An "eclectic bistro" is how Fifty 5 Degrees is described, and by all accounts, that is a fairly good description. The southeast section of Tulsa bordering Jenks is growing, and with this growth comes the expansion of restaurant creativity.
Walking into Fifty 5 Degrees was like walking into a restaurant in a city other than Tulsa. The newness of its sleek, crisp style with architecturally playful lines and designs creates a pleasant, relaxing dining experience. (I would suggest ditching the short row of two-top tables down the center of the main dining room. Too crowded, too impersonal.)
The narrow rectangular space is divided by a tall curtain that can easily separate one half of the long space into two, one for public dining, another for private parties. One long wall has indentions with frames to set off art pieces, akin to shadow boxes. Square lines accented by curves give an angular, yet soft feel.
I dined with a friend recently and found the experience delightfully relaxing. We were seated in a nice area apart from other diners, which was a big plus for me. (Ever wonder why, with many open tables, a host(ess) will place you immediately next to an occupied table?)
Soon after our server for the evening took our drink order -- a margarita and a Manhattan -- and even sooner, brought our cocktails. The margarita was great; the Manhattan needed a little more practice. It was not an authentic, classic Manhattan.
We now were ready to settle into a serious study of the menu, which included Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Entrees and Side Orders. The menu is not pages long, which excited me. The Appetizer list includes Pan Seared Chèvre Cheese, Wood Grilled Baby Lamb Chops, Wood Grilled Flatbread, Caramelized Onion and Applewood Bacon Tart, Fifty 5 Degrees Cheese Plate and Mussels Galician Style.
We decided on the Cheese Plate ($14.95) and the Mussels ($10.95). The Cheese Plate was a chef's selection of artisan cheeses, which tonight included Pepper Jack, Manchego (a mellow sheep-milk cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain), Romero (Spanish goat cheese), and Santerelli Cheese.
All were served at room temperature to capture the full flavor--each was exquisite. Red seedless grapes and red apple slices together with midget crisp sour pickles and green olives accompanied the cheeses. Flavors and textures collided in great form on this Cheese Plate.
The Galician Style mussels (Galicia is an autonomous region of northwest Spain, basking in the Cantabrian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean) were next. The large bowl of mussels was steamed in chicken broth laced with garlic, shallots and paprika. Excellent!
Tender, tasty, and most enjoyable.
Dinner for me included two selections from the Soups & Salads menu, Warm Wild Mushroom Salad ($8.95) and French Onion Soup ($5.95). The Salad was built with many warm sautéed mushrooms, baby spinach and dotted with Applewood bacon. It was a good, simple salad.
The Soup was caramelized onion soup with toasted brioche and topped with Gruyère cheese. This soup was a good version of this classic soup, yet nothing too special to set it apart from others I have had.
My dining companion chose the Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut with white Truffled Hollandaise, a Crab Arugula Potato Pancake and Fried Leeks ($27.95). All were cooked quite well and came with a very stylish stacked-plate presentation. Flavors were rich and complementary with each bite. The Halibut was light and fresh. For a side, he choose the Yukon Gold Potato Puree ($3.95) which was creamy and buttery -- just as a good Yukon Gold should be.
Other dinner selections include Wood Grilled Muscovy Duck, Peppered Pan Seared Pork Loin, Frenched Chicken Breast, Wood Grilled Skirt Steak with Caramelized Onions, 8-oz. Black Angus Beef Filet, 14-oz. New York Strip Steak and Frites and Grilled Rib Eye Steak.
The owners are also the purveyors of Garlic Rose and The Chalkboard restaurants, which hints to the eclectic nature of the menu.
Fifty 5 Degrees is worth the trip to 99th and Riverside Parkway. (By the way, the name Fifty 5 Degrees is for the drinking temperature of red wine.)
Fifty 5 Degrees Food and Wine
9904 Riverside Pkwy, Ste. 100
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