POSTED ON JULY 4, 2007:
Leaving town, coming back or just a need to get invisible
This is my second visit to an area hotel of late to explore dining possibilities, and at Bentley's Bar & Grill, I have uncovered a fine place to go to just hang out and go virtually unnoticed.
Wishing I were flying out of the city in pursuit of some exotic destination, I recalled some fabulous adventures as I made my final destination the Radisson Inn, located just south of the Tulsa International Airport's entrance.
Walking in, my dining companion and I put ourselves in the shoes of visitors here--and we were delightfully impressed with the looks of lobby at this Radisson Inn, clean and comfortably predictable.
We soon found a sign directing us to Bentley's and were seated in comfortable leather lounging chairs.
Bentley's has one very large lounging area with a full bar and flat screen TV's offering a diversion of entertainment should conversation wane or if one is dining alone. (There is also another smaller dining area apart from the bar.) My friend and I found this low-lit dining room most comfortable on this leisurely Saturday afternoon.
Our server greeted us, presenting us a lunch menu of Prato's Tuscan Café. Tuscan and Tulsa favorites are listed. Antipasti (Appetizers) include such items as Shrimp Scampi and Buffalo Chicken, Tuscan Bread and Beef or Chicken Quesadillas.
The Portabella alla Griglia ($7.95) looked the best to us. It is grilled and stacked portabella mushrooms baked with Mozzarella cheese and red roasted peppers drizzled with Balsamic vinaigrette. It sounded fabulous!
It came to us as described. Two, three- to four-inch in diameter mushrooms were layered with cheese and red bell peppers. The mushrooms were appropriately firm, thick and meaty. It was prepared, as my friend said, in the "spirit of Italy" because of the few simple ingredients which have the ability to catapult these simple fungi into a delectable dish. The balsamic vinaigrette was what elevated this appetizer to its status on the appetizer list.
Zuppa (Soup), Insalata (salad), Panini (sandwiches), and Pasta & Pizza were the other selections at Prato's. We both decided to pass on the Zuppa and Insalata, although The Wedge salad looked inviting and refreshing--a simple crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with creamy Bleu Cheese dressing and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, then sprinkled with cracked black pepper and bacon bits.
I decided upon the Milano Chicken Melt Panini ($8.95) while my friend chose Prato's Specialty Pizza ($11.95).
My sandwich was a grilled chicken breast with Bermuda onions, mushrooms, mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese, Roma tomatoes and red pepper aioli served on Italian bread.
(By the way Bermuda onions is merely a type of yellow onion that is not grown in Bermuda. In fact, Bermuda onions seemingly no longer exist, so most likely they are young Spanish onions!)
This sandwich was quite good--the toasted bread added a nice textural complexity to the chicken. Tomato and lettuce were also part of this sandwich.
My friend said his pizza was surprisingly good. Coming from him, a pizza aficionado who lived in Italy a number of years, this was high praise. The crust was firm but tasty--he thought it may have been prepared by hand. That, or Prato's had a good frozen dough to work with.
The sauce (or "house Ragu" as is described on the menu) was a tad sweet for him, and bit tasting on the "manufactured" side rather than homemade. The toppings of hard salami, capacola ham, roasted red peppers, Portobello mushrooms and then topped with Mozzarella, Provolone and shaved Parmesan cheeses.
I did sample the N.Y. Cheesecake for dessert, and while desserts are either Sara Lee, Cheesecake Factory or Elias brand, this cheesecake was not bad--creamy and rich.
While probably not a standard destination for dining, Bentley's is not a bad choice to escape from the ordinary--and think about the next flight out of town.
Bentley's Bar & Grill
Radisson Inn Tulsa Airport
2201 N. 77th East Ave.
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