Rustic Elegance

Bin 35 Bistro serves French-American cuisine in the heart of Brookside.

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Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.

Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.

Right at the entrance to cozy, upscale Bin 35 Bistro is an elegant yet friendly bar. It’s the sort of place you want to linger, and when Annie and Timothy Tow walked in a few months ago, they fell in love with the place and never left. Experienced restaurant managers both, they immediately knew that their longstanding fantasy of owning a chic yet welcoming bistro had suddenly become real.

“It’s become our home,” says Timothy Tow, who looks a bit like a Silicon Valley CEO (he is indeed a website designer). “We always loved having huge family dinners at our home, and now our regular guests have become our family. Years ago someone told me that the owner is the hardest worker because he’s working for everybody, customers and staff. That’s what my wife and I do.”

A few feet away in the kitchen, the young yet immensely talented head chef, Brenden Rotz, smiles in agreement but keeps his eyes on the stove, where a pot of mussels is simmering. Those mussels are a very bad choice as an appetizer. Served over French fries with a creamy caper sauce laden with colorful heirloom tomatoes, they are so irresistibly delicious that you can’t stop eating until you are too full to eat an entree – and those entrees would be a shame to miss. An impossibly tall pork chop smothered with a sauce redolent of fragrant fresh peaches and spicy mustard. Halibut, salmon, and grilled vegetables; simple plates, perfectly prepared. Crunchy fried chicken served with a white gravy made, as it should be but never is, with bacon grease. Short ribs braised five hours.

The summer menu is the result of a month of brainstorming sessions with Annie Tow and veteran chef Grant Vespasian. Thinking of the menu, Annie smiles. “It’s bright colors, it’s heirloom tomatoes, it’s the essence of summer.”

Bin 35 is located at 3509 S. Peoria Ave. on Brookside in Tulsa. A menu is available at bin35bistro.com.

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