POSTED ON JANUARY 6, 2010:
Salute to the Americain
Rick's Cafe presents a soothing taste of Southern Comfort
For years, Rick's Café Americain was a mainstay at 51st and Harvard. After more than 30 years in that location, owner, operator and chef Rick Kamp has decided to continue his award-winning culinary feats in a new location at 31st Street, tucked away in the corner of a strip mall where St. Michael's Alley used to be.
This new space is just as cozy and comfy as his former location.
Rick's Café Americain has two dining areas, each in view of a gas fireplace, which separates each room. In one room, diners have an open view of the kitchen and a bar area. The space is rustic and quite charming with wooden features and French windows. The other dining room is outfitted with simple wall hangings and dimmed lighting.
I've been to this new location twice, and both times were exceptional dining experiences. Rick's has a neighborhood feel about it; the service is spectacular and the food has its own flair that is unlike other restaurants in town.
The menu appears to be simple, but the dishes are varied and complex in preparation and taste.
Beverages at Rick's are fairly standard, with a good selection of both domestic and imported beers, such as Budweiser, Amstel Lite, Bud Lite, Coors Lite, Sharp's, Kostritzer, Newcastle Brown Ale, Shiner Bock, Foster's and Peroni. Wine by the glass and bottle is available. The house wine, Leaping Horse Chardonnay, Merlot and White Zinfandel are a few offerings at $4.95 per glass.
Rick's menu is a varied selection of beef, fish and fowl. Rick's Originals include three appetizers: The Razor Clam Chowder ($4), Toasted Goat Cheese Dumplings ($6) and Crab Corn Fritters ($7). The Chalkboard menu includes Starters and Entrees. It is from the Starters list that my friend and I began with Rick's Pate, en Croute ($5); Grilled Asparagus Salad ($7), Baked Shrimp and Escargots ($8) and Shrimp and Porto Bella Ravioli ($9) are the other selections.
This Pate is in a loaf form and, as best as we could determine, is made with ground meat, sundried tomatoes, other vegetables, olive spices and herbs, then wrapped in what appeared to be spinach and then enclosed with a thin crust. A slice of this was on a plate of a plum-based jelly with a few spinach leaves spread about.
Each bite of this Pate was a treat of all these ingredients. The pate was cold and firm, but rich with flavors and textures. This went well with the complimentary bread that was served with our meal.
The Chalkboard entrees include Rick's Pasta Bowl, Smoke House Platter, Loin of Pork, Americain, Seafood Mixed Grill and Dry Cured Ribeye--all under $23. Rick's Originals Entrees include Rick's Theta Burger, Southwestern Quesadilla, Brick Oven Pizza, Blue Corn Plato, Fried Chicken Platter, Balsamic Grilled Chicken Breast, Razor Clam Boston Shrod, Witt Pan Fry Steak and Filet Mignon--from $12 to $24.
We both began with Rick's Caesar Salads ($4). This large-portioned salad was served on an icy-cold glass dish; the Romaine lettuce was crisp and the creamy Caesar dressing was plentiful. Shredded Parmesan cheese topped the salad.
Dinner specials are also part of this menu, and it was from there that I selected my Prime Rib dinner ($20); my friend decided upon the Witt Pan Fry Steak ($23).
I requested the prime rib rare, which was a good choice for this king of beef. The slice was a generous portion of rich and almost melt-in-the mouth tender beef. A hint of garlic and other spices enhanced this cut. Au gratin potatoes and green beans were served with this meal.
While the taste of the thinly sliced potatoes had a creamy cheese mixture between them, they were almost too tender. They creamed up quickly when chewing rather than holding a texture. The green beans were slightly firm and seasoned with bacon.
My friend's Witt Pan Fry Steak was excellent! This was a lightly breaded thin cut steak, which appeared to have been fried and then finished in the oven. Smothering this beef was a creamy-rich gravy of chopped scallions, thinly sliced mushrooms and quartered new red potatoes.
This dish was an upscale version of mom's beef, potatoes and gravy. And to finish this southern comfort meal, steamed collard greens were served alongside the main course.
Rick's menu for lunch features sandwiches, such as The Russian, Rick's Reuben, Grilled Chicken Foccacia, Southwestern Caesar Chicken Wrap and Smoked Turkey and Spinach Wrap. A number of the dinner selections are also replayed for lunch.
Rick's Café Americain
3324 E. 31st St.
Mon.-Sat. 11am-2:30pm, 5:30-9:30pm
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A28949