Gilcrease Restaurant Offers Southwestern Flair
Local Dining By BLAKE AUSTYN
DINING WITH A VIEW: The Restaurant at Gilcrease offers diners western views of the beautiful rolling green Osage Hills. The restaurant serves lunch and Sunday brunch. Its lunch offerings include sandwiches, salads, entrees and desserts.
BLAKE AUSTYN for GTR Newspapers
Gilcrease Museum is known for its collection of Native American art and artifacts. But beyond that, an additional attraction to be found is at the museum’s restaurant, sitting above the beautiful rolling green Osage Hills.
The Restaurant at Gilcrease follows a southwestern theme and serves lunch and Sunday brunch. Its lunch offerings include sandwiches, salads, entrees and desserts.
My friend and I sat down for lunch on a weekday around 12:30 p.m. and were, fortunately, seated along the restaurant’s back wall of windows that overlook the Osage Hills that are on the museum’s western edge.
The first thing our server did was bring cheddar, chive and garlic bread for our table, which was a flavorful touch to whet our appetites.
For our appetizer, we tried the Fried Oysters with ancho aioli. The oysters had a nice breading, not overly thick, that helped to subdue the sliminess of oysters that normally turns me off from the dish, and the aioli sauce added a tasty dimension to the flavor.
For my main course, I ordered the Carne Asada Salad with grilled peaches and ginger lime vinaigrette. The salad was made of arugula topped with chopped onions and cucumbers. The grilled peaches and steak were both on the side. The steak was cooked and flavored well with very little fat, and the peaches brought a hint of sweetness to the tangy arugula.
“The Carne Asada Salad is one of my personal favorites; the steak is marinated overnight in Chimichurri sauce,” says Executive Chef Geoffrey van Glabbeek.
My friend ordered the Vista Buffalo Burger with white cheddar and bacon jam – a burger that has been on the menu always; it’s a tradition, says Glabbeek. The burger comes with the choice of french fries or sweet potato chips. My tablemate chose the fries, which came out a little less crispy than desired. The burger came with the traditional lettuce, tomato and onion, with the bacon jam offering an unexpected and enjoyable sweet flavor contrast to the vegetables.
For other items to try, Glabbeek suggests the Buffalo Frog Legs with blue cheese and carrot chips: “a fun and slightly different item.”
One of the more popular entrees is the Mushroom Ravioli with asparagus and tomatoes.
“When I wrote the menu, I included this dish even though it didn’t really fit with the southwestern theme of the restaurant,” he says. “Its popularity was a pleasant surprise.”
While we chose to skip dessert, the menu offers six options of varying prices and tastes, including the French Lemon Tart, Black Forest Pot au Crème and Vanilla Pound Cake with fresh berries.
The Daily Cupcake is an inexpensive small offering for diners who want a quick sweet treat. The Sorbet Trio is gluten-free and non-dairy.
Glabbeek has worked for the museum’s restaurant for almost five years.
Glabbeek grew up in Tulsa and attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He helped to redesign the museum’s restaurant when the University of Tulsa took over management of Gilcrease in 2008. He has worked at various local restaurants through the years including as one of the opening sous chefs at Montereau retirement community.
As fall nears, Glabbeek plans to transition into a fall/winter menu near the end of September that will feature more soups and heartier dishes. He also plans to incorporate a few Native American inspired dishes in conjunction with the museum’s upcoming exhibit of western scenes: Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley, which will run Oct. 4-Jan. 3.
The Restaurant at Gilcrease is open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and for Sunday brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m.