After a less-than-warm welcome at Daily Grill, the evening ended well. To be fair, a little background information is necessary. On this particular evening, both the PAC and BOK Center had events and at 6:45pm, people were buzzing around 2nd Street outside the PAC and in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, but also in Daily Grill.
Walking into Daily Grill from the outside door off 2nd Street (rather than the hotel entrance), the scene was full of activity: people bellying up to the bar; people sitting at tall tables in the bar area; and people occupying tables in the restaurant.
My friend and I entered just inside the door and waited to be greeted and seated. A number of servers passed us by without a word. Finally, I asked a server in the area if we could seat ourselves. He said we needed to go to the hostess station, which is strangely located, to be seated. We navigated our way through the crowd and I added my name to the list, preparing for a 25-minute wait. We were okay with that, so went to the bar area for a drink until our table was ready.
We sat in the bar area no less than 15 minutes before we were approached by a server to take our drink order. We enjoyed the wait though, glancing now and then at the TV and watching the buzz of activity. We then realized more than 25 minutes had passed. I checked at the hostess station, only to discover that my name had been bypassed because the hostess could not find my guest and me. Apart from standing in front of the hostess station, our presence could not have been more obvious sitting in the bar lounge area.
Once we were seated, the evening improved dramatically. We wanted to like this place, for it is a great asset to Tulsa; just the look and feel of Daily Grill is perfect for the city. Our server was fabulous and very accommodating, and even the manager came by to check on our dinner; he was most apologetic with our initial experience.
By now we were hungry and ready to order. Choices include starters, homemade soups, potatoes and sides, appetizers, starter salads, entrée salads, pasta, vegetables, steaks and chops, seafood, chicken, grill classics, DG favorites and desserts.
To begin our dinner, we ordered fried calamari ($9.50) and seared raw Ahi tuna ($13.95). The calamari was some of the best I've tasted. The squid rings were encrusted with a lightly seasoned batter; tasty cocktail and Cajun tartar sauces accompanied the dish. My friend's only complaint was that there were no squid heads or tentacles along with the rings.
The Ahi tuna was the better of the two. The fresh tuna was served Sashimi style (thinly sliced) and came with pickled cucumber, fried spinach, wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce.
All was right with this appetizer-- from the delicately fried spinach to the rich, tender tuna. The accompanying condiments provided a unique flair.
For our main course, I selected our server's recommendation, the Idaho Trout Amandine ($17.95): fresh Idaho trout pan-seared, topped with toasted almonds and lemon-butter sauce with steamed red potatoes and vegetables. Each bite was very rich, so rich in fact that a little of my dinner became lunch the next day. The little red potatoes were creamy and bite-sized. It came with a large stalk of freshly steamed broccoli.
My friend chose the Charbroiled Rib Eye Steak ($26.75), a 16 oz. Angus Beef aged 28 days. It was served with shoestring fries and a vegetable, again broccoli (the steak can be blackened upon request). My friend enjoyed the flavor of this steak; it was surprisingly thick but was slightly overdone. The shoestring fries were crisp and light, and an enjoyable contrast to the meal.
During the course of our meal, many of the other guests left for their evening events, and all the while, the server was personable and very attentive to our needs. He helped redeem the restaurant from the rocky start.
The menu is full of variety, as it should be in a hotel restaurant where guests come in with different preferences. A sample of selections include angel hair pasta Pomodoro, penne pesto with chicken and broiled shrimp Pomodoro, oven roasted garlic honey chicken, grilled herb chicken breasts, charbroiled skirt steak, New York strip steak, charbroiled filet mignon, chopped beefsteak and onions and New York pepper steak.
Some DG Favorites include Daily Grill cheeseburger classic, original drip beef and California turkey melt. Save room for dessert: carrot cake, strawberry shortcake, key lime pie and fresh baked fruit cobbler of the day.
Full-menu breakfast begins early at 6:30am. Rush Hour menu (catching the going home crowd) offers such items as popcorn shrimp, crispy chicken sidekicks (Parmesan-crusted chicken sandwiches), chicken quesadilla, spinach artichoke dip, seared rare Ahi tuna and chicken pot pie, and a full dinner menu is ready for those dining before a show (consider reservations for dinner). Check Daily Grill's Web site for the recipe of the month.
Crowne Plaza Hotel
100 E. 2nd St.
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