Rococo and Rococo Northpark in Oklahoma City

Rococo: east coast style

by | June 21, 2011 | 40 Comments

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Revisit note: this review was originally published in July of 2009, but has been revisited and updated.

Exterior sign at Rococo in Oklahoma City

In our original review of Rococo (see below), we highlighted the fact that Bruce Rinehart and his team bring something very unique to Oklahoma City. It’s an experience we described as “East Coast Style,” and it’s something you don’t find much around this area of the country. Since the time our review was first published, Rococo has expanded their operation to a second, larger location at Northpark Mall. They continue to deliver a unique and quality dining experience now in two locations, so we thought it was worth revisiting and republishing our review of Rococo.

One of our writers, Jennifer, recently celebrated her birthday with a dinner at Rococo. She was kind enough to submit her thoughts on that experience and on Rococo in general, so that we could add another perspective to this review. Here’s what Jennifer had to say about Rococo:

“There are certain restaurants I frequent because they have a certain item on the menu that pulls me back every time. And then there is Rococo. I go back there as often as I can just to try something new because I have such confidence in their chefs’ abilities to create amazing food. Sure, I love their crab cake, their blue cheese cookies and their wild mushroom risotto side dish. But every time I go I am always drawn to a new dish or special they created that day. There is something incredibly comforting (especially for a non-picky foodie like me) to just trust a good chef to make you a great plate of food.

“On my most recent trip, there were 26 of us celebrating the 2nd anniversary of my 29th birthday. Rococo is a nice place, fancy even. Often, these places do not look kindly on huge groups of loud parties. Not Rococo. They had everything set up right on time, had two waiters dedicated almost solely to us, got the food out all right and in a timely manner, and the chef even came out several times to make sure we were enjoying our food and having a good time. I could not have picked a better place to celebrate being another year older. I didn’t hear a single complaint about the food or service, a miracle for such a large party. Another huge benefit was that they were open on Sunday night. I was surprised to find out once I started planning this party that not many restaurants are.

“I’ve also been to Rococo’s new location at Northpark. I love that there are multiple seating options here. You can sit at the bar, around the fireplace in comfy chairs or more formally at a table for a full meal. I went on a Thursday night for happy hour. We sat around the fireplace and the ambiance was great. They had a free appetizer bar that had some pretty regular fare but it was warm and a nice little treat. If you live in Northwest Oklahoma City, this is definitely a place you should check out.”

So, what do you think about Rococo? We’d love to hear your thoughts. You can add them to our comments at the bottom of this review. And, be sure to check out the content of our original review below.

Original review from July of 2009:

If you’ve read many of our reviews, you know that we’re always searching for the unique things restaurants offer to the Oklahoma City landscape. So, when Andrew and I visited Rococo’s, there was one thing that stood out to us above everything else — east coast style.

You feel it from the moment you walk in. The rich, dark, almost swanky decor is absent the southwest influence that we’re accustomed to around these parts. The seafood-rich menu and extensive wine list add to the vibe. But you really find out what this place is about when owner/chef Bruce Rinehart stops by your table, which he is almost certain to do. Spend just a moment conversing with Bruce and you’ll understand what is unique about Rococo.

Bruce spent a lot of time opening and running restaurants on the east coast, so you can understand where the style comes from. If you are from that region, I’d imagine Rococo would feel a lot like home. If you’re not, Rococo is still worth your attention for its other great strength — fresh seafood.

We actually get a lot of questions about where to get good seafood in Oklahoma City. Now that I’ve been to Rococo, I can say I think it’s a worthy seafood contender. There aren’t a great many places I know of that offer simple, fresh seafood presentations. Most of the time around here, seafood is fried or blackened or spiced up in some other southwestern or cajun-influenced way. But at Rococo, we had a beautiful presentation of their Petrale Sole filet ($18.75), lightly dusted with flour, sauteed in butter and served with capers, lemon pulp and tiny, delicate croutons. It’s rare to get to taste the actual fish as much as you could in this presentation, and the fish tasted great.

