year-round treat, and the drinks menu is a thing of beauty. 320 NW 10th, OKC, 602.5066 $$ THE PRESS Built in a former printing facility and garage, this concept from The Mule’s team adds Oklahomainspired comfort food to the Plaza District – the chicken-fried steak comes recommended. 1610 N Gatewood, OKC, 982.1010 $$ REDROCK CANYON GRILL Rotisserie chicken, enchiladas, pork chops and steak by the lake in a casual, energetic, hacienda-style atmosphere of stone walls and mahogany beams around an open kitchen. 9221 E Lake Hefner Pkwy, OKC, 749.1995; 1820 Legacy Park, Norman, 701.5501 $$ SATURN GRILL A star of the lunchtime stage in Nichols Hills Plaza, its rotation of daily specials and tasty twists on pizza, sandwiches and salads keep it crowded on weekdays. Calling ahead is recommended. 6432 Avondale, OKC, 843.7114 $ SCOTTIE’S DELI Soups, salads and especially sandwiches, all made from scratch and featuring meats that are cured, smoked and cooked in-house. Start with the pastrami and get ready to fall in love. 427 NW 23rd, OKC, 698.3696 $ SCRATCH Isn’t that the best place for food to come from? Top-of -the-line ingredients are combined into entrees and sides that are carefully concocted in-house, as are the bevy of wondrous craft cocktails. 132 W Main, Norman, 801.2900 $$ SUNNYSIDE DINER A new day dawns for breakfast and lunch on the west side of downtown as a former service station becomes a no-pretense, made-fromscratch diner. Order up! 916 NW 6th, OKC, 778.8861 $ SYRUP The most important meal of the day is also the most enticing at this unique breakfast boutique serving a heaping helping of signature dishes (the crunchy French toast is something special) and Stumptown coffee. 123 E Main, Norman; 1501 NW 23rd, OKC, 701.1143 $ VAST Keeping your attention on the steaks, seafood and other temptations

might be difficult; the view from atop the Devon Tower is truly unparalleled in Oklahoma, making this a fantastic date spot. 280 W Sheridan, 49th floor, OKC, 702.7262 $$$

VICEROY GRILLE Opulent décor, comfortable environs and some outstanding cuisine make a strong recommendation for the Ambassador Hotel’s in-house restaurant; don’t overlook the brunch options. 1200 N Walker Ave, OKC, 600.6200 $$ WHISKEY CAKE High-quality locally sourced ingredients, prepared using slow cooking techniques that’s a prime recipe for outstanding dining. Enjoy – and don’t forget the namesake dessert. 1845 NW Expressway, OKC, 582.2253 $$

Asian CHAE This pan-cultural treat puts a delectable influence on embracing traditional Korean cuisine and showcasing its versatility by blending its ingredients with dishes from around the world. Grab your chopsticks and enjoy. 1933 NW 23rd, OKC, 600.9040 $$ CHICK N BEER Wings and brews are food for the soul; these freshly fried beauties are done Korean-style, and with serious flavor. Grab some kimchi fries and a local beer and enjoy. 715 NW 23rd, OKC, 604.6995 $ EL TORO CHINO Big, bold flavors from disparate cuisines are blended in this self-described “Latin + Asian Kitchen” - creating results that are as excitingly distinctive as they are delicious. 2801 NW 36th, Norman, 708.9472 $$ GOGI GO Fast-casual Korean barbecue comes to Midtown thanks to chef Kevin Lee’s dream of making the traditional cuisine approachable for OKC diners. Pick your protein, grab it as it comes off the grill and get ready to come back again and again. 1325 N Walker, OKC, 778.8524 $ O ASIAN FUSION Sublime quality in a wide span of culinary influences – freshly rolled sushi to fiery curry – in cool, vibrant digs. Call ahead for dinner, because it becomes a packed house in a hurry. 105 SE 12th, Norman, 701.8899 $$ SAII With a dark, rich ambiance that elevates it over its surroundings, the captivating Saii serves expertly done Japanese, Thai and Chinese fare plus an


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extensive and adventurous sushi menu. 6900 N May, OKC, 702.7244 $$ TSUBAKI SZECHUAN Bold f lavors are a hallmark of Szechuan cuisine, so tell your taste buds to buckle up; spice is always present but never overpowering in this mouthwatering collection of staples and authentically executed dishes. 1117 NW 25th, OKC, 609.6606 $$

Bakery BELLE KITCHEN Doughnuts, macarons, pastries and ice cream created from scratch, in small batches – making treats like these with care and passion makes a difference that’s easy, and a pleasure, to taste. 7509 N May, OKC, 430.5484; 30 NE 2nd, OKC, 541.5858 $ CUPPIES & JOE The name is only part of the story: the Uptown nook holds cupcakes and coffee as well as pie, live music, a cozy, trendy vibe and more. Park around back and take a peek. 727 NW 23rd, OKC, 528.2122 $ ESCA VITAE Food for Life, the name promises, and visitors may well find themselves feeling revitalized after sampling this European bakery and café’s espresso drinks, selection of deli sandwiches and vast selection of tempting breads and baked goods. 1114 N Classen Drive, OKC, 601.0402 $

Cold Warriors Timely goodness from Sala Thai I’M NOT A H U G E proponent of homeopathic remedies, but my

placebo of choice when I feel a possible cold or sore throat coming on is a big serving of steamy, spicy, sinus-clearing curry. Whether or not you share in that particular superstition, this is an especially apt season for treating yourself to some hot, savory Thai food – and Uptown 23rd regulars know that Sala Thai, 1614 NW 23rd, is always a top-tier option in any weather. For weekday lunch patrons, it eschews a standard buffet in favor of a rotating combination menu. A single lunch combo includes the curry of the day – Wednesday’s panang is especially good – plus a choice of two out of four other dishes, from pad thai to spicy eggplant to broccoli beef, and extras such as soup and spring rolls. It’s inexpensive and a convenient way to sample multiple tastes, and while it’s not technically all-you-can-eat, it won’t leave you hungry. Of course, if you’re in the mood for something specific, the full menu is laden with possibilities: Start with the savory chicken-and-vegetable-filled Karee Puffs (sort of a Thai empanada), and follow it with the Boat Noodles’ tender cinnamon beef, or the scorchingly delicious flavor of the fried trout’s sauce in the Chili Fish. Put it all together in a comfortable atmosphere with some nice decorative touches, and Sala Thai is definitely worth a visit, or several. Especially if you’re looking to heat up your palate. - STEVE GILL

LA BAGUETTE Comfort and exquisite baking make a tres chic destination for brunch and beyond. They supply pastries throughout the metro, but the source is especially delicious. 1130 Rambling Oaks, Norman, 329.1101; 2100 W Main, Norman, 329.5822 $ PIE JUNKIE A Plaza District haven for serious pie aficionados. Call ahead to order a whole pie or quiche or walk in and choose from what’s on hand; either way the f lavors are incredible, and you may never find a better Key lime. 1711 NW 16th, OKC, 605.8767 $ SARA SARA CUPCAKES The ambiance and milk bar make great additions to the variety of specialty cupcakes - selections range from traditional chocolate to blueberry honey and even bacon, egg and cheese. 7 NW 9th, OKC, 600.9494 $

