The restaurant takes its name from the wood fire grilled steaks and chops – that and its cigar room – but its devotion to the freshest products available, local whenever possible, also sets Smoke apart.
Chef Erik Reynolds, who moved to Tulsa from Austin to cook at Smoke, works with Frontier Produce and other partners to find the best local sources. He can’t wait for spring and the return of the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market, where he plans to purchase many ingredients that will wind up on the menu.
Smoke’s manager Cory Kester says that not only will the food be local, it won’t be foreign to Tulsa-area diners.
“The restaurant concept is inspired by American food, which means you have probably had all of our dishes, but not the way we do them,” says Kester.
The restaurant will offer a seasonal core menu, but they hope to keep customers guessing – and coming back – with a menu that is always fresh and somewhat in flux depending on what is available and in season. The Market Fish and Chips are an example. One day it might be made using wild salmon, the next day fresh cod.
Reynolds uses the wood fire grill to full advantage across the menu. For instance, the Grilled Romaine salad is like a Caesar salad but is tossed on the grill, giving it a smoky flavor. Starters, such as the Grilled Blue Point Oysters and decadent Smoked Tenderloin Tartar, also benefit from the grill.
The star of the show, of course, is the meat selection. The menu includes a 24 oz. rib eye, 16 oz. strip steak and 12 oz. tenderloin. There’s also a hangar steak, a cut not found on many Oklahoma menus, served with bacon-Tabasco butter. Market fish selections, lamb, chicken, pork and even quail are also on the menu.
All the steaks are hand cut daily. Smoke’s team maintains that this technique allows for superior carmelization of the proteins in the meat, which gives it a unique sweetness not found in aged meat.
This attention to detail carries through to every corner of the menu. Practically everything – including ketchup and mayonnaise – is made in house. The only thing that isn’t housemade is the ice cream, and Kester says an ice cream maker is on its way.
Carrying the locally sourced theme a step further, Smoke partners with Tulsa-based Marshall Brewing Company and Krebs’ Choc Beer to offer a selection of craft beers well suited to the menu. An impressive selection of all American wines is also available.
The restaurant owners updated the dining room of the old Bourbon Street Café space with a sleek look and expansive windows looking out onto Cherry Street. Rotating exhibits by local artists complete the décor.
A cigar room, separated from the dining room by hermetically sealed glass doors and a ventilation system, is outfitted with leather chairs, high top tables and television. Smoke works with Fogue and Bates to provide a selection of premium cigars.
Smoke, located at 1542 E. 15th St. in Tulsa, is open Monday – Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight and Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 918.949.4440. www.smoketulsa.com.