We also had the crabcake (market price) that Rococo is happy to claim as the best in the city. That might seem haughty to you, but I’d have to say that I agree with the claim. This is not a mixture of crab and other fillers pressed into a patty. This is a heaping mound of huge chunks of crab meat topped with a few types of breadcrumbs and baked. You order crab and you taste crab — and again, the crab tastes great.

In addition to the on-menu seafood items, Rococo offers off-menu specials that vary daily as they overnight fresh seafood from the coast as available. That’s right, here is a place where you can literally taste fresh seafood from the east coast. If you want to stay up on what’s fresh, subscribe to their email newsletter on their home page, or follow them on Twitter. We’re seeing a lot of restaurants really utilize Twitter lately and Rococo is one that does a great job communicating that way.

Alright, so I’ve given you a glowing picture of what I think Rococo does best — seafood with an east coast flair. But their menu doesn’t stop there. In fact, their menu is widely varied with steaks, chops, pastas, and even some sandwiches at lunch. It might even be a bit too varied in my opinion. Personally, I’d like to see them expand their seafood options and limit the other things, but that’s just me.

I mean, I haven’t tried all that many things, but I had a bit of the Penne Bolognese ($15.75 at dinner) and, while it was fresh and perfectly fine, it was lighter on flavor than I would typically expect from the rich Italian dish. There are other places I would put above Rococo for Italian food, at least based on what I experienced.

Andrew had the filet ($25.25 and $34.75), which was very well-cooked and flavorful with a really nice sauce that didn’t overpower. I had a bite of it and thought it was good as well. Nothing wrong with it and it’s a decent price, I’m just thinking there are lots of other places you can get steaks done at least as well.

One thing to keep in mind is that Rococo offers a pretty reasonable lunch menu. Sandwiches and smaller entrees are offered anywhere from $7-$15 making a good value when you’re looking for lunch.

So, my bottom line on Rococo is that they offer a lot of options and they do it all pretty well, but if you want to try the thing they do exceptionally well and that’s unique here in our fair city, go for the seafood, especially the crab cake and whatever seafood specials Bruce is flying in on the day you visit. This is where Rococo shines and can provide you with something you’re not likely to experience anywhere else in town.

What are your thoughts on Rococo? Let us know in the comments.

Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine on UrbanspoonRococo Northpark on Urbanspoon

More Photos from Rococo

Sandwich at Rococo in Oklahoma CitySandwich at Rococo in Oklahoma CitySoup at Rococo in Oklahoma CityPasta at Rococo in Oklahoma City

This article was posted by Tim Wall on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011. It is filed under:

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  • Alisa says:
    July 22nd, 2009 at 10:32 pm   

    Great review! I was really impressed with Rococo’s food, too. The crab cake really is one of the best I’ve ever had.

    One thing that I have mixed feelings about is the live music that they have on occasion. I love the groups that play there, but the restaurant is just too small. The music is overwhelming at times. Only a small downside, but worth mentioning…

  • Vivian says:
    July 22nd, 2009 at 11:11 pm   

    I love the food at Rococo. It is such warm and inviting restaurant and the food is delicious. I don’t think that I have had a single bad dish there. You hit the nail on the head regarding the seafood. The crab cakes are delicious, so are the whole belly clams which they have flown in on occasion from the east coast. My absolute favorite dish however is the lobster risotto. If you are not confident with choosing a wine to go with your dish there is always someone there who can help you find something to go with your dish that is agreeable with your palate. It is a really great restaurant and if you haven’t been there yet you really need to give them a try.

  • Nickie says:
    July 23rd, 2009 at 8:24 am   

    Thier breakfast/brunch is excellent. I have never had the seafood, only the lamb. The lamb was good, but the portions were smaller than expected. If/When I go again, I’ll try the seafood.