Bar & Pub Food THE BARREL The menu is wellstocked with intriguing and delicious twists on pub cuisine, but the equally ample bar makes it a great spot to relax over drinks as well. 4308 N Western, OKC, 525.6682 $ BLU FINE WINE & FOOD Just south of Main Street, this sleek bar stands out due to quick, courteous service and a menu with gourmet range from mojitos to barbeque chicken pizza to fresh hummus. 201 S Crawford, Norman, 360.4258 $$ THE MANHATTAN A stylish neighborhood bar in the heart of downtown, its cocktail menu is packed

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with variations on its namesake classic, and don’t overlook the selections of sandwiches, salads and tasty treats from chef Bruce Rinehart. 210 Park Suite 150, OKC, 605.5300 $ THE MONT While the food should tempt palates inclined toward a Southwestern zing, it’s beverages like the beloved Sooner Swirl and the primo patio (with misters) for which this landmark is justly renowned. 1300 Classen Blvd, Norman, 329.3330 $ OAK & ORE A Plaza District port of call built with repurposed rustic materials, it offers more than a handful of creative sandwiches that practically require a knife and fork, as well as a tantalizing selection of lovingly chosen craft beers. 1732 NW 16th, OKC, 606.2030 $ O’CONNELL’S IRISH PUB & GRILLE Beloved by students, alumni and townies alike, it’s served up killer burgers, beer and festive atmosphere since 1968. A St. Patrick’s Day must. 769 Asp, Norman, 217.8454 $ PUB W Multiple sections provide a choice of atmosphere, but the menu filled with choice beer and “new classic” fare from barbeque wings to pork chops is a constant pleasure. 3720 W Robinson, Norman, 701.5844; 3121 W Memorial, OKC, 608.2200 $$ REPUBLIC GASTROPUB Part beer bar and part upscale eatery, this noisy, amply attended locale pairs a vast selection of quality brews with tasty menu items, including a great burger selection. 5830 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 286.4577; 13230 Pawnee, OKC, 907.5900 $$

Barbeque EARL’S RIB PALACE A popular choice among locals in a genre that’s hardly lacking in options, the local chain pounds out hit ribs and turkey as well as a top-tier burger. 6 metro locations, earlsribpalace.com $ IRON STAR URBAN BARBEQUE Iron Star specializes in “a unique and tasty spin on comfort food.” While its entrees are excellent, the sides here are equal players as well. 3700 N Shartel, OKC, 524.5925 $$ LEO’S BAR-B-Q Dense, rich f lavor and tender texture, delivered in genuine unpolished style for commendable value – no wonder its ribs and brisket are favorites among Oklahoma connoisseurs. 3631 N Kelley, OKC 424.5367 $ SWADLEY’S Expertly prepared meats – the sausage is especially succulent – form the backbone of this Oklahoma chain’s crowd-pleasing menu. And if there’s a special occasion approaching, they’re also award-winning caterers. 5 metro locations, swadleys.com $$ TEXLAHOMA BBQ Family owned and fabulously f lavorful, its meats (especially the beef ribs) are eyerolling good. Don’t forget the espresso barbeque sauce! 121 E Waterloo, Edmond, 513.7631 $$

PHOTO BY SHANNON CORNMAN

GOOD TASTE


Burgers & Sandwiches COW CALF-HAY This tempting burger spot offers ample f lavor combinations, and the delicious neverfrozen patties are mmmmmassive. Don’t forget the onion rings. 3409 Wynn, Edmond, 509.2333; 212 N Harvey, OKC, 601.6180 $ THE FIXX Massive, monstrous burgers and hot dogs, put together with thought and care. Don’t forget to get a shake or something from the full bar. 644 W Edmond, Edmond, 285.2311 $ THE GARAGE BURGERS & BEER It can get noisy in the sports-bar atmosphere, but even so your focus will likely be on savoring the many tempting f lavor possibilities of huge, juicy burgers and fries. 8 metro locations, eatatthegarage.com $ IRMA’S BURGER SHACK Hand-cut fries, hand-breaded onion rings and simply great burgers, especially with No Name Ranch patties - lean and flavorful thanks to a local breed of cattle. 1035 NW 63rd, OKC, 840.4762; 1120 Classen Drive, OKC, 235.4762 $ KAISER’S GRATEFUL BEAN Located in the heart of Midtown,

OKC’s authentic ice cream parlor and soda fountain (it’s on the National Register of Historic Places) serves up shakes, malts, egg creams and homemade ice cream, plus burgers and meals for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. 1039 N Walker, OKC, 236.3503 $ THE MULE Solid beer and beverage selection plus a delectable array of gourmet grilled cheeses and melts fill the menu at this relaxation destination in the Plaza District. 1630 N Blackwelder, OKC, 601.1400 $ NIC’S GRILL It’s small, it’s crowded … and it’s incredible. It’s only open for lunch and the lines are often long, but the colossal burgers are easily among the metro’s best. Don’t forget some money, since it’s cash-only. 1202 N Penn, OKC, 524.0999 $ S&B’S BURGER JOINT Good news: these burgers’ exquisite f lavors including such ingredients as peanut butter or a coffee crust - come as sliders too, all the better to sample more kinds. 5 metro locations, sandbburgers.com $ TUCKER’S ONION BURGERS With one burger, one side (fries) and one salad, the menu is easy to remember - and the execution makes the meal unforgettable. Add a shake and enjoy. 4 metro locations, tuckersonionburgers.com $

Coffeehouse & Tea Room ALL ABOUT CHA Universal standards and unusual concoctions (the sweet potato latte is a wonder) in a cheerful atmosphere; the food options are worth investigating, as well. 5 metro locations, allaboutcha.net $ CLARITY COFFEE The vibe is crisp, clean and cool while remaining welcoming and comfortable – including seating for sipping or getting some work done – and the brewers have their beverages down to a science. As the sign says, “Drink the Coffee.” 431 W Main, OKC, 252.0155 $ COFFEE SLINGERS Rocking a brisk, urban vibe on Automobile Alley, it has become a gathering place for genuine java enthusiasts, especially during its periodic educational sampling seminars. 1015 N Broadway, OKC, 606.2763 $ ELEMENTAL COFFEE Seriously spectacular coffee roasted in-house - the passionate staff is always eager to share knowledge about the process augmented with locally sourced salads, breakfast options and other treats. 815 N Hudson, OKC, 633.1703 $ RED CUP Comfortably ramshackle surroundings encourage curling up for

conversation over great coffee, baked treats, vegetarian-friendly breakfast and lunch specials, and live music. It’s highly recommended. 3122 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 525.3430 $ T, AN URBAN TEAHOUSE Proving that an establishment’s focus can be at once narrow and broad, these retreats offer over 100 varieties and expert counsel to explore a world of possibiliteas. 519 NW 23rd, OKC $

