POSTED ON AUGUST 13, 2008:
Food with a View
Native cooking styles and a picture window make for a naturally refreshing dining experience
Eat Fresh. "All items on the menu are original recipes," said Andrews, "and the only red meat we use is buffalo, which we get locally from Bartlesville. We also have cedar plank salmon, which is how the Native Americans prepare their fish."
For an artistic dining experience, Osage Restaurant and Catering has all the makings for lunch, brunch or special event reception, complete with a backdrop of Osage Hills and university student artwork on display.
The restaurant, in the northern section of Gilcrease Museum, is a quaint location like no other in the city. One entire wall is a window and looks out to the expanse of Osage Hills, and each season brings with it a changing view of nature and the natural habitat of this area.
Owners James and Kathleen Andrews' philosophy is to incorporate a native and southwestern American cuisine in their cooking. The Andrews assumed this restaurant space in December 2005, coming here after managing a museum restaurant in Kansas City and with more than 28 years of experience in the restaurant business.
"All items on the menu are original recipes," said Andrews, "and the only red meat we use is buffalo, which we get locally from Bartlesville. We also have cedar plank salmon, which is how the Native Americans prepare their fish."
Menu selections include small plates, soups and salads, entrée salads, sandwiches and large plates. I lunched here recently with two others, an adult and child. The host placed us as close to the window as possible for the little one to have a good view of the outside.
The adults began with the Mini Salmon and Corn Cakes ($5.95) and Buffalo Black Bean Chili ($6.95). The corn cakes were served with jalapeno corn chow and southwestern tartar sauce. These cakes were very tasty, hot and even better with the accompanying sauce. The salmon was evident and delicately balanced with the other ingredients. The chili was a classic recipe, with plenty of chili pepper, but not too spicy. It was an ideal blend for a rich chili taste. Tomato and white onion were prevalent in the chili, and small kidney beans added a little more depth. The ground buffalo meat was noticeably tender, and the chili had a thick, non-greasy texture. The chili was served in a bowl that appeared to have been heated to keep the chili warm.
For my lunch, I selected the Buffalo Flat Bread Taco ($7.95) and my friend ordered the Chicken Fried Steak ($8.95), both on the "large plates" section of the menu. My taco was served on rustic fry bread with Adobo sauce, lettuce, onion and tomato. This was served with a choice of Cole slaw, pasta salad, house-made potato chips or hand-cut fries. I chose Cole slaw. A layer of Adobo sauce coated the bottom of the flatbread; layered on top were the remaining ingredients. A sauce on the side or on top of the taco would have made this dish perfect. The buffalo was a nice switch from beef, and it was lean and deep in flavor.
My friend's chicken fried steak was a good choice, and, according to Andrews, a very popular menu item. It was tender and nicely crusted. A classic pork sausage gravy topped the steak, and the garlic mashed potatoes added an interesting blend of flavors.
The child with us ordered the Mini Pita Cheese Pizza. He enjoyed the pizza, saying the crust was soft, yet a little crispy, which he rather enjoyed. The sauce was a plain tomato and was topped with lots of cheese. The rest of his time was spent closer to the window, eyeing the birds, who having their own lunch from the birdhouses and other items supplied by nature.
Osage Restaurant's menu has a nice variety of items. Large plates include Seared Pork Loin and Peppercorn Sauce, Garlic Shrimp Florentine, Panko Crusted Stuffed Chicken and Alfredo Penne. A few sandwiches include Ken-Ada Buffalo Burger, which Andrews says is a very popular item, Osage Ranch Club, Osage Rueben Grilled Pest Shrimp Wrap, Southwest Chicken Salad Wrap, Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap and Smoked Cumin Spiced Chicken Sandwich.
A Sunday brunch is offered at $17.95 for adults, $14.95 for children under 12, and free for children younger than five years.
The restaurant is available for private parties, events and receptions in the evenings. Andrews said that groups can work with the museum to incorporate a gallery visit into the reception or party.
Osage Restaurant and Catering
1400 North Gilcrease Museum Road, inside the Gilcrease Museum
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