  • JuJuBeans says:
    July 23rd, 2009 at 12:03 pm   

    Love Bruce, love the crab cakes, and love the sauce on their escargot, but do not get their lobster or as he calls it ‘a great piece of tail.’ My lobster was way too overcooked making it extremely chewy and unpleasant in texture and flavor. I have had better seafood and food at other restaurants here in OKC, but this is a pretty decent place, and Bruce makes sure to make you feel welcome.

  • Anon Reader Dude says:
    July 23rd, 2009 at 12:53 pm   

    Good review, Tim. Rococo is a pleasant place with nice staff. I love the cool, dim, but welcoming interior — the bar is a real refuge on cloudless summer days when the blazing hot Oklahoma sun is beating down outside.

    Their food is good, but not quite on par with competitors like The Metro (consistently excellent!) or the Museum Cafe. Also, I find Rococo’s prices to be on the high side — esp. for beer or wine.

  • Marissa says:
    July 23rd, 2009 at 1:54 pm   

    I can’t believe you guys didn’t try or comment on the “cookies”…so savory!

    I really liked the bolognese…I think because it was so hearty and not all sauce like many restaurants that also seem to water down their sauce. My husband had the filet as well.

    I do have to recommend the Jumbo Shrimp appetizer…it has the most wonderful sauce with it and the shrimp was cooked the best that I had ever had in oklahoma city.

    I do agree with the price of the wine as mentioned above. I find it difficult to find the wine I usually drink in restaurants, Relax Riesling. But when I do its about 5 to 7 bucks a glass, not an expensive wine. The wine at Rococo’s was a little pricey for me which is saying a lot because I am willing to spend money on drinks, but for some reason I just wasnt feeling it.

  • Sam says:
    July 23rd, 2009 at 3:43 pm   

    Yeah I visited this place a few months ago and must say I wasn’t too thrilled. For one, it’s located next to a strip mall and liquor store and I the curb appeal isn’t all that great. Also, there’s something about going to a place and being like one of 4 people in the entire restaurant…and this was prime dinner time in the middle of the week. We decided to be a little daring and ordered the escargot and from the last time I remember having it, it seemed not very fresh. Overall the food was pretty bland and the server was really upselling everything she could and it got pretty annoying. Anyway, that’s what I thought….but Bruce WAS very nice and cordial.

  • Katie says:
    July 23rd, 2009 at 6:10 pm   

    crabcakes, lobster risotto and petrale sole? I’m SO there…

  • Nathan Davis (@mediapeople) says:
    July 23rd, 2009 at 11:30 pm   

    Great review on Rococo. Very fair and honest. This I one of my top five places to eat dinner in OKC. The owner is very personable which is a big plus for me and the food and atmosphere are amazing. Crab Cakes are the best (at least this side of the mountains). :) Love it! Great job guys.

  • Kimberly says:
    July 24th, 2009 at 11:51 am   

    I had the Pesto pasta without any meat on it, and my boyfriend had the ribeye steak. His steak was delicious as expected but the pesto pasta is what really surprised me. I’ve made and had a lot of pesto pasta and this was really different than any other. It was very nutty, based in alfredo cream sauce, and had sun dried tomato in it.

    Best pasta I’ve ever had, hands down.

    An additional note, the wine flights are such a good idea! Our waitress picked out the wine selection. Very good choices.

  • Bizzle says:
    July 26th, 2009 at 10:12 pm   

    Made it here for brunch today. Not REALLy busy, but not empty either. I had the crab cake app for my main. It was $15.95 market price for today. It came w/a small mixed green salad. Small meaning two bites. However, perfectly acceptable as it is an appetizer. Definitely the best crab cake that I have had in the Okc and Dfw area. My mom had the gangster sausage sandwich and she raved. She said it could have had a little more sauce; I’m sure they would have gladly provided some on the side if she would have asked. I tried the sausage and it was very good. Right up there with krebs. No Bruce this time, but we will try dinner soon! I’m also wanting to try the crab cake benedict.

