POSTED ON FEBRUARY 13, 2008:
Simple Name, Complex Menu
3316 Brookside introduces a fusion of flavors that change with the seasons
3316 Brookside, 3316 S. Peoria
For chef Guy Romo, 3316 Brookside is a passion as well as a tough challenge. Competition reigns high on Brookside, and this very new venture is in its infancy stages as diners are checking out one of the newest restaurants on Brookside.
3316 Brookside's menu is, as many are today, called "seasonal," taking advantage of seasonal foods to create a dining experience reflective of available changing foods. Romo says this seasonal menu begins with its use of local produce, the freshest he can find, and builds from there. Such a schema can be both an advantage and a disadvantage for any restaurateur, for some diners want stability in a menu and others enjoy the challenge and excitement of allowing a chef to create seasonal dishes.
3316 Brookside is a small, cozy place with a welcoming feel. Décor is simple and minimal, with music playing in the background. Jazz was the choice this evening, although Romo says modern folk is also part of the repertoire through the week. Dinner is served until 10pm Tuesday through Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, the kitchen closes at 10pm but from 11pm to 2am, 3316 transforms into a cocktail lounge. Romo says Friday and Saturdays "are DJ nights for the loungey late-night crowd." A special late-night lounge menu is featured during this time.
On this evening, my friend and I found the menu filled with a creative blend of sophistication and down-home foods. Romo classifies his chef training as an "informal formal education," having grown up in the "restaurant trenches." He broke away from a marketing position in Texas, and came to Oklahoma and opened a restaurant in Eufaula. He later closed the place, moved to Tulsa and his passion for food kept him searching.
"I'm a Texan," he said, which translates into a penchant for grilled foods, "chops and lots of hearty foods. Yet, I have training in French cuisine and incorporate that with Spanish cuisine." This blend is represented in the menu.
We found this interesting fusion of food represented on the menu in numbered divisions. Section 1 consists of opening selections, such as Daily Wood Grilled Flatbread, Goat Cheese Fritters, Barbecued Pulled Pork Tamales (which are Romo's favorite menu item), Meatloaf Sliders and 3316 Fries.
My dining companion and I chose the Goat Cheese Fritters ($6) and the 3316 Fries ($6) to begin our meal. The Fritters were an excellent choice. These delicate fritters were gently prepared allowing the cheese to carry the flavor to a bit of tanginess to each bite. Apple smoked bacon/pomegranate molasses was served to accent each fritter's flavor. The Fries were simple yet fashionably blue, a potato with a creamy flavor and eye-catching color. The dip accompanying the fries was a chili crème fraice/sweet pepper ketchup, perfect and light.
Section 2 of the menu consists of soups and salads. Romo says his popular signature salad is the Toasted Pistachio and Poached Pear Salad ($7), described as warm pistachio crusted goat cheese, poached pears, seasonal greens with a pear au jus vinaigrette and pomegranate molasses. Section 3 is the dinner entrees--Pecan Grilled Bone In Ribeye, Beef Tenderloin Diablo, Pecan Grilled Strip Loin, Crispy Pan Fried Pork Tenderloin, Pan Roasted Rainbow Trout, Seared Sea Scallops, Bone In Roast Chicken Breast and 3316 Burger; prices range from $8 to $26.
From this, we selected the Pork Tenderloin ($16) and the Beef Tenderloin Diablo ($22). The Pork Tenderloin was a very good selection. Thin slices of pork were lightly breaded with a beignet-type crust then fried. This came with apple pecan compote, whisked maple mashed sweet potatoes and a spiced cider reduction. The pork was very tender and tasty and the crust did not cloud the flavors; the sweet potatoes were creamy and accented well with the other flavors vying for competition on the plate.
My friend's Beef Tenderloin Diablo was treated with a piloncilla (sugarcane) rub and came with smoked cheese grits and a hollandaise Diablo, which my friend found milder than expected. The beef was excellent in taste and texture, and the blend of cultures and cuisines came together in this dish. We both selected the seasonal veggie, Swiss Chard, which was excellent--a rich and tangy reduction was poured over the wilted chard.
Section 4 of the menu includes desserts--Apple Doughnuts, Raisin Walnut Bread Pudding and Something Chocolate. I chose the Apple Doughnuts ($6), which were an unexpected pleasure. Granny Smith apples are thinly sliced and lightly breaded with a beignet-like dough batter then fried. These light doughnuts come with a cinnamon sugar and rum caramel cream dip. The Something Chocolate on the menu, says Romo, is a weekly offering of a chocolate special, the intention being to get feedback from the diners on what they like, and then building the favorites into the menu.
All plates arrived in a beautiful presentation of color and texture, only to be outdone by the taste of each dish. Romo says the menu will continue to ebb and flow with the seasons, allowing his French-Tex-Spanish flair to continue to blossom with unique blends of flavors.
3316 S. Peoria
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