Unscripted Eats (and Drinks)
Unscripted Eats Goes Oklavore
As this issue hits the press it’s June—Local Food Month here in Oklahoma. And with the vibrant, fresh offerings of the summer season, we are celebrating the beautiful bounty and focusing our culinary passions on being “Oklavores!”
We kicked off our gastronomic adventures for this issue with a visit to Amelia’s, the newest eatery on North Boston, in the Brady Arts District. The creative, from-scratch kitchen specializes in “Oklahoma Gaucho” cuisine cooked over the open flame of their unique Argentinian-style grill and the menu boasts perfectly paired wines from around the world.
Upon arrival you’ll likely be captivated and comforted by the elegance and relaxed simplicity of the restaurant’s décor. We hope you’ll be equally as impressed by owner Amelia Eesley and Executive Chef Kevin Snell’s commitment to sourcing locally procured foods whenever possible. Because of this, their enticing menu is ever evolving, based on seasonality and availability of ingredients.
We decided to be adventurous and have head bartender Jared Almeria surprise us with his current favorite pours. We were delighted when served a refreshing sparkling strawberry vodka thirst quencher, a satisfying Old Fashioned that features grapefruit juice and local Baby D’s Bee Sting’s “Sweet Thang” hot sauce—an unexpected combination of perfectly balanced flavors—and, finally, a most unique green Bloody Mary made from tomatillos instead of traditional red tomato juice, garnished with juicy cherry tomatoes and a chunk of house-made andouille sausage. WOW.
A delectable start to dinner was the Chef ’s Bite: a house-made pickle, scallion and creamy chunk of to-die-for sharp white cheddar cheese from local Swan Brothers Dairy, wrapped in a hearty slice of onemonth- cured ham from a happy pig raised in Adair, Oklahoma. We could have eaten about 10 of those. Not kidding.
Next up was the exquisite Thai Style Watermelon Gazpacho, featuring pickled watermelon rind and a selection of herbs from Tulsa Farmers’ Market. This is a memorable, must-taste, perfect summer soup.
Three different salads were served for us to enjoy:
Marinated Cucumber Salad (simple and savory); Smashed Beet Salad (seared beets, goat cheese, almonds, arugula tossed in a tomato vinaigrette); and Wild Rose Farms Strawberry Salad. OMG… spinach, Danish bleu cheese, walnuts, strawberry-infused balsamic. This one was our favorite, but later Lisa shared that she suffered in silence while having to share with Ana and Penni because she really wanted a Jethro-sized bowl all to herself!
Next Chef Snell pulled out all the stops with three over-the-top entrees:
• Vegetarian house-made fettuccini with fresh English peas and tender pea shoots and tomato confit, all tossed a creamy, brothy sauce of lemon, pepper, butter and white wine. Soooooooooo good.
• Campfire rainbow trout served with locally grown broccolini and fine herbs, almonds and apricots. Big white flakey bites of fish, with delightful morsels of apricot… amazing.
• Crispy achiote pork belly, kind of like pho in that it comes in a pot with posole—you add fresh lime, cilantro, jalapeño and avocado to taste. The brothy combination of flavors and textures was really, really good. A dish we haven’t seen offered on other local menus.
Although we were completely stuffed to the gills, a very special blueberry cobbler topped with house-made cinnamon ice cream was placed before us with three spoons. Few words could explain just how good it tasted… but damn good comes to mind.
After having our socks knocked off by the incredible local sharp cheddar cheese we tasted at Amelia’s, Ana and Lisa decided to jump into the car a few days later to track down more of that velvety deliciousness.
In what used to be rural Claremore, they found the little spot of heaven that is Swan Brothers Dairy, right off the Will Rogers Turnpike, just east of town. Family owned and operated since 1923, the brothers started with one cow, now there are about 75; depending on the time of year, each produces six to 10 gallons of milk per day.
Milking happens twice a day, seven days a week, rain or shine, at 2:30am and 1:30pm. We had the good fortune to talk with Zach Hollingsworth, who married into the family and represents the fourth generation to continue the Swan family legacy.
This quaint, spotless, well-run dairy ships cheese around the country and offers a retail area where loyal customers come and go all day. For those of you who might remember “old-school milk,” the kind that had about two inches of cream on top, you definitely need to add Swan Brothers Dairy to your list of places to visit!