Continental BLACKBIRD A Campus Corner gastropub pairing succulently creative dishes like pot roast nachos with a broad beer, wine and whiskey list. There’s little on the menu that won’t tempt palates. 575 S University, Norman, 928.5555 $$ CHEEVER’S Southwestern-influenced recipes (the chicken-fried steak is a house specialty) and love of seafood drive the contemporary comfort food in one of the city’s finest dining destinations. 2409 N Hudson, OKC, 525.7007 $$ EN CROUTE A warmly welcoming, comfortable café in Nichols Plaza offers treats all day long, from fresh pastries to select spirits and beer, with special emphasis on artisanal cheese and charcuterie. 6460 Avondale, OKC, 607.6100 $

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LUDIVINE The menu adjusts constantly to reflect availability of elite-quality, locally sourced ingredients - but every dish is the result of genuine culinary artistry. 805 N Hudson, OKC, 778.6800 $$$ THE MANTEL Marvelous steaks, seafood and other specialties combine with a refined atmosphere and outstanding service to set the stage for a truly memorable meal, especially if you have a date to impress. 201 E Sheridan, OKC, 236.8040 $$$ THE METRO A perennial favorite that feels comfortably upscale without exerting pressure to impress on its clientele, the far-reaching menu covers culinary high points from vichyssoise to crème brulée. 6418 N Western, OKC, 840.9463 $$ MICHAEL’S GRILL Thoroughly urbane dining in an intimate setting: the steaks, chops, seafood and pastas are all reliably excellent, and the Caesar salad prepared tableside is the stuff of legends. 2824 W Country Club, OKC, 810.9000 $$$

Beverage Boost Hatch pours a quick perk-me-up ACCO R DI NG TO FAM E D psychologist Abraham Maslow, human

development ideally should be a process of striving for self-actualization, and the most fundamental, basic needs are physiological – examples of which include air, food, shelter and sleep. For some reason, he neglected to mention coffee, but you can probably pencil it in right about there. Some might argue that it’s not technically a necessity for life, but (a) yes it is, and (b) considering that oxygen doesn’t smell good and water doesn’t taste good, I could reply that coffee has them both beat. The hot brown nectar remains one of the best ways ever invented to lift the morning clouds – but this is an especially dark and cloudy time of year, so it’s entirely possible you might enjoy adding a little extra oomph to your brew. Fortunately, Hatch, 1101 N Broadway in OKC’s Automobile Alley, has a number of options for giving your coffee an alcoholic kick, and turning a latte into a latt-yay. Try the Blind Abbot, enhanced with Jameson Irish whiskey and Caffe Borghetti espresso liqueur, or the Café Oh Hey, which has a local connection thanks to its Prairie Wolf Dark coffee liqueur, as well as Patron XO coffee-infused tequila. And if you feel able to withstand going to the other end of the temperature spectrum, the Frigid Baboon is a sweet, icy coffee frappe, loaded with vanilla Stoli, Irish cream, Prairie Wolf Dark and blended bananas. There is a window in terms of time: Hatch closes at 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4 p.m. on the weekend, and while they open at the crack of dawn (or beforehand, these days), they don’t start serving cocktails until 10 a.m. So if you’re looking for a lunchtime libation, don’t delay … and drink it while it’s hot. - STEVE GILL

THE MUSEUM CAFÉ A setting as inspiring as the OKC Museum of Art warrants something special in cuisine: delicately light or delectably robust, its European-inspired menu delights for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. 415 Couch, OKC, 235.6262 $$ PARK AVENUE GRILL A one-ofa-kind dining experience inside the luxurious Skirvin Hilton, blending traditional steak and seafood with the high style of its 1930s setting. 1 Park, OKC, 702.8444 $$$ PASEO GRILL Quiet and intimate inside, cheerful and comfortable out on the patio, with an award-winning menu filled with distinctive flavors inspired by the cuisines of Europe in both areas – try the duck salad. 2909 Paseo, OKC, 601.1079 $$$ THE PRITCHARD WINE BAR Tempted by tempranillo? Musing about muscat? This Plaza District stop is amply stocked with an extensive list of exceptional wines, and sampling the varied dishes is a pleasure in itself. 1749 NW 16th, OKC, 601.4067 $ ROCOCO An “East Coast-style” restaurant with a diverse menu of international dishes, all set off by carefully selected wines to create the perfect dinner pairing. 12252 N May, OKC, 212.4577; 2824 N Penn, OKC, 528.2824 $$ SEVEN47 A Campus Corner hotspot boasting sleek, swank décor, an appealingly broad menu including a tantalizing brunch and a consistently celebratory vibe - in toto that makes this a winner. 747 Asp, Norman, 701.8622 $$ SIGNATURE GRILL Unassuming locale; magnificent culinary rewards. The expertly considered menu mixes French and Italian flavors to present a wide spectrum of amazing flavors in a few select dishes. 1317 E Danforth, Edmond, 330.4548 $$$ WEST Expert staff and stylish décor augment a menu filled with treats from

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beef pad thai to roasted airline chicken. Don’t forget the zuccha chips! 6714 N Western, OKC, 607.4072 $$

French LA BAGUETTE BISTRO Les Freres Buthion have deep roots in the city’s culinary landscape, and this flagship combines fine dining with a great bakery, deli and butcher on site. 7408 N May, OKC, 840.3047 $$ FAIT MAISON Foie gras to Brandy Alexander, this classical French restaurant delivers exceptional cuisine made with exacting care – the name translates to homemade – for exquisite, if pricy, event dining. 152 E 5th, Edmond, 509.2555 $$$

German DAS BOOT CAMP Longtime fixture for Deutsch festivities Royal Bavaria has brewed up a second round of exceptional cuisine and magnificent beer in a less expensive, faster-paced location in downtown Norman. 229 E Main, Norman, 701.3748 $ FASSLER HALL Bringing German flavor to Midtown via house-made sausages, warm soft pretzels with cheese sauce, duck fries and a heftig beer menu, plus a weekend brunch – what’s not to love? 421 NW 10th, OKC, 609.3300 $ INGRID’S Authentic German fare at its best, including outstanding Oklahomamade bratwurst. Join weekend regulars for breakfast, and remember the bakery counter. 3701 N Youngs, OKC, 946.8444; 6501 N May, OKC $$ ROYAL BAVARIA Superb takes on traditional dishes like Weinerschnitzel, Jagerbraten and sausages, plus fantastisch house-brewed beers. The time spent is a worthy investment in this familystyle dining hall. 3401 S Sooner, Moore, 799.7666 $$$

