Local Dining By BLAKE AUSTYN
PHILBROOK DINING: Siegmund Brown, left, proprietor of La Villa Restaurant, stands with La Villa Head Chef Benjamin West in the restaurant’s dining room at Philbrook Museum of Art. La Villa serves lunch Tuesday-Saturday and Sunday Brunch.
BLAKE AUSTYN for GTR Newspapers
It’s no secret that the Philbrook Museum of Art is a gem among gems in Tulsa.
Its restaurant, La Villa Restaurant, located on the museum’s lower level, offers a beautiful setting for a relaxing lunch with an eastward facing wall of windows overlooking the museum’s luscious, well-kept gardens.
Restaurant and catering entrepreneur Siegmund Brown took over ownership of La Villa in 2012. Brown is a graduate of the School of Hospitality Management at Florida International University; he later earned his from the University of Tulsa.
After an extensive food and beverage career working for a national firm, he settled in Tulsa.
The restaurant’s head chef is Benjamin West who received his classical training in Canada from the George Brown Culinary School in Toronto and has worked in fine dining and on five-star cruise lines.
La Villa’s menu endeavors to mirror the airy, open feeling of its interior with its current seasonal menu of salads, sandwiches and soups.
Local produce from Scissortail Farms, which produces sustainable produce through hydroponic farming, is used for its salads.
The restaurant also offers catering and event services and a much-raved-about Sunday Brunch, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The brunch is on the affordable end, at $24.95, and includes seafood, carved meats and seasonal specialties.
I chose to bring my mother for lunch at La Villa on a Saturday afternoon recently.
I started with a Spicy Bloody Mary upon a recommendation I received earlier in the week from a friend, who did not steer me wrong. It had just the right amount of spice and tanginess. I would return just to have another one.
For our appetizer, we chose the Pan Seared Crab Cakes. Two cakes come per order, and they are brimming with crab, making the cakes hearty yet still light and moist.
For our entrees, I chose the La Villa Turkey Burger, upon the suggestion of our waitress. The burger is topped with avocado, cheddar cheese, sautéed onions, lettuce, tomato and grilled pineapple. The pineapple added an unexpected yet welcome, sweet flavor to the burger.
My mother ordered the Quiche, which is a vegetarian dish. It was light and moist, and I appreciated the flavor nuances that I could detect, and our waitress said that it is a popular dish. However, I could see some individuals walking away disappointed that the flavors were not stronger.
For dessert, I was in the mood for something light, so I chose the Lemon Tart, which, aside from the Bloody Mary, got my vote as my favorite item. It was light and sweet but still tart. And the flavors only improved upon a few moments of savoring.
La Villa Restaurant is open Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. as well as for Sunday Brunch. Call 918-748-5367 to make a reservation.