Few Tulsa restaurateurs are trendsetters, rather trend followers, and The Local Table is no exception. The restaurant follows the culinary trend of preparing clever meals from foods locally produced or outsourced from local companies, which can be a difficult feat.
The Local Table's menu is a mingling of both high-brow and regional common-folk foods. One entrée, Cajun Meatloaf with Mac and Cheese ($9.95) pairs some of the best comfort food for a hearty meal. The Cajun twist to the meatloaf adds enough excitement to tempt the meatloaf lover who will find this version zippy while still maintaining the traditional taste of ketchup blanketing the top. The Mac and Cheese is upscale enough to suit the adult palate.
Another entrée is Fried Chicken, which comes with Cherry Tomato Salad in Herbed Buttermilk Dressing ($12.95). Fried chicken is something I've had many times at grandma's house, and the salad is a healthy sub for mashed potatoes and gravy.
The Local Table owner Tuck Curren (who also owns Biga, just down the sidewalk in the same strip center) explained his concept: "I wanted to serve high quality food using local product, and at a reasonable price. Food with a twist is what I call it."
And, ownership is a family affair, as Curren and his wife, Kate, float between both Biga and The Local Table. His son, Zach, is the bartender at The Local Table and his daughter, Lindsay, is the general manager.
Curren, who worked for Bodean Seafood Restaurant for more than 20 years, has lots of experience in the restaurant business and knows more than anyone that preparing a menu from only locally produced foods can only go so far. So, he does what he can to support the local people, and then goes outside the state when needed.
"I partner with Bodean to get the freshest and best seafood. I go to Bristow for my eggs. I use Christian Cheese from Kingfisher. I did use Dawson Market meats until just recently; then, I try to source other local companies. We have local farm-raised chicken in Sapulpa. We consider 'local' to be a drive of six hours," Curren said.
In winter, he gets his veggies from Progressive Produce in Dallas but has recently arranged with Nuyaka Farms in Bixby to have fresh vegetables March through October.
"This will work out well because they can grow special things for us," he said. "I really see a growing trend in restaurants to be sustainable," which is his goal.
Menus, especially those eager to use locally produced foods, change with the seasons, and the current winter menu at The Local Table offers a pleasing variety for most all diners. Curren said he created all the items on the menu from years of reading and reviewing more than 400 cookbooks, then experimenting on his own.
He laughed, saying that when he decided he wanted to be a chef, he was too old to go to culinary school, so he basically learned the trade on his own.
Appetizers, such as Roast Chicken Wings with Honey-Soy Glaze or the Pork Tostada with Black Beans and a Tomato-Corn salsa, begin at $6.95. On the more expensive side, for $9.95, you can nibble on Tuna Tartar on Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Wasabi Vinaigrette or Lime and Coconut Shrimp with Red Curry Sauce.
When my friend and I dined here, we chose an appetizer from the day's specials, which had more of an appeal to us--Cornmeal Crusted Oysters with Baby Spinach, Warm Bacon Dressing and Homemade Potato Chips ($7.95). The oysters were fried with a heavy cornmeal crust and were very crispy but were not greasy which can happen sometimes with a heavy crust.
A light garlic flavor and what seemed to be a sprinkle of cayenne pepper added a spicy kick to each bite, which we both welcomed. Only three oysters were served on a generous bed of fresh spinach, fully covered in a warm bacon dressing. (Another oyster or two would have been nice!) The Homemade (sweet) Potato Chips were thin and crisp, adding a fine starch choice.
Our dinner selections included the Fried Chicken with Cherry Tomato Salad in Herbed Buttermilk Dressing ($12.95) for me and the Roast Lamb Chops with Tomato-Onion Chutney and Celery Root-Fennel Gratin ($23.95), a daily special, for my friend.
While these meals were being prepared, we had time to observe more of the décor and atmosphere of The Local Table. The dining room is cozy, with low lighting, and modern décor's sleek lines combine well with the black and white photographs on the walls. The noise level was a little high.
My chicken was a good, old-fashioned, fried two-piece chicken dinner. It was a good serving, actually more than I can eat in one sitting. The crust was very crispy, yet light, and the chicken was tenderly fresh and juicy--a difficult thing to do sometimes with fried chicken. The Cherry Tomato Salad in Herbed Buttermilk Dressing was good, but nothing too sensational. It was light and went well with the heaviness of the chicken.
My friend's lamb was prepared perfectly in his estimation. The combo of the Tomato-Onion Chutney with the meat was something he would not have considered, but was a good blend of flavors. The Gratin was rich and creamy, and just enough to add to the entrée.
Other menu items we found interesting for a return visit include the Rotisserie Rack of Pork with Sweet Potato Wedges and Salsa Verde and the New York Strip Steak Au Poivre. Some sandwiches that sound good are the Cuban Panini and Cheeseburger with Brie and Caramelized Onions.
"What I'm trying to do is to offer Tulsans quality food at a reasonable price, seven days a week. People can come in for lunch and eat a sandwich or cheeseburger, or come in for dinner for a great steak. We're open 11am-10pm every day," said Curren
The Local Table
4329 S. Peoria
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