Indian GOPURAM - TASTE OF INDIA A fullservice restaurant whose richly appointed interior and attentive staff accord patrons the feel of fine dining, even during the plentifully stocked lunch buffet. 4559 NW 23rd, OKC, 948.7373 $$ MISAL OF INDIA A Norman institution for over 30 years, specializing in tandooricooked delicacies and boasting healthy, natural, delicious cuisine served amid splendid ambiance. 580 Ed Noble Pkwy, Norman, 579.5600 $$ TAJ A tremendous set of Indian staples and delicacies - the menu has sections for vegetarian, tandoori, South Indian and Indo-Chinese specialties - plus full lunch and dinner buffets. 1500 NW 23rd, OKC, 601.1888 $$

Italian & Pizza BELLINI’S Tasteful in décor and Italian offerings alike, this romantic nightspot quietly, confidently exudes elegance. It’s

PHOTO BY SCOTTY O’DANIEL

AT THE BAR


worth a visit even if only for a couple of the namesake beverages on the shady patio. 6305 Waterford, OKC, 848.1065 $$ BENVENUTI’S Subtly flavored minestrone to rich, hearty ragouts, the splendid menu keeps the booths full and diners planning return trips to this vintage building by the railroad tracks; don’t overlook Sunday brunch. 105 W Main, Norman, 310.5271 $$ EMPIRE SLICE HOUSE Reigning over the Plaza District in New York style (that means thin, flexible crust with a lot of surface area to cover in cheese and tasty toppings), it offers whole pizzas or slices, a full bar and a primo patio. 1734 NW 16th, OKC $ FLIP’S WINE BAR & TRATTORIA Managing to feel rustic despite its location in a busy corridor of OKC, this cozy Italian joint keeps extended hours, and tends to get busier and louder as the hour gets later. 5801 N Western, OKC, 843.1527 $$ THE HEAT There’s really no need to be humble about this true Chicago-style pizza, boasting perhaps the best crust known to man. It’s one of our favorites; choose your toppings and think deep thoughts. 1319 S Broadway, Edmond, 715.1818 $ HIDEAWAY PIZZA If you’ve been serving a devoted following for over half a century, you’re doing something right. In this case, that’s incredible pizza in jovial surroundings. 8 metro locations, hideawaypizza.com $$ KNUCK’S WHEELHOUSE Homemade daily with sauces from scratch and local beer in the crust, it’s a tasty and varied stopover for Bricktown wanderers as well as a pizza-lover’s destination in its own right. 103 E California, OKC, 605.4422 $ MONI’S Handmade, New Jersey-style brick oven pizza and authentic pasta recipes from Southern Italy in a casual, comfy ambience (ideal for dates). 17200 N May, Edmond, 285.5991 $$ OTHELLO’S Garlic bread and warm mussels to tiramisu and coffee – all you could want in a romantic Italian café. 1 S Broadway, Edmond, 330.9045 $$ PIZZA 23 The tempting selection of specialty pies on especially buttery, flaky crusts is available for takeout, but dining in is recommended; the Uptown joint’s good beer selection and crisp, urban décor add savor to the flavor. 600-B NW 23rd, OKC, 601.6161 $$ PIZZERIA GUSTO Neapolitan-style pizza (which harnesses an extremely hot fire to quickly cook superfine flour crusts and quality ingredients) stars alongside Italy-inspired salads, pastas and appetizers. 2415 N Walker, OKC, 437.4992 $$ STELLA MODERN ITALIAN CUISINE A luscious spate of legitimately Italian tastes for a casual lunch, or romantic dinner, amid stylish scenery. The weekend brunch offerings are especially superb. 1201 N Walker, OKC, 235.2200 $$ SUSSY’S An OKC tradition continues, as this quick downtown eatery serves up

recipes from one of the city’s first pizza providers more than half a century ago. Try a Fleetwood or one of the pasta or salad options and see why it succeeded in the first place. 200 S Oklahoma, OKC, 600.1195 $ TOMMY’S ITALIAN-AMERICAN GRILL Stylish and welcoming, this northside neighborhood Italian bar and grill offers up a full selection of beautifully done classic dishes, in addition to more imaginative creations, weekend brunch and some truly excellent brick oven pizza. 5516 W Memorial, OKC, 470.5577 $$ UPPER CRUST A chic, contemporary pizzeria and wine bar specializing in wood-fired, thin-crust New York-style pies complemented by a full menu and wine list. 5860 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 842.7743; 1205 NW 178th, Edmond, 285.8887 $$ VICTORIA’S A comfortable atmosphere, with local art on its walls and the art of pasta on its plates – the chicken lasagna and linguine with snow crab are especially excellent. 327 White, Norman, 329.0377; 3000 SW 104th, OKC, 759.3580 $ VITO’S RISTORANTE Homestyle Italian cuisine in an intimate setting where the staff and management treat customers like guests in their home. It’s a small space, so calling ahead is recommended. 7521 N May, OKC, 848.4867 $$ VOLARE A flavor-filled variety of Neapolitan-style pizzas, produced with haste from a specially imported oven, fill this stylish Campus Corner space boasting a serious rooftop patio. 315 White, Norman, 310.3615 $$ THE WEDGE Wood-fired pies crafted from fresh ingredients (the possibilities range from pepperoni all the way to figs or truffle oil) and made-from-scratch sauces. 230 NE 1st, OKC, 270.0660; 4709 N Western, OKC, 602.3477 $$

Japanese // Sushi CAFÉ ICON Tempting sushi, Japanese specialties and delicious spectacles like steak cooked at the table on a sizzling stone fill the menu to bursting with visually splendid and palate-pleasing treats. 311 S Blackwelder, Edmond, 340.8956 $$ GORO An “izakaya” is a Japanese pub; visitors to the Plaza District will quickly come to associate the term with expertly crafted deliciousness thanks to this cheerful spot for ramen, yakitori, bar snacks and more. 1634 Blackwelder, OKC, 606.2539 $ MUSASHI’S Exquisitely flavorful Japanese cuisine prepared with genuine artistry, thanks to the skilled chefs executing culinary performance art at tableside hibachi grills. It’s a great spot for a special occasion. 4315 N Western, OKC, 602.5623 $$ SUSHI NEKO An established OKC favorite combining style with substance (in the form of an especially wide-ranging and creative sushi menu). 4318 N Western, OKC, 528.8862 $$

THE OIL TREE Our delectable selection of extra virgin olive oils and luscious balsamic vinegars are delicious, and our wide array of foods are small-batch, artisanal, healthful and delightful. Visit our gorgeous new location in Wilshire Village and see for yourself, or shop us online at theoiltree.com.

