#135 - McGill's, Tulsa OK

This week I had appointments scheduled in OKC on Monday, and Tulsa on Wednesday.  But when I found out my friend Dave was going to be in Tulsa on Tuesday, well that added to my plans.  Dave lives in Manhattan, and I haven't seen him in at least 10 years.  So I couldn't NOT go and see him.  Dave is one of my favorite people.  He played football at Nebraska, and then in the NFL for years, and I met him through Boomer Esiason.  We've had lots of very fun times together over the years while I worked at Maryland.

Dave was in town for a conference, so we decided to meet for dinner.  I wish I had known it was a Disney Institute conference, because I definitely would have attended.  Disney is well known for having some of the best customer service and leadership there is.  And their institute does a great job of teaching those skills.  

I knew I wouldn't be able to truly "wow" Dave with anything in Tulsa.  Yes, they've got some great restaurants.  But he lives in Manhattan and travels the world.  But I still wanted to impress, so I asked my friend Vance, and he recommended McGill's.  They've got 3 locations, including one inside the Hard Rock Casino.  But the one on 61st was closest to where they were staying. 

I made a reservation since we had a group of 7.  I arrived about 15 minutes early and our table was already ready, but I decided to just wait in the bar area for everyone else.  It's on the corner of a strip shopping center.  They've got a nice outdoor patio, which would be great for happy hour or dinner in the late spring or fall.  I do like that its enclosed, because in the summer it would probably be brutal.  The inside is very dark décor, like you would expect in a steakhouse.  They've got inside seating for about 100.  There's a bar area to the right, with seating at the bar and several tables and booths for more casual dining.  I would say the one down side is they don't have a waiting area.  So if you're early like I was, your only option is standing outside or sitting at the bar.  I do like that they offer 1/2 priced appetizers from 4-6pm in the bar area.  Great deal.  They're open for lunch and dinner Monday - Friday, and dinner only on the weekends.  I would think they get a pretty strong lunch crowd, considering they are near to lots of businesses, including a few medical centers.

One of the guys who joined us is the head coach at Broken Arrow HS, and he played with Dave in the NFL.  I also learned that he was born in Maryland.  Small world.  Once Dave and his colleagues arrived, we sat down.  We started with wine, and had Mark West pinot noir.  I'd never had it before, and heard it was good so I was excited to try it.  It was excellent.  Very smooth.

Michelle had looked at the menu online (girl after my own heart!) and saw that they offer baked brie. So of course we had to try that.  We also ordered calamari and spinach dip, and Dave ordered shrimp cocktail for himself. 
Baked Brie - wrapped in a puff pastry and served with fresh fruit
Calamari - Hand breaded, served with roasted red pepper aioli
Spinach & Artichoke dip - McGill’ s style served with picante, sour cream and fresh tortilla strips

I didn't get to try the shrimp, but they looked really good.  And they were huge.  The spinach & artichoke dip was outstanding, super hot and lots of cheese.  I could have probably eaten it all by myself.  The calamari was a very good and cooked perfectly, but not as hot as I would have liked.  The brie was delicious as well.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much fruit there was on the plate.  I forgot to take a picture of the bread, but it was really good as well, Warm crusty, and the butter just melted into it.  I was good and only had one small piece.

Next came the entrées.  It's a steakhouse, so I really didn't even consider seafood.  I started with the Caesar salad

I was very surprised at how big the salad was.  It had way too much dressing, but that's the only negative.  Hopefully someone just got too heavy handed on this batch.  The salad was fresh and very crisp, even with the dressing.  The croutons were excellent and pretty sure they are made fresh.  I ate about 1/2 the salad before I gave up so I could eat my meal.

For the entrée Dave and I both got the ribeye.  I got garlic mashed potatoes with mine

The steak was wonderful.  Cooked perfect medium, lots of marbling, very flavorful.  I'm not sure if they used some kind of rub, but I really liked the flavor. The potatoes were very creamy and delicious.  And a ton of them on the plate.  In hindsight the baked potato would have been better because it was quite a bit smaller.

Our server brought out dessert menus.  I looked, but knew I couldn't even begin to eat a whole one.  If someone else had wanted to share, I would have considered it. But nobody did.  I did, however, get coffee since I had a 90-minute drive ahead of me.  Dave got a cappuccino

Its hard to tell from the picture, but the cup was huge.  Dave kept calling it a "boat".  And it really did kind of earn that title.

I had such a great evening with Dave and his friends.  We talked, laughed, Dave and his old teammate told tons of war stories, and we pretty much closed the entire restaurant down.  But that's the way it's supposed to be.

Will I go back?  Definitely.  The service was excellent--except at one point when the server accidentally spilled wine on my phone. But I have the Galaxy S5, which supposedly can handle being submerged in up to 3' of water.  But other than that it was great.  The food was fantastic, and the atmosphere was really great.