7 May 2015
After that fine lunch at Cheever’s Cafe in Oklahoma City I drove the not-so-far route to Tulsa. A drive never helps a hangover, but I managed to get a little rest that afternoon. Thank goodness the drive was short (and the speed very fast). I came to Tulsa as part of a pretty regular pilgrimage of mine, to go to the 1st Rush show of a tour. I’ve done it for most of the tours for over 20 years, and if this was to be the final big tour, I definitely needed to be there for the first. And I get to eat Oklahoma for the first time.
I had underestimated the distance from my hotel to tonight’s destination, Juniper. But the 20+ minute walk in downtown Tulsa was odd, but needed. I got to the already pretty busy restaurant this Thursday evening and relaxed with a cocktail in hand. Juniper would not have looked out of place in Tulsa nor Chicago, a nice eatery with a wonderful menu.
I ordered after hearing some delicious specials offered, and was about to switch to wine when my starter arrived surprisingly quick — the maple-glazed pork belly.
The belly was rich and nice, with just enough meat to give it solidness and enough fat to make it truly decadent. The glaze was nice and added to the overall flavour. An excellent start.
The service has been extremely friendly but my server seemed to have been given a way too big section to handle, so it took awhile before I managed to get my wine. Just in time as my main also arrived soon, the duck breast.
Wow. This was damn good. Rarely do I get duck breast this good, cooked perfectly and flavoured perfectly. One of the best duck breasts in years. In Tulsa! Fabulous stuff, totally melt in your mouth. The accompanying items were a little lame, almost like recycled from the starter, but the duck just took my attention from everything else. Goodness this was delicious, so delicious I almost ordered another portion!
Odd thing about this place was that both of their desserts on offer takes over 15 minutes of prep, and watching my poor server run ragged from about 10 large tables she had to cover, I spared her and just paid and headed out. Plus, a storm (after all, I am STILL in Oklahoma…) was approaching so I decided to just leg it back to my hotel.
Juniper is a rather good place, a very pleasant surprise for me here in Tulsa. So far beef-mad Oklahoma is surprising me very pleasantly with some solid cooking. That duck is world class, I must say, from the flavouring to the execution. There are plenty of kitchens with Michelin stars that can learn from that duck. My one dinner in Tulsa and it was very solid, just the way I like it.
324 East 3rd Street