  • Christen says:
    July 27th, 2009 at 4:59 pm   

    Have to agree on the crabcakes. The absolute best I’ve had since I left FL.

  • David says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 8:21 am   

    Thank you for the wonderful review. My wife and I love going to Roccoco for special occasions and we have never been disappointed. As echoed many times before – the crab cake is just fantastic. We love the neighborhood location even though we live miles away. It just wouldn’t be the same place if it was on a restaurant row or in a trendy area – it is simply good food by good people. What hasn’t been mentioned is the simple things that they do so well. The soups are wonderful and even the ice tea is perfect, which many restaurants don’t pay attention to. On the lunch menu in the past they have had a Chicken Piccata that was the best we have ever had – totally classically prepared and perfectly balanced. And it is always a blessing to be able to meet the owner of a restaurant and know your money is going right back into our own local economy. They are truly a jewel among our OKC restaurants.

  • OKC Foodie says:
    July 30th, 2009 at 3:30 pm   

    Rococo’s is housed in the old “Tony’s” location which was a family tradition for us for close to 20 years, a little home brewed, under the counter Chianti anyone?
    No, Rococo’s isn’t carrying on that tradition, this is something completely different.
    Fresh seafood is a rarity in this region and will change your understanding of “seafood” if you haven’t experienced it before.
    I found the staff attentive to detail and though I haven’t met the owner in person yet, his presence and concern for our experience was evident.
    I look forward to introducing my grandchildren to a new family tradition.

  • Kevin says:
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:05 am   

    very nice crabcakes indeed. Go if you haven’t been, go back if you have.

  • Andrew says:
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:48 pm   

    I took 16 people there for lunch today. It was fantastic. Bruce may make the best Pesto cream sauce ever. And that shrimp risotto was ridiculous. We already know Bruce is a legend for fresh fish in this area, but he makes a name for himself with pasta as well.

  • Mark P. says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 7:06 pm   

    Having lived in OK for over 20 year(mostly in Tulsa but now OKC) I can say that Rococo has the best crab cakes I have ever had and I am from the crab cake capital of Maryland originally. Rococo– a great restaurant with a fantastic chef/owner Bruce Rhinehart. Go there and keep this place thriving. It enhances the quality of life in OKC for many people.

  • tdeg says:
    August 5th, 2009 at 7:32 pm   

    The wife and I love Rococo. I can eat fish dishes there that I normally dodge in other establisments because they are so fresh and well prepared. Bruce and his staff are always great. My wife is a bit of a wine snob so if she likes it…
    In fact, one of her favorite wines had gotten scarce enough that Bruce hadn’t been able to get it. A French Burgandy such and something this year and whatever(I’m not a wine fan). She happened to know that the liquor store, Modern Liquor, the one just across the parking lot north had two bottles. We gave the waiter the money and he ran over and got them. Where else would you get that kind of service? I never leave Rococo with out a full belly and a big smile.

  • JuJuBeans says:
    August 9th, 2009 at 1:32 pm   

    I forgot to mention, make sure to get the Godiva cheesecake! It’s not made there, but it’s amazing!

  • Jennifer says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:14 am   

    You aren’t kidding, I used to live in DC and often traveled to Maryland for the crab cakes. These are just as good. Lobster and shrimp risotto was also delicious. Pricey, of course, but great for a nicer occasion or special treat.

  • SSSSSNAKES says:
    February 4th, 2010 at 6:16 pm   

    Beware of the beer prices. I was shocked after an evening of drinks so see my tab: $8.00 per pint of Guinness, which is way too much.

  • Kacy says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 11:36 am   

    I love Rococo. I always enjoy brunch there and have recently developed and obsession with their “cookies.” Very innovative restaurant.

    One gripe: Their coffee is terrible. Every time.

  • Debbie says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 9:29 am   

    Because they aren’t open for lunch on Saturdays, I have only been