7646 N WESTERN AVENUE OK L AHOM A CIT Y, OK 73116 405 242 6457 | HELLO @THEOILTREE.COM

TOKYO It’s neither huge nor lavishly appointed, and the menu focuses on

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tradition rather than creativity; but it’s palpably fresh and routinely cited as among the metro’s best sushi. 7516 N Western, OKC, 848.6733 $$ YOKOZUNA The noodles, entrees and snappy drinks menu beckon, but it’s the rolls that stand out in this heavyweight contender for local sushi supremacy – personally, we’re partial to the 405 Roll. 13230 Pawnee, OKC, 500.1020 $$ YUZO Variety is the word in this sushi tapas bar, boasting a tempting swirl of Colombian, Brazilian and Japanese culinary influences. 808 N Broadway, OKC, 702.9808 $$

Mediterranean & African HAIGET’S Vegan-friendly – and friendly in general, due to the influence of the warm, patient namesake owner – this gem rewards the adventurous with Ethiopian and Kenyan specialties to explore and share. 308 W Edmond Road, Edmond, 509.6441 $$ QUEEN OF SHEBA Practically the definitive example of a hidden treasure, the spicy, vegan-friendly menu of Ethiopian delights awaits the bold. Bring friends and be prepared to linger. 2308 N MacArthur, OKC, 606.8616 $$

OKC’s Premier Intimate Dining Experience

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ZORBA’S For well over 20 years, Zorba’s has satisfied appetites and pleased palates. Serving dishes from recipes passed down through generations, they proudly share flavors of Cyprus, Spain, Greece and Morocco. 6014 N May, OKC, 947.7788 $

Mexican & Latin American 1492 Authentic Mexican cuisine in an elegant atmosphere, combining its caliente flavors with fusion decor to make an ideal spot for a romantic evening ... including perhaps the world’s best mojitos. 1207 N Walker, OKC, 236.1492 $$ BARRIOS A serious collection of Latin-flavored deliciousness, including a brunch that’s maravilloso, in a cool Midtown space with a back patio that’s pure paradise. 1000 N Hudson, OKC, 702.6922 $ BIG TRUCK TACOS It’s nearly always standing-room-only at lunch, but don’t let that deter you; spend a few minutes in line and get an ample reward in the form of fast, fresh, imaginative taco creations. 530 NW 23rd, OKC, 525.8226 $ CAFÉ DO BRASIL It’s a long way from OKC to Rio, but the savory menu in this Midtown hot spot covers the distance in a mouthful. Even brunch is a spicy, inimitable treat. 440 NW 11th, OKC, 525.9779 $$ CAFÉ KACAO A sunlit space filled with bright, vibrant flavors from the zesty traditions of Guatemala. Lunch possibilities beckon, but it’s the

breakfast specialties that truly dazzle. 3325 N Classen, OKC, 602.2883 $ CULTIVAR A farm-to-fire Mexican kitchen that stresses sustainability, local sourcing and fresh, fast, flavorful food. Gluten-free options, chef-crafted tacos, a substantial bar and plenty more are on the menu. 714 N Broadway, OKC $$ HACIENDA TACOS Quality, of both ingredients and execution, and variety make this restaurant in the Shoppes at Northpark a pleasure to visit, and to explore the menu again and again. 12086 N May, OKC, 254.3140 $ IGUANA MEXICAN GRILL Unique Mexican flavor in a fun atmosphere at reasonable prices - a treat from the house-made salsas to the handcrafted cocktails, and all the tastes between. 9 NW 9th, OKC, 606.7172 $$ REVOLUCION You say you want a Revolucion? You easily might once you try this spicy taco-centric haven – start with the queso fundido and don’t stop until you reach the delectable arroz tres leche dessert. 916 NW 6th, OKC, 606.6184 $$ TARAHUMARA’S Beloved by locals (there’s usually a line but it moves quickly), this airy ristorante serves huge, tasty Tex-Mex classics plus less ubiquitous fare like carnitas de puerco and mole poblano. 702 N Porter, Norman, 360.8070 $$ YUCATAN TACO STAND A Bricktown haven for feisty Latin fusion cuisine such as paella and tamales wrapped in banana leaves plus signature nachos and combos … and a selection of over 75 top-shelf tequilas. 100 E California, OKC, 886.0413 $ ZARATE’S In addition to the familiar joys of enchiladas and the like, the chef’s Peruvian heritage shines in dishes featuring plantains, yuca and imported spices. Try something different; find something tasty. 706 S Broadway, Edmond, 330.6400 $$

Seafood THE DRAKE The Good Egg Group’s flagship and a standard-bearer for diners who crave excellent seafood, it serves chef’s creations featuring the sea’s finest, plus an oyster bar and tempting cocktails. 519 NW 23rd, OKC $$$ OFF THE HOOK A former food truck expanded into two restaurants due to popular demand, it’s a choice destination for po’ boys, fried or grilled baskets and specialty items such as the smothered seafood fries. Go get hooked. 125 S Britton, OKC, 840.3474; 1920 S Meridian, OKC, 606.6040 $ PEARL’S CRABTOWN A huge Bricktown warehouse where the Cajun Crab Boil is a favorite, guests are encouraged to “leave the silverware at home and dig in,” and taste is king. 303 E Sheridan, OKC, 232.7227 $$ PEARL’S OYSTER BAR A perennial OKC favorite for its flavorful seafood


and spicy Creole-inspired dishes: Shrimp Diablo, Tabasco-infused Caesar salads, Andouille omelets at Sunday brunch and more. 5641 N Classen, OKC, 848.8008 $$ TRAPPER’S FISHCAMP Zesty, widely varied flavor from the Pearl’s family of restaurants finds a comfortable home in a backwoods fishing lodge atmosphere. Don’t forget the bountifully stocked bar, either. 4300 W Reno, OKC, 943.9111 $$ THE SHACK SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR A massive selection of nicely spiced Cajun and Creole cooking, plus fried and grilled seafood, in an atmosphere that’s not shy about being as casual as it can be. 3 metro locations, theshackok.com $$

Soul Food BRENT’S CAJUN Sit down to a massive platter of jambalaya, crawfish etoufee, Pasta Orleans or any of the wellseasoned temptations on the weekend brunch menu – and spice up your life. 3005 S Broadway, Edmond, 285.0911 $$ C’EST SI BON The name is accurate: it is impressively good for lovers of Cajun-style catfish and po-boys. Crawfish etouffee, frogs’ legs, fried chicken and shrimp po-boys are among the highlights, but the award-winning catfish is a must-try. 101 N Douglas, Midwest City, 610.2555 $ THE DRUM ROOM March your own drumsticks in for a heap of crispy, juicy fried chicken (among the city’s best) starring alongside fried okra, waffles and a fully loaded bar. 4300 N Western, OKC, 604.0990 $$

Steakhouse BOULEVARD STEAKHOUSE Perfectly soigné ambiance down to the last detail and cuisine easily in the metro’s elite – a sumptuous, if pricy, masterpiece. 505 S Boulevard, Edmond, 715.2333 $$$ BROADWAY 10 Cruise into the Buick building in Automobile Alley to savor steak supremacy or seafood selections (even sushi) in a cozy enclave amid urban bustle. 1101 N Broadway, OKC, 212.3949 $$$ CATTLEMEN’S Almost as old as the state itself, this Oklahoma institution’s immense corn-fed steaks and matchless atmosphere are history served anew every day. 1309 S Agnew, OKC, 236.0416 $$ JAMIL’S STEAKHOUSE Saving room for your steak, lobster or prime rib is difficult when your gratis appetizers arrive in the form of a Lebanese bounty, but make the effort. Jamil’s has been feeding Oklahoma exceptionally well since 1964. 4910 N Lincoln, OKC, 525.8352 $$$ JUNIOR’S The classic restaurant’s decor sets the perfect stage for hand-cut Angus steaks and lobster to fight for attention with knockout fried chicken. 2601 NW Expressway, OKC, 848.5597 $$$

MAHOGANY PRIME STEAKHOUSE The ambiance and service are sublime, but fine aged steak broiled to perfection is the star. 3241 W Memorial, OKC, 748.5959; 100 W Main, OKC, 208.8800 $$$ MCCLINTOCK Where better to find a saloon than in Stockyards City? There’s plenty of room at the massive, 50-foot oak bar, and plenty of cocktails and whiskies behind it, but the main draw may be the massive, excellent steaks and chops. 2227 Exchange, OKC, 232.0151 $$$ MEAT MARKET REFECTORY The steaks are excellent, but they’re the tip of the ample menu’s iceberg: fresh seafood and Australian lamb chops command attention as well, and from Hatch green chili crab cakes to champagne sabayon, the carefully selected flavors pop and sparkle in this prime dining experience. 2920 NW 63rd, OKC, 608.8866 $$$

Dine with us...

FOR LUNCH OR DINNER

MICKEY MANTLE’S This lushly atmospheric social spot in Bricktown serves powerhouse entrées and sides with a full complement of amenities destined to impress. 7 S Mickey Mantle, OKC, 272.0777 $$$ OPUS PRIME STEAKHOUSE It aspires to the ultimate in upscale dining via hand-cut USDA Prime Black Angus steaks, a vast wine selection and intimate ambiance. 800 W Memorial, OKC, 607.6787 $$$ RANCH STEAKHOUSE Customaged hand-cut USDA Certified Prime tenderloins and ribeyes, served amid warm Southern hospitality. 3000 W Britton, OKC, 755.3501 $$$ RED PRIMESTEAK Visionary design and atmosphere house super-premium steaks, vibrant, imaginative flavors and amenities to make some of the state’s best dining. 504 N Broadway, OKC, 232.2626 $$$

4308 N WESTERN AVENUE 405.525.6682 BARRELOKC.COM

JOIN ME AT TOMMY’S

Your neighborhood Italian bar & grill

TEXAS DE BRAZIL Inspired by Brazilian churrascarias, this festive establishment offers diners cuts from their choice of skewers laden with beef, pork, chicken and sausage, in addition to excellent sides and a massive salad bar. 1901 NW Expressway, OKC, 362.9200 $$$

Thai SALA THAI Pineapple curry, basil squid, fried rice with crab, cinnamon beef ... the variety is exceptional, making this Midtown diner a popular midday option. 1614 NW 23rd, OKC, 528.8424 $ SWEET BASIL The enormous aquarium adds to the cozy ambiance; with its outstanding curries and specialty dishes, it makes a great venue for a dinner date. 211 W Main, Norman, 217.8424 $$ TANA THAI There’s a lot to like about the food in this little spot, from red snapper filet to pad thai. Pay special mind to the varied soups, and do not play chicken with the spice level. 10700 N May, OKC, 749.5590 $$

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK LUNCH | DINNER | BRUNCH | COCKTAILS | WINE | PATIO | PRIVATE PARTIES 5516 W. MEMORIAL RD. | 405.470.5577 | TOMMYSITALIANGRILL.COM FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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We fight in 4 for those whooice.Oklahom1livesa chinildren need a v POVERTY.

unity’s most critical We surround our comm ess them. y dollar we can to addr problems, and find ever l win this fight for Centra Help Central Oklahoma Oklahoma. Give today at

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events

Family Business

PHOTO COURTESY FJJMA

She wasn’t supposed to create – she was the only female Pueblo painter of the 1920s – but Tonita Peña did, and was influential enough to inspire future generations. Her works, as well as those of artists including her son Joe Herrera and Michael Kabotie (a detail of whose “Guardian of the Water” is seen here), fill the exhibition “Generations in Modern Pueblo Painting,” on display at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art through April 8.

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events PRIME PICKS

Richard Diebenkorn, “Albuquerque”

The New Old Style Feb. 17-May 13, OKC Museum of Art In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center made a massive addition to its contemporary art collection. Half a century later, its successor – the OKC Museum of Art – looks back on that bold decision by allowing visitors to see and appreciate the vision of that era, via the works by Diebenkorn, Kelly, Paul Reed and dozens more that make up “The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later.”

Feb. 3, Bricktown Events Center

Theodore Waddell, “Horse #21”

Surprises in Store

Mexican, Cajun, German, Chocolatarian … from Alfredo’s to Yokozuna and two dozen points between, the highlights of multiple genres within OKC’s stellar dining scene are coming together in one singular event: It’s time for Taste of OKC 2018. The sample-studded fete helps Big Brothers Big Sisters change area children’s lives for the better, so fill your plate and enjoy.

Feb. 9-May 13, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

However often you may have visited the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, you likely haven’t seen these pieces. “Unlocking the Vault” showcases items that have largely been kept in storage, and discusses why and how the museum selects the pieces it collects. It’s on display alongside “Do You See What I See?” – a conversation-provoking selection of new paintings by Theodore Waddell. 80

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Awfully Exquisite Feb. 23-Mar. 4, OKC Civic Center OKC’s Painted Sky Opera Company presents a play to remember in Stephen Temperley’s “Souvenir,” inspired by the truly noteworthy career of perpetually aspiring soprano Florence Foster Jenkins. Join pianist Cosmé McMoon as he meets his new patron, and quickly discovers that her enthusiasm for performance is as huge and genuine as her talent is infinitesimal.

PHOTOS: “HORSE 21” COURTESY NCWHM; “ALBUQUERQUE” COURTESY OKCMOA; CAKE BY DONNA BAKER PHOTOGRAPHY

MasterFeast Theater


Sam Gilliam (American, b. 1933). Khufu (detail), 1965. Acrylic on canvas. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Museum purchase, Washington Gallery of Modern Art Collection, 1968.145. Photo: Joseph Mills


events SPEAKERBOX

Hola Migos! The Fab Three of New School Hip Hop are Back

New Kings and a Reigning Monarch A toast to the queen of rockabilly A L MOST 15 Y E A R S ago, on a road trip to Memphis, I stopped by Sun Records/Studio and

started chatting with a busload of English tourists, who were absolutely giddy to be at the career birthplace of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis. As we talked, one in the group mentioned extending the tour to Route 66 and visiting the home of Woody Guthrie and Wanda Jackson. “Wanda Jackson?” I asked. “Yes, the Queen of Rockabilly,” one of them answered. “The female Elvis.” I knew of Jackson then as an Oklahoman and a contemporary gospel singer, but I honestly didn’t know her full story. When I got back to the 405, I started my research and was blown away by her incredible life journey. Leave it to the Brits to understand and keep her career alive and prosperous. Texas honky-tonk singer Hank Thompson discovered Wanda Jackson (who was born in Maud, Oklahoma) in the mid-1950s and encouraged her to start singing rockabilly – a hybrid of “hard country” swing music that was the precursor to what we now recognize as rock ‘n’ roll. With her long black hair, hip-shaking sex appeal, glamorous dresses and heels, Jackson became a trendsetter. It wasn’t just her looks, or her songs (“Hard Headed Woman”) but what came out of her mouth, which can only be described as fire. Her vocal style was deep, smoky, angry and intimidating. The story goes that she briefly dated Elvis. I’m saying now that Elvis was scared of her. Jackson went from rockabilly to traditional country and western to contemporary gospel music until her rockabilly days were rediscovered by British and European fans of retro American music. In the mid-1980s, she was asked to play festivals in England, and she soon claimed a whole new audience of revivalists. That carried over stateside. Her 1987 record featured guests such as Elvis Costello and The Cramps. Accolades came from Cyndi Lauper and Amy Winehouse. In 2009, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early Influence artist. That same year, she got her “Way” in Bricktown, when they named an alley Wanda Jackson Way. Her comeback was made complete in 2011 with the release of “The Party Ain’t Over,” a collaborative album produced and released by Jack White. At 80, she is an international treasure, and with her jet-black hair and take-no-prisoners attitude, she comes off like Pat Benatar and Joan Jett’s never-aging stepmother. Jackson will perform Feb. 17 at the newly refurbished Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd, and tickets are available at ticketfly.com. - JERRY CHURCH

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If you think about rap and hip-hop in historical epochs, we are entering the era of “New School Hip Hop.” Typified by lo-fi, simple beats and rapid rap lines (sometimes known as Trap), Atlanta is at the center of all that is happening now. The Fab Three currently responsible for driving “The ATL” is Migos, three young rappers who formed a supergroup fewer than 10 years ago, and are on the verge of becoming a hip-hop empire. When they last played in OKC a year ago, Russell Westbrook and now-NFL player Joe Mixon were on stage dancing to “Bad and Boujee.”

Migos’ 2015 hit, “Look at My Dab,” sparked Cam Newton’s touchdown celebrations and “dabbing” suddenly became a thing that goofy suburban white kids did. Dubbed “the Fastest Mouths in the South” by Rolling Stone, Quavo, Offset and Takeoff are emerging as influencers who will cast the sound of New Hip-Hop for the rest of the decade. Their second LP, “Culture,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and has since gone multi-platinum. Keep an eye on them and enjoy the ride. Migos returns in concert at the Cox Center Feb. 7. Tickets are available at livenation.com.


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events

Lyla Campbell with a treat from The Baked Bear

Second Chance for Chocolate

New focus for Norman’s Chocolate Festival A F T ER T HE NOR M A N PTA stepped in as the new sponsor

of Norman’s Chocolate Festival, sweet lovers across the state breathed a huge sigh of relief.

ON THE RADAR EVENTS FEB 1 Chocolate Decadence Indulge in the good stuff at this Automobile Alley event featuring champagne, gourmet coffee, live jazz and plenty of chocolate confections. Hudson Essex Lofts, 825 N Broadway, OKC, chocolatedecadenceokc.com FEB 3 Mardi Gras Ball Support community builders SixTwelve by letting the good times roll at this delicious, delightful party with music from the New Breed Brass Band. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd, OKC, 208.8291, sixtwelve.org FEB 3 Boots and Ballgowns Those boots of yours were made for dancing right? Get ready to have a ball at the annual hootenanny of dinner, drinks and fun benefiting Infant Crisis Services. The Criterion, 500 E Sheridan, OKC, 778.7619, infantcrisis.org

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The Firehouse Art Center’s annual showcase of all things sweet had become an institution over the event’s 32 years, but last August, organizers announced they were discontinuing the event. However, the Norman PTA Council announced it would take over, with proceeds helping to fund educational grants across the district, supply additional resources for students and teachers and set up projects to increase family engagement. Norman PTA Council president Annette Price calls herself “ecstatic” the event would continue to benefit education. “We’ve received tremendous support from the community for this event where individuals, couples and families can indulge in the most decadent delights the area has to offer, while at the same time making connections with local businesses and nonprofits that support our kids.” “In a climate of state budget shortfalls, our PTAs are playing an even more important role by filling resource gaps where they can – supporting our hard-working teachers with classroom supplies, and increasing the effectiveness of instruction through targeted community and family engagement.” This year’s event will be held at Norman North High School on Feb. 10 – and due to the smaller venue, just 1,000 tickets will be sold. Festival-goers can expect samples of rich desserts from Amy Cakes’ decadent chocolate fudge mousse cake to the unexpected, such as The Diner’s chocolate chili. Firehouse Art Center will be present at the event they so lovingly crafted over so many years, offering family-fun activities alongside Moore Norman Technology Center, Pioneer Library System, Norman Public Schools Foundation and International Student Exchange in Oklahoma. Tickets can be purchased online at normanptacouncil.org/ news. - LOUISE SCRIVENS

WANT TO SEE MORE? VISIT OUR ONLINE CALENDAR AT 405MAGAZINE.COM FEB 8 Speaker in the City The Junior League of OKC, celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2018, welcomes celebrity couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic to OKC for a conversation about balancing work and family. The Criterion, 500 E Sheridan, OKC, 843.5668, jloc.org FEB 15 Celebrity Chef St. Anthony hospital continues its annual culinary series with a guest appearance and heart-healthy cooking demonstration from feted Harlem chef Marcus Samuelsson. Bricktown Events Center, 429 E California, OKC, 272.7383, saintsnearyou.com FEB 16-18 Bart & Nadia Sports Experience See world-class gymnastics, learn about family health and fitness and even join in the Runderground 5k beneath the streets of downtown OKC in this action-packed weekend. Cox Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, OKC, bartandnadiasportsexperience.com

MUSIC FEB 3-24 OKC Philharmonic Violinist Chee-Yun pours passion into her outstanding technique in a Classics concert Feb. 3, then Broadway star Michael Cavanaugh shares stupendous vocals in The Songs of Elton John Feb. 23-24. OKC Civic Center, 201 N Walker, OKC, 842.5387, okcphilharmonic.org FEB 1-11 Whistle Stop Concerts The Depot is right on the train tracks, so it’s the place to be when great music rolls into town: Nashville songwriter Christopher Williams Feb. 1 and Susan Herndon with The Bella Counsel Feb. 11. Santa Fe Depot, 200 S Jones, Norman, 307.9320, pasnorman.org

THEATER FEB 2-11 Heisenberg The uncertainty of two human beings who appear to

have nothing in common forming a connection and sparking a romance drives this Tony-winning play, in an Oklahoma premiere by CityRep. OKC Civic Center, 201 N Walker, OKC, 848.3761, cityrep.com FEB 7-25 Crowns Hats are the catalysts for portraying the lives of six southern ladies in this effervescent, jubilant gospel musical from Lyric Theatre. Lyric’s Plaza Theatre, 1727 NW 16th, OKC, 524.9312, lyrictheatreokc.com FEB 15-17 Musical Murder Mystery Dinner It’s meta-mayhem at this game within a game, as partygoers solving a mystery discover one of them was actually killed … and Sooner Theater guests get to uncover whodunit in an entertaining evening of dinner and detection. The Studio, 110 E Main, Norman, 321.9600, soonertheatre.org

PHOTO COURTESY F. JENSEN PHOTOGRAPHY

SPOTLIGHT


I wish to go to Jurassic Park Rylan, 6

heart defect

11

th A N N U A L

TUESDAY 11:00AM

MARCH 6 OKLAHOMA CITY GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

A BAG FULL OF WISHES

LUNCHEON featuring guest emcee, Abigail Ogle

LIVE AND SILENT AUCTION Bid on a stunning collection of handbags, jewelry, luxury packages and much more. SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE

$900 FOR TABLE OF 10 $100 FOR INDIVIDUAL TICKET

Chance to win authentic Chanel envelope handbag!

Join us in hearing inspiring wish stories and celebrating the children and families we serve. All raised funds go to granting the wishes of eligible Oklahoma children.

For purchasing or event questions, please contact Katie Massad kmassad@oklahoma.wish.org, Robyn Dumas rdumas@oklahoma.wish.org or call (405) 286-4000 today! $20 per ticket OR 6 tickets for $100

/MakeAWishOklahoma

Make-A-Wish Oklahoma creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

@makeawishok

@makeawishok

oklahoma.wish.org


events SPOTLIGHT

“Flippin’ your fins, you don’t get too far. Legs are required for jumping, dancing …” - Ariel “Challenge accepted.” - OKC Ballet

Family fun at your fingertips! Take a vacation by visiting one of Oklahoma’s more than 500 museums today.

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Fish Story The OKC Ballet’s undersea voyage GISE L L E , SL E E PI NG BE AU T Y, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet … ballet is filled with examples of would-be romances thwarted, if only temporarily, by adverse circumstances. But in terms of obstacles, “we can’t breathe the same substance” is kind of a doozy. Two young royals from vastly different realms find their hearts in the same place in the OKC Ballet’s stirring new presentation of The Little Mermaid, Feb. 16-18. This genuinely is a new experience – the world premiere of a ballet choreographed by artistic director Robert Mills – and while elements of the story will be familiar, be aware that it’s based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, not the animated musical. In other words, don’t expect to see a reggae-singing crab onstage. However, in the course of the mermaid’s tale (and in addition to her tail), audiences will see the handsome human prince who wins her affection and the gruesome sea witch whose magic makes the romance possible; hear a score assembled from music by elite composers including Borodin and Zemlinksy; and witness the lavish touches that bring the spectacle to life, from immersive sets and video projections to the unparalleled grace and poise of the corps de ballet. This family-friendly ballet will “be bright and colorful, touching at moments, and sad at moments, with an uplifting end,” Mills promises. Tickets are on sale at the Civic Center box office or online at okcballet.org – get them before you get left high and dry. - STEVE GILL


GRANDRESORTOK.COM

I-40 EXIT 178 | SHAWNEE, OK | 405-964-7263

Dance Makers offers the ultimate dance experience, blending fun and physical activity in an environment as welcoming as it is beautiful. Let our professional instructors introduce you to the exciting world of ballroom dancing. Take that first STEP … call us at 405.285.0095 • PRIVATE LESSONS • WEEKLY PRACTICE PARTIES • FUN GROUP CLASSES • WEDDING DANCES • GIFT CERTIFICATES

• CORPORATE EVENTS • SWING • CHA-CHA • WALTZ • SALSA • TWO-STEP

610 S KELLY AVENUE | EDMOND, OK | WE SPECIALIZE IN ADULT BEGINNERS FEBRUARY 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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backstory

The Crossroads of History A retail destination for decades

BACK I N T HE DAY, shoppers who wanted to hit the mall had

a couple of choices. Penn Square, which opened in 1960, was all open-air … but that led some customers to complain that it was too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Shepherd Mall, built in 1964, let shoppers browse in a climate-controlled indoor space. But it, like Penn Square, was on what was then Oklahoma City’s north side. Then came Crossroads Mall. The name was chosen because of the nearby intersections of I-35 and I-240, two major crossroads of Oklahoma City. It opened on Feb. 17, 1974, and the new mall provided a much-needed shopping destination for residents in that area, while drawing visitors from not just the metro, but across the state. “As a third grader in 1976, I remember attending a birthday party at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor at Crossroads,” says Oklahoma City resident Starla Jones. “It was located right inside the front door by Montgomery Ward. They brought out a mountain of French fries and ice cream, and the ice cream cones turned upside down were made to look like clown hats. I have so many good memories of Crossroads during those years.” When it was built, Crossroads Mall was one of the largest construction projects in the state. It was also among the 10

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largest shopping malls in the country, with four major anchor stores that included John A. Brown, Dillard’s, Montgomery Ward and JCPenney. “I remember my mother always shopped at JCPenney and Montgomery Ward, which my dad referred to as ‘Monkey Ward,’” Jones recalls with a laugh. “When I was a kid, I remember standing in the middle of the mall waiting in line to see Santa. Then as a teen, I recall throwing change in the fountain and going to the game room and driving the bumper cars. We would also walk through Hickory Farms and try out the samples they had sitting all over the store.” Eventually, the mall went into decline. Crime and safety concerns in the late 1990s became an issue, as well as the loss of major anchor stores including Foley’s and then Macy’s. An attempt at re-branding as “Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads” even failed. “I had not been to Crossroads for about five or six years,” Jones says. “The last time I went, very few stores were open, and I could tell it had seen its better days. It really was sad to watch its slow death through the years.” The once magnificent mall known as Crossroads closed its doors permanently on Oct. 31, 2017.

PHOTO COURTESY OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

BY MARK BEUTLER


+ 74° – Nursery

With Cox Homelife’s security, cameras and climate control, it’s never been easier for your home to take care of you. And your (thankfully) sleeping child.


Mister Robert F I N E

F U R N I T U R E

&

D E S I G N

Est. 1958 • 109 East Main • Norman • 405.321.1818 • MisterRobert.com •

405 magazine February 2018  

405 Magazine is the definitive city and lifestyle magazine of central Oklahoma, featuring people, places, events, dining and culture.

405 magazine February 2018  

405 Magazine is the definitive city and lifestyle magazine of central Oklahoma, featuring people, places, events, dining and culture.

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