The Green Onion has been described as a "Tulsa icon" for many family celebrations and great food.
It hasn't always been the shining jewel it was originally praised to be though. The restaurant came under disrepair with original owner Dave Ingram. He sold it, and the new owners struggled to keep the place alive and going. It closed last year.
The icon refused to die, however. New owner Max Doyle desired to keep it open and going, while several other Tulsa treasures had fallen. Doyle's name might be familiar to you as he's also the owner of The Chalkboard and Garlic Rose.
"I love the response from everybody about hearing that the Green Onion is open again," said Jason Mead, General Manager of the newly remodeled and newly opened Green Onion.
This coming year Green Onion will celebrate its 25th anniversary, and after its Oct. 26 reopening and with new ownership and management in tow, customers will be pleased with what they find.
Mead said one of the main changes customers will notice is the "face lift"--new paint, new carpet, new ceiling and new local art work.
"The basic structure is there, but we did a deep cleaning and brightened it up a little," he explained.
The changes are noticeable once you walk in. It has a welcoming feel about it; the new lighting has brightened the dining room, yet it remains cozy and intimate. More spacing among the tables is something to consider.
Beyond the cosmetic changes, menu revisions are minimal. Mead said Corporate Chef John Fard of all three restaurants has "all the original recipes that have been around for almost 25 years and has blended some of the old menu favorites with some new selections.
"For example the Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer is the same as it always was and is still very popular," he said. These shrooms are stuffed with a blend of cheese, bacon, green onion and topped with garlic butter and then baked. Also, the Baked Brie--imported Dutch brie wrapped in puff pastry and baked to golden brown and served with raspberry sauce, fresh fruit and toast points--is an "old favorite" and remains on the menu. The House Salad of field greens tossed with homemade lemon balsamic vinaigrette and topped with cucumbers and tomatoes is also a crowd favorite that made the cut.
A new appetizer, Mead said, is the Bruschetta, which gets rave reviews from The Chalkboard and Garlic Rose customers, as "one of the most popular items." Additionally, he said they kept some of the Green Onion standards, such as a few of the steaks, lobster and Rack of Lamb.
"A new popular item is the Smoked Chicken Torteloni, which is a really light dish (homemade pasta tossed in light butter sauce with tomatoes, green onions, and mushrooms). We have something as simple as the Chicken Picatta up to lobster."
The Chicken Picatta ($15.95) is what I selected when I dined here recently, while my friend selected the Peppered Steak ($24.95). But we began with a Cheese Plate appetizer ($12.95).
According to the menu, the Cheese Plate includes Brie, smoked cheddar, gorgonzola and smoked Gouda with seasonal fruit, pepperocini, olives and marinated mushrooms served with toast points.
Our plate deviated a bit. In place of brie, we had blue cheese, which was very good and--perhaps done on a whimsical note--had rectangular-cut slices of American cheese included on the plate, too. We like American cheese but surprised to see it served on a cheese plate among such other stately cheeses. Marinated mushrooms (perhaps in Lowry's seasoning salt and Worsteshire sauce), kalamata olives, crisp red grapes accompanied the plate. A nice touch when serving the Cheese Plate would be to have the server introduce the cheeses being served.
My Chicken Picatta is described as a "classic" picatta; the chicken breast was sautéed and a lemon-caper white wine sauce blanketed the chicken and angel hair pasta. The chicken was delightfully tender, moist and had a solid flavor.
Many capers topped the chicken, which I reveled in, enjoying the salty capers with the citrus-lemon sauce. The pasta was a little too soft, I thought, to hold with the chicken, though. The vegetable medley of julienne-cut zucchini, carrots and squash was average.
My dining companion's Peppered Steak was a 10-oz. black Angus sirloin rolled in course ground pepper then grilled; plenty of sautéed white onions, mushrooms and red and green bell peppers topped the steak. The steak's edges were seared to a crispiness that my friend enjoyed--for both the contrast of taste and texture. The steak was prepared perfectly at medium rare and was lean and firm with a bold meaty flavor.
Green Onion's famous baked potato was excellent. Our server clued us in on how they are prepared. The potatoes are bought already peeled and are then steamed and deep fried to crisp the edges. The result is a fully edible, crispy and tender potato.
Our experience was very pleasant, but we found a few areas that could have made this a better experience. Our black tablecloth had a number of noticeable spots from earlier diners; the salt and pepper shakers were sticky; our cheese plate had a number of fingerprints and water spots on them; and our service was good, but our server was shared among at least seven other tables at one time. He was pulled in too many directions and checked on us at odd intervals.
Green Onion also serves lunch and Sunday Brunch. Green Onion's lunch menu has a number of the dinner items but at reduced prices and smaller portions. The Open Face Sirloin Sandwich is the priciest at $15.95. Sandwiches and salads are the main fare.
Mead said the Sunday Brunch, 11am-2:30pm, is quite good with "a little something for everyone." At $16.95 for adults and $5.95 for children 7 and under, the Brunch options include a carving station, omelet station, and salad bar, Eggs Benedict, waffles and more. Live music is performed during Sunday Brunch and Wednesday through Saturday.
4532 E. 51st St
Mon-Thurs. 11am-2:30pm, 5-10pm
Fri.-Sat. 11am-2:30pm, 5-10:30pm
Under new ownership and management, the Green Onion has a new look in décor and a menu that Chef John Fard blends some of the old favorites with some new updated selections.
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