Light My Fire
The Colcord Hotel’s new restaurant, Flint, is sparking interest in the Oklahoma City culinary scene.
When one imagines the great culinary cities of the United States, Oklahoma City doesn’t usually spring to mind. Recent additions like Flint, however, are poised to change all that, igniting the taste buds of diners looking for an upscale, yet comfortable, eating experience.
Located inside downtown Oklahoma City’s historic Colcord Hotel, Flint reflects the marriage of classic sophistication and contemporary luxury that has made the building one of downtown’s most tempting attractions. The restaurant serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, catering not only to hotel customers from around the nation, but also offering elegant, everyday options for downtown’s ever-growing business and residential community.
Flint is just one more spark fueling the explosion of culture that has occurred in downtown Oklahoma City over the past decade. “Because (the Colcord Hotel) is an historic building and one that everyone knows, we take a lot of pride in being a big part of the downtown renaissance and being a part of such a bright future for our city,” says Andrew Black, executive chef at Flint and vice president of culinary operations for Williams and Associates Hospitality.
Black, a native of Jamaica, has brought a lifetime of global experience to bear on Oklahoma City’s latest word in fine dining. “I have spent most of my culinary career traveling the world, cooking at resorts and hotels in the Caribbean, Cuba, Negril and others,” he says. “I have always felt that cooking is an art. Have fun with it. Through my experiences, I have seen endless opportunities to create new recipes in a globe-trotting array of cuisines, from French and Mediterranean to Japanese and Southwestern.”
These widespread influences have led to world-class dishes the likes of which have rarely made appearances in Oklahoma City’s restaurant scene, such as seared day-boat scallops with celery root pistachio puree; pumpkin kabocha squash gnocchi served with edamame pesto and shaved goat cheese; jalapeno hush puppies served with gherkin aioli and sweet Thai chili sauce; and branzino with Yukon gold potato cream, broccolini and a Chardonnay citrus reduction.
But while the food may sound complex, Black maintains that the philosophy behind Flint is straightforward. “We take a simple and direct approach to cooking using the best available ingredients,” he says. “Stay true to the ingredients and the product and let them speak for themselves. At the same time, introduce items that are not widely used in our city, but are rather popular in the culinary world.”
Other pillars of the restaurant’s virtually instant success, of course, are service and ambience. “We have a very strong relationship with our guests,” Black says. “They have told us many times that the biggest draw is the combination of the space’s modern and cool, yet simple design, the great fun food and beverages, and our upscale, but yet casual approach to service. A lot of our guests tell us that it has been a long time coming for a venue to open here locally that combines those attributes, and it is almost like being in another city.” 15 N. Robinson, Oklahoma City. www.flintokc.com