Redrock Grill: Casual, Classy, Consistent
Local Dining By BLAKE AUSTYN
SOUTH TULSA EXPERIENCE: Redrock Canyon Grill opened in South Tulsa at 9916 Riverside Pkwy in 2007. The upscale restaurant serves Southwestern and American dishes and has continued to maintain a steady business due to its consistent food quality and high caliber of customer service.
BLAKE AUSTYN for GTR Newspapers
Redrock Canyon Grill opened in Tulsa at 9916 Riverside Pkwy in 2007. I have to admit that my affinity for local, non-corporate entities kept me for a long time from venturing into the restaurant, which offers Southwestern and American cuisine in a relaxed yet upscale atmosphere.
Redrock Canyon Grill, owned by Hal Smith Restaurant Group, also owns Charleston’s Restaurant, Upper Crust woodfired pizza, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, and Louie’s Grill and Bar, among other restaurants.
Also, as a midtown dweller, the very South Tulsa location did little to draw me.
However, all the feedback I had ever received from ones who had visited there was positive. And not just positive but borderline raving about how good the experience is. So, I visited a few weeks ago for dinner. My meal, the atmosphere and the quality of the service was impressive, so I was beyond thrilled when I was asked to follow up my dinner with a second one for this column.
And I was curious to see if the restaurant would prove itself to be consistent – a feat not easily achieved.
For my second visit, I took my parents who had visited the restaurant a handful of times before and continue to be impressed.
Seeing as how they feel about the restaurant, we knew others surely agreed, so we knew that if we waited too late to arrive at the restaurant on a weekend night, we would have a long wait. Yet, even arriving at 5:30 p.m., we were told that we had a 45-minute wait.
I then realized that the restaurant’s bar, which can accommodate about 20 people, was still nearly empty. I quickly snagged seats for my small group. By 6:00, the bar was as packed as the rest of the dining room.
The restaurant is filled with large and larger booths and tables, including tables on the restaurant’s enclosed patio which faces west. We were there in the midst of all of Tulsa’s recent rainstorms, so the Arkansas River was full. Yet, the rain, having, for a few hours, stopped, left a beautiful mist hanging over the Oklahoma Aquarium and the city of Jenks.
Our seats at the bar provided a perfect spot to enjoy the view and also take in the high energy atmosphere created by the filled dining room and the restaurant’s servers.
The restaurant also engages in sunset celebrations each evening. Our server warned us of the festivities that would take place later; yet, we did not stay late enough to experience it.
To start our meal, we ordered the Trout Dip, which was the evening’s featured appetizer. The dip consisted of trout, cream cheese, sour cream and dill.
For my entree, I chose the Persimmon Hill Meatloaf, with my parents both opting for the Cluck ‘n Oink-a combination plate of rotisserie chicken (the restaurant’s specialty) and St. Louis ribs.
The meatloaf was made of beef tenderloin, pork sausage and mixed cheeses. It was flavorful and a diversion from the traditional meatloaf but just enough of a diversion to make the dish interesting and slightly unexpected. The meatloaf came with redskin mashed potatoes, which had a nice texture, and I opted for sautéed spinach in place of the sweet glazed carrots that normally come with the dish.
My parents were equally pleased with their dinner choices. The rotisserie chicken was moist and well-seasoned, with the ribs falling off the bone and having very little fat. Their dishes also came with mashed potatoes and carrots.
While meal prices lean toward the higher end (the most inexpensive entrée costs $14), dishes are large. On both of my dining occasions, I have not left the restaurant without a to-go box.
However, on this evening, my leftovers were extra large because I was saving room for dessert.
Something Chocolate is one of only a couple desserts the restaurant offers.
It’s a not-too-sweet take on an ice cream sandwich, with two brownies taking the place of the cookies, ice cream in the middle, and whipped cream and hot fudge for the topping.
It sounds simple and rich, but it’s neither of the two. Though, it is large so it’s wise to make sure you have saved room for it or plan to share.
While Redrock’s food preparation and quality causes the establishment to stand out among the local restaurant landscape, what causes the restaurant to take a leap into the “exceptional” category is the level of customer service delivered.
While each server is assigned to a certain section, all servers are responsible to care for all customers, regardless of where customers are sitting. This only serves to add to the seamlessness of the dining experience and ensures that the customer is well taken care of by all. In addition, the servers are friendly and appear genuinely happy to be there – not an overly common occurrence.
I will definitely be back.
Redrock Canyon Grill is open for dinner seven days a week and Sunday brunch.