Since my immersion in the OKC food scene about 9 months ago, I have enjoyed some great food at restaurants I might not have normally visited. One of my favorites of recent has to be Rococos. Owner Bruce Rhinehart has brought his East coast flair to Oklahoma City and is serving up some of the best seafood and Italian dishes this side of the Mississippi.
My first experience at Rococos was a visit to their location near 23rd and Penn (which also happen to be my first “tweetup” lunch too). It was a very large group (40+) but the service was nothing short of superb. I had the steak chili and our group was treated to an appetizer of “cookies”. Now, when I heard we were getting cookies before the meal, I wondered if they just did things differently at Rococos by serving dessert before the meal. Then the cookies came to the table and I realized that cookies were actually small bite sized appetizers served on toasted baguette slices. There were a variety of flavors, but my favorite was The Gangster (Italian sausage, sweet onions, pomodoro and Parmesan cheese). An order of this appetizer is perfect for 3 or 4 guests, and will run you anywhere from $5.95 – $8.50 depending on the toppings.
The pasta and seafood dishes offered at Rococos are impressive, and most of the “starters” are enough for an entire meal. The choices include Steamed Little Neck Clams ($12.25), Deep Fried Calamari ($7.25) and Surf & Turf on a Stick (which I had along with a salad for dinner one evening and was the perfect amount of food). But the BEST appetizer on the menu is by far the Jumbo Lump Crabcake. This little bite of heaven has a superb outer crust and large chunks of crab that are tender and flaky. I could eat three of these for dinner and call it a day they are that good. I’ve had crabcakes from some of the best restaurants in the Northeast, including The Cove Fresh Fish Market in Mystic, CT and I’m not kidding when I say these crabcakes blow away the competition. This is an OKC must try.
The large dinner menu includes my personal favorite, Penne Bolognese ($17.50 for a huge bowl), as well as fabulous seafood choices like Bamboo Steamed Cod (market price), Lobster & Shrimp Risotto ($27.50) and Rhode Island Fishermans stew with plum shrimp, scallops, sole, sausage, clams & mussels that are sauteed, then braised in a saffron tomato broth (WOW).
The list of sides and add-ons is equally impressive. The saute grape tomatoes with toasted garlic is a must try, as is the wild mushroom risotto. Don’t forget about the soups and salads. Ranging from $4.25-$6.25, try a cup of the Old School Favorite New England Clam Chowder or for a vegetarian option order the Mushroom Soup, which combines leeks, shiitake mushrooms, and scallions into a velvety soup.
I have enjoyed several meals at Rococos, including the fabulous Sunday brunch (which my 7-year old would gladly choose to have every Sunday and honestly requires an entire blog post of its own), but if you really want a unique dining experience make a reservation for the Chef’s Table at Rococos Northpark. Chef’s Table is an “L” shaped booth in the corner of the main kitchen area, which allows you to see what really goes on behind the scenes in a upscale restaurant. The night we arrived to enjoy Chef’s Table just happened to be 10 days before Christmas, and a Friday night, so the restaurant was insanely packed. We were celebrating a friends birthday, so there was plenty of wine to enjoy along with amazing food that was specifically selected for us by Chef Bruce. The food was so amazing, I can barely remember anything I ate (or maybe that was because of the wine). Nonetheless, I highly recommend trying the Chef’s Table for a special night on the town.
Rococos has two locations, 23rd and Penn and 122nd and May in the Northpark Mall. Hours vary by location, so check out their website at http://rococo-restaurant.com/ for information or to make a reservation. Next time you find yourself craving pasta or seafood, stop by Rococos.
Favorite QuoteOne cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. ~ Virginia Woolf
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