POSTED ON JUNE 25, 2008:
Explore the Ocean Blue
Owner combines a little surf and turf with a welcoming atmosphere
Added Ambiance. Dine on excellent prime-aged steaks and some of the freshest seafood in Tulsa in the cozy atmosphere of Bluestone. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, diners have the added treat of listening to the soft sounds of the piano.
Steve Al-khatib, owner and manager of Bluestone Steakhouse & Seafood Restaurant, sought to bring a fine dining experience to south Tulsa. Al-khatib is no stranger to the restaurant business, having owned a deli and café for more than 25 years.
He spent six months remodeling the space to achieve just the right atmosphere. And since the restaurant's opening in January, he is pleased with how business is going.
Bluestone is situated in a strip center on south Sheridan near 101st. From the outside, it looks like any other storefront, but inside the mood changes.
Although the dining area is one large space, the furniture arrangement breaks up the room into three sections: an area for booths, one for tables generously spread around, and a bar area that is slightly elevated with more tables for dining. A fireplace adds coziness to the dining experience.
Soft blue pendant lights add warmth to a room filled with dark wood paneling. The bar area is especially welcoming, with a large bar anchoring almost an entire wall of the restaurant. The granite counter lends sophistication to the bar area. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, diners have the added treat of listening to the soft sounds of Heinz Christian at the piano.
My friend and I dined here on a Saturday night and thoroughly enjoyed our experience. (We did sit right next to the piano, however, which occasionally made it difficult to carry on a conversation.) Service was fabulous; our server was professional and attentive.
The name Bluestone has no significance, said Al-khatib, except that he is particularly fond of the color blue and that he wants to be sure people know that while Bluestone is a steakhouse, seafood is also prominently featured. The blue, he said, is the connection to the blue of water.
The menu includes Appetizers, Soup, Salads, Sandwiches, Entrees, Seafood and Desserts. Among the appetizers offered are Crab Cakes, Fried Baby Portabella Mushrooms, Flatbread Pizza, Bluestone Artichoke Dip, Shrimp Cocktail and Asian Beef Brochettes. My friend and I decided on the Mushrooms.
Al-khatib says this is a big seller and I can see why. Baby portabella mushrooms ($8) are lightly dipped in buttermilk and coated with special Bluestone breading, then fried to a golden brown and delicate crispness. A horseradish sauce accompanies these delectable shrooms and adds a tasty kick to each bite. Though fried, they aren't heavy, and soon disappeared from the plate.
Before our dinner, my friend had a dinner salad (iceberg lettuce, tomato wedge, carrot shavings). He selected the citrus vinaigrette dressing for his salad, which he enjoyed, picking up on the orange zest in the dressing. I had a cup of the Manhattan Clam Chowder ($4).
We were both eager to try a fine steak that evening, so the seafood samples will have to wait for another time. Entrees include Aged Filet, Aged Top Sirloin Steak, Chicken al Mare, Aged Blue Rib Rye, Aged KC Strip and The Chop. Prices range from $29 to $16. My friend ordered the Aged Filet ($24/6 ounce) and I the Rib Eye ($29).
Entrees are served with a dinner salad or soup, garlic mashed potatoes or a baked potato and the vegetable du jour. My friend ordered his bacon-wrapped filet rare, and it was prepared to perfection. He savored each tender bite. The filet was basted with Bluestone's house marinade and grilled. The mashed potatoes were smooth and yes, garlicky. The vegetables were basic, but not overcooked and slightly on the crisp side.
My Rib Eye was a 14-ounce hand cut steak, grilled medium rare and topped with a three-pepper Maytag bleu cheese sauce. I ordered a baked potato with my dinner. The steak had a great taste, but it was a little too fatty for my liking. The leaner bits were almost buttery and extremely tender. The cheese sauce was a delightful taste with each bite.
Seafood options on the menu include Barbequed Salmon, Mahi Mahi, Ahi Tuna and Sea Scallops. Al-khatib raved about the lunch menu, saying that throughout the summer, lighter lunch dishes will be served with very reasonable prices for the quality of food served. A Sunday Brunch, from 11am-2:30pm serves such items as French Toast Brioche, Eggs Benedict, Crab Benni, Southwest Corn Cakes, Belgian Waffle, Steak & Eggs and more.
Bluestone chef Victor Melgoza has an impressive background in the kitchen business, having been at The Bistro when it opened, as well as The Chalkboard. Al-khatib said Melgoza prepares the sea scallops "better than anyone else in Tulsa." And, he added customers say Bluestone's Ahi Tuna is the best they have ever tasted.
Bluestone is worth the drive for mid-towners. For south Tulsans, Bluestone is becoming a neighborhood fine dining experience.
Bluestone Steak House
10032 S. Sheridan
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A23681