Power Lunch: The Local Table

When I first heard about The Local Table, the latest brain child of Bodean Restaurant Group’s Tuck Curren, he told me it’s target clientele was “everyone.”
Though the menu seemed original in its juxtaposition of comfort and adventurous foods and in its wide use of local meats and produce, I couldn’t help but picture some mass-produced grub pub with goofy Marilyn Monroe relics on the walls and mediocre food.
I couldn’t have been more wrong about this latest incarnation of Curren’s spot just south of 41st and Peoria that in recent years has hosted eateries like Fuddrucker’s and T2.
I walked in expecting loud pop music and a 15-year-old hostess, but two colleagues and I were greeted by a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. The 4,500-SF space, which cost $200,000 to renovate and ready for its opening in mid-July, was designed by Kate Curren (wife of Tuck Curren) with clean lines, eye-catching blocks of colors like primary red, yellow and lime green and trendy accents like bamboo shoots and black and white abstract wall art.
We were seated at a low-top wood table for four in the main dining room, which was punctuated by an eye-catching coffered ceiling, charcoal carpet and stained concrete. Without having to raise our voices over noisy waitstaff or mood music, we ordered drinks and the Pork Tostada with Avocado and a Tomato-Corn Salsa ($6.95) to start.
The flavors in the tostada – fresh corn, cool cilantro, onion, avocado, well-seasoned pork – were balanced with just the right amount of kick. Ingredients were layered and very fresh, and the pork was tender enough to cut with a fork.
We had a great time reading the menu, which features dishes like Cajun Meatloaf with Mac and Cheese ($9.95) and Fried Catfish BLT with Chipotle-Chili Tartar ($8.95). One of my companions saw the Fried Chicken with Cherry Tomato Salad in Herbed Buttermilk Dressing ($12.95) on the menu and was sold right away. This dish was a rare example of how fried chicken doesn’t have to be greasy to be scrumptious. The seasonings harkened to Grandma’s homemade. As my companion said, “For me to be eating dark meat and enjoying it means a lot.”
The tomato salad served with the fried chicken showcased locally grown cherry tomatoes, which were accented with just the right amount of torn basil and that Oklahoma favorite, herbed buttermilk ranch dressing. The tomato salad was a welcome deviation from the buttery corn and mashed potatoes traditionally served with fried chicken.
Thinking that if fried chicken was on the menu then good BBQ would be a sure thing, my other companion sprung for the BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich ($8.95), which, sadly, left much to be desired. It’s hard to find downright bland BBQ in a region that is so renowned for the best.
Suggestion: Order the Rotisserie Rosemary Chicken on Bread Salad ($12.95) instead. The delicate seasonings of this dish, manager Lindsay Curren’s favorite (yes, The Local Table is a family affair), tasted very light and clean. The Rotisserie Chicken will be a great dish to enjoy after a fall day of shopping on Brookside.
The Bread Salad served with the rotisserie chicken featured pine nuts and dried cherries and was dressed with a sherry mustard vinaigrette dressing, which brightened all the ingredients. The bread for which the salad is named was butter-toasted and delicately seasoned.
Though portions were generous even for the evening diner, we still saved room for dessert. By recommendation of our server we ordered the Crème Brulee ($2.99) to share. Served with fresh whipped cream, strawberries and dusted with powdered sugar, this dessert was a vision. We ordered just one serving, but after huge portions at lunch, a third of a 3-4” light, fluffy dessert was the perfect end to a large lunch in stifling late summer.
Much of the produce used in the dishes served at The Local Table came from Nuyaka Natural Farm of Bristow and Tulsa’s Three Springs Farm. Meats are fresh from Tulsa’s Dawson’s Market and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. We loved the local feel of the menu and knowing we were dining on ingredients grown right here.
If you can’t swing by until the evening, I recommend a spot in the bar area, which seats about 25. The bar was cozy with a touch of class, complete with large, south-facing windows and a large flat-screen TV. Wines by the glass range from $5-10. Bottles rate up to $60, with the average bottle at $40. Plans to bring some local wines to the bar at The Local Table are in the works.
A private meeting room, adjacent to the bar area, seats about 20 people and is outfitted with a 50-inch flat-screen TV. Feel free to bring your laptop, which can be connected to the TV for presentations. There is no charge or minimum to reserve the meeting room.
Though The Local Table is on Brookside, it sits south of the trendy 35th and Peoria strip. One of us happened upon a friend at lunch, but we didn’t see any coats and ties. The Local Table would be a great spot for a casual lunch meeting with a client or colleague from out of town who has been asking what you know about Tulsa’s famed farmers’ markets, but you might opt to whisk your high-profilers away to some swankier locale

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