Deep Fork Grill: let the chef choose your meal
Deep Fork Grill
“You run a website about Oklahoma City restaurants, and you’ve never been to Deep Fork?” my friends all asked me in disbelief. It seems that Deep Fork is very highly regarded by most everyone I know as one of their favorite places. Yet, I had never been until recently. Now I see why they like it so much. Deep Fork really fires on all cylinders with great atmosphere, great food, great service, and even something unique — the chance to have a chef choose your meal for you.
I have to admit, I’m a food adventurer. Putting my dinner choices in the hands of a qualified chef is right up my alley. So, I had to give it a try at the Deep Fork. You see, if you look closely at Deep Fork’s menu, just below the dinner specials, you’ll see a line that says, “or let Executive Chef Clay Falkner feed you. Four courses – $65 per person.”
Yes, it is $65 and, if you’re like me, that’s a lot of money. So, this one is definitely for the very special occasions that are few and far between. On the other hand, it is four courses and you’d easily spend that amount for a meal of this complexity at any fine restaurant. So, if you’re up for spending that much on dinner, I highly recommend this experience. It’s simply a delightful thing to let yourself be surprised by course after course of intriguing dishes prepared especially for you.
It should be noted that you don’t have to spend this much to eat at Deep Fork. Most of their dinners are $20-$30, and they have some brick oven pizzas in the $10-$20 range, making them really quite affordable when compared to other higher-end places.
Nonetheless, here’s how it went down for me:
Our waiter asked me if there were any things that I didn’t like or if I had any food allergies, or any special requests. I told him I was open to anything. I also told him that I don’t particularly like heavy, rich desserts, but would rather have something light and fruit-based for a dessert course.
Course #1: a small plate of fruits, cheeses and toast points. This course was simple, elegant, and exactly the right portion. A few different exotic cheeses, some fruit, including a compote, and two small toast points. Each piece was original and very tasty. I absolutely loved this course.
Course #2: a spinach, fruit and nut salad with a very light but sweet vinaigrette. This salad was very good. Everything was incredibly fresh. The spinach leaves were about the greenest I’ve ever seen. The fruits included sliced strawberries and thinly-sliced granny smith apples. My only complaint — it was too big (see more on portion sizes below).
Middle course: now this was a surprise. It seems that Deep Fork likes to bring out little surprises of complimentary items for everyone. Both my wife (who didn’t order the four-course) and I were presented with this small bite of bacon-wrapped chicken in a very spicy sauce. I loved it, but it was too spicy for my wife.
Course #3: my absolute favorite of the night — seared sea scallops in an asian-influenced sauce with bok choy and wild mushrooms. I don’t eat a lot of scallops, but I would if I could have these every day. They were fork-tender, juicy and the seared exterior added just the right amount of zip. The accompanying sauce was flavorful but not overpowering. You could really appreciate the natural flavor and texture of the scallop. Amazing.
Course #4: steak, chorizo sausage, potatoes, and grilled asparagus in a rich burgundy sauce with wild mushrooms. As you can tell, this course was more than a meal in itself. I didn’t eat any of this at the restaurant but actually took the whole thing home, split it, and ate it for two separate meals.
This leads me to my only complaint with the experience. The portions are way too big. Anyone who knows me knows that this is a recurring complaint I have with the restaurant industry in general — they teach us to eat way too much food. If I’m going to order a four-course meal, I would like to be able to enjoy the entirety of the meal from start to finish without stuffing myself. In this case, I was completely full by the end of course number three. Generally, it is the nicer, higher-end restaurants that serve appropriate, rather than oversized, portions. Deep Fork missed on this one for me.
One thing that would have made it better is if perhaps I could have split the whole thing with my wife. Or, better yet, perhaps a two-person package price. Maybe $100 for two people, with each person getting their own, customized, and appropriately-sized four-course meal. I think $100 would be very reasonable for two people and if the portions were adjusted, I would definitely want to experience this again. The two person package would also help because it’s kind of awkward when one person is getting four courses and the other person has to wait through three of them before they get any food.
But aside from this issue, I have absolutely no complaints. In fact, I have extremely high praise for the level of service Deep Fork provides. Our particular waiter was extremely attentive, easy to talk to, and very, very knowledgeable. He knew details about each and every course he presented. This level of service is worth the higher price tag when you are looking for a high-end experience.
Here’s an example of the great service. Just about the time our main courses came, my wife was starting to feel a little ill. This was not related to the restaurant experience at all, but she really thought she needed to go home and lay down. I let our server know and he acted as though this was the most natural thing in the world as he quickly took our plates back to the kitchen and returned minutes later with everything boxed up (including a light, fruity dessert course), and in a sack ready for us to take home. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the ease with which he handled this whole situation. It turned what could have been an awkward exit into non-issue.
Bottom line: Deep Fork Grill is one of Oklahoma City’s best. That’s what I’ve heard from most everyone I’ve ever talked to about it, and having experienced it myself now, I would have to agree. They have the whole package going for them. Plus, the opportunity to get a “customized” four-course surprise is very unique in Oklahoma City.
Tell us what you think about Deep Fork in the comments below.