Doc's Wind & Food
3509 S. Peoria Ave.
Mon-Thurs, 4-10pm; Fri, 4pm-2am; Sat, 11am-2am; Sun, 11am-3pm
An old Creole proverb says that "want makes a monkey eat pepper," meaning that you will eat anything if you are hungry enough. Luckily, if one is hungry, especially for that unique flavor of Creole cuisine, Doc's Wine & Food is right on Tulsa's own infamous roadway for revelers -- Brookside.
Nestled comfortably in the restless ribbon, Doc's boasts a cozy patio where you can comfortably people-watch while enjoying a gorgeous autumn day. Inside their doors you will find a bi-level dining area with large banquettes for larger parties and more intimate tables next to its robust bar. It has an upscale feel while still having a relaxed atmosphere. Much like the food of New Orleans itself the dishes may seem simple and comforting, but attention to the details is what gives it a certain joie de vivre! And Doc's deft Executive Chef Ian Van Anglen is definitely all about the details.
"It's about bringing the favorite flavors and dishes of one of the most unique areas of the United States to Tulsa in a relaxed, accessible environment. It's what Creole food is all about -- comfort and bold flavors," Van Anglen said.
Word on the street is that Doc's has some of the best cocktails around. I felt a great responsibility to report the truth on this matter, so the cocktail menu got some special attention. As a gin and tonic kind of gal, it is delightful to know you can (and should!) try their house-made tonic made with citrus, spices, and quinine.
But in the spirit of this particular evening, I ventured outside my comfort zone and tried the Cucumber Crisp ($8.50) with vodka, house-made ginger beer, fresh lime juice, St. Germain and muddled cucumber. The usual coyness of the cucumber had an unexpected savory flavor that played boldly with the other ingredients. My dashing dining companion favored the macabre and ordered the Corpse Reviver #2 ($10), a lively concoction of gin, Lillet, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice and absinthe. Needless to say, the cocktails at Doc's are a merrymaker's dream and deserve every bit of street cred they have.
Another one of my favorite kind of bars is an oyster bar, and Doc's has that too, with luscious oysters aplenty. Whether your like them raw or jazzed up Bienville style ($16 half dozen) baked with chardonnay, shrimp, bacon, mushroom, parmesan topping, Doc's is firing pearls for those who fancy heaven on a half-shell. You can cheaply tickle that fancy during their happy hour, with $1 Gulf oysters on the half shell and a selection of wines and cocktails -- like Tony Collins or St. Germain -- for only $5 Monday through Saturday (!) from 4pm until 6pm.
Doc's menu is filled with favorites whether Creole speaks to your soul or if you crave something a little tamer but everything has a distinct N'awlins flair. The Small Plates menu has a bevy of treats, like the classic French Moules Frites ($13) with Prince Edward Island mussels, pommes frites, and herb butter. But it was the Blue Crab Fritters ($13) that had us all a'twitter. Four golden globes arrived with a frisee salad and sauce remoulade. These fritters were bursting with blue crab and contained little to no other filler. It was fresh, seasoned with a skilled hand and were a perfect start to a beautiful meal.
Doc's stretched its legs on the Cajun Classics menu with dishes like Chicken Jambalaya ($15) with shrimp and andouille sausage, but it was the Shrimp & Grits ($12) and Shrimp Etouffe ($19) that caught our eyes. Doc's version of the southern classic comes with the most lovely, cherub-like shrimp I've ever seen, reclining delicately on a pillow of spicy stone ground grits mixed with farmhouse cheddar. Though I thought the shrimp made the dish, those grits really took center stage with a perfect consistency and a flavor that is completely craveable.
Mug Shot. Smiling Service is on tap at Doc's Wine and Food.
Shrimp E'touffee is a quintessential Cajun dish and it is not a dish that can be prepared by amateurs. The soul of an e'touffee is creating the roux, which is a mixture of flour and oils that are cooked to a deep caramel-brown color, and studded with ingredients like the holy trinity -- green peppers, onion and celery. It takes a wicked attention to timing, because if you don't cook the roux enough, the e'toufee will lack depth; too long, well, you've burned more than just time. Doc's e'touffee was picture perfect, with those darling shrimp making another appearance, but this time surrounded by a pool of rich, mahogany gravy with bits of andouille sausage throughout. Just enough heat and heavy on the flavor, Doc's e'toufee hit the target.
After dinner, my sweetie and I were treated to a trio of house-made ice creams. Churned out right in the kitchen, each flavor took ice cream to a whole new level. The brightly-hued bubblegum ice cream was like a light, fluffy dream with the bubblegum flavor not being too overpowering. The black walnut was rich and creamy with the unique -- almost bitter -- black walnut blended into a creamy masterpiece. The real eye-popper was the pretzel ice cream that packed a wonderful salty-then-sweet flavor that I absolutely adored! The ice cream wasn't on the menu at the time, but when you're in be sure to ask what flavors they have and you'll be in for a treat. In addition to the ice cream, they have Southern Bread Pudding ($9) with brandy hard sauce and choice of ice cream and a Duo of Country Tarts ($8) with the flavors changing daily.
For a lovely dinner or a relaxed lunch, Doc's has you covered. But Doc's has quickly established itself as the place to meet up for brunch. Ahhh, the blessed brunch where drinking with the sun high in the sky is perfectly acceptable. It wouldn't be brunch without mimosas and Bloody Marys, and Doc's offers up four flavors of mimosas (orange, cranberry, pomegranate, mango) for $4 and a Cajun Bloody Mary ($8) with their own house-infused pepper vodka from their fabulous bar.
Oh, of course, brunch is also about the food and brunch at Doc's features many favorites. Their Pain Perdu ($11) is their classic French toast with fresh fruit, maple syrup & whipped cream, with bacon -- or add a spicy punch with andouille sausage. I can imagine that this is a fantastic combination of flavors! The Eggs Nola ($16) is their spin on a boring Benedict, with blue swimmer crab cakes, poached eggs, grilled asparagus, & jalapeno hollandaise.
Doc's definitely brings on home the beautiful flavors of New Orleans and it has quickly become a Brookside favorite. The food is absolutely dynamite, prepared expertly by the wizards in the kitchen. The ambience is perfect for a leisurely gossip session over brunch or an intimate date for dinner. It's rare that a restaurant can maintain such great continuity while offering so many options to their guests. From happy hours that include oysters to their bountiful brunch, Doc's goes over and beyond that of a typical fine dining restaurant.
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