The end of the year always produces lists of superlatives. The expansion of Oklahoma City’s food scene in 2017 is no different. From small, white tablecloth fine dining to eat-with-your-hands counter service, the new additions to Oklahoma City run the gamut.
By Jacob Threadgill | Photos by Jacob Threadgill and Gazette / file
Baba G. Mediterranean Grill
4401 W. Memorial Road
The concept of Baba G. is kind of like Chipotle meets Mediterranean food. You don’t see freshly made tortillas at Chipotle like you see pita bread baked in an oven right in front of you like at Baba G. Owner Ghassan Dabbour started in the restaurant business in Philadelphia and opened the OKC concept this year. Customers can choose a plate, wrap or salad with their choice of toppings.
La Casa de la Abuela
2724 W. Britton Road
We all yearn to return to a meal at grandma’s house, and owner Lalo Garcia aims to do just that with his Mexican restaurant near Lake Hefner. It has generated plenty of social media buzz since its October opening. Don’t go expecting to find Tex-Mex. The menu is filled with Mexican dishes like pambazo, fry bread stuffed with potatoes and chorizo. It also has a vast breakfast menu, including two types of chilaquiles, seven days a week.
1 NW Ninth Street
Founded by Marc Dunham, a Culinary Institute of America alum and owner of Iguana Mexican Grill, Nashbird brings the trend of Nashville hot chicken to Automobile Alley. Order the peppery and spicy chicken available at four levels of heat (or no spice) on a sandwich or buttermilk biscuit. On the sandwich, the accompanying coleslaw gets lift from a lemon kick. Dunham plans to branch out and add other flavors of chicken as the restaurant gets its legs.
15124 Lleytons Court, Suite 103, Edmond
Brunch might be viewed traditionally as a weekend activity, but it’s serious business for the latest addition to Hal Smith Restaurant Group. The Edmond location sells “brunch squad” T-shirts, and JA.M.’s mix of lunch and breakfast is available 6 a.m.-3 p.m. seven days a week. The menu focuses on local ingredients for everything from green chile pulled pork eggs Benedict to quinoa bowls and Prom Cakes (oatmeal and granola pancakes topped with bananas and granola).
Stone Sisters Pizza Bar
2124 N. Broadway Ave.
Founded by sisters Sheli Reynolds, Tami Lake and Traci Stone, Stone Sisters Pizza Bar combines organic and local ingredients and a “miracle” pizza crust. The signature crust made of sprouted spelt is good for those with gluten insensitivity but also turns the crust into a nutritional positive. Choose from any of the specialty pizzas, including the Bossy Big Sister, which adds cooked penne pasta as a topping, or choose your own toppings at the bar.
1610 N. Gatewood Ave.
The newest restaurant from Hungry Town Concepts (The Mule, Anchor Down), The Press combines Oklahoma classics with vegan options. Chef Beth Ann Lyon devised the menu that ranges from chicken-fried rib-eye to vegan dumpling soup. It also has a robust brunch menu, salads and bowls and designer cocktail drinks. The former printing press has been renovated into a space that is both bright and funky.
St. Mark’s Chop Room
6462 Avondale Drive, Nichols Hills
Located next door to En Croute, literally sharing a kitchen, St. Mark’s Chop Room is the neighborhood steakhouse concept devised by chef Jonathon Stranger and restaurateur Drew Tekell. In honor of Tekell’s father, the intimate setting sells Wagyu beef sourced from Macomb. It offers tenderloin, rib-eye, strip and a rotating chef’s special, which includes bone-in rib-eye that has been dry-aging for months in anticipation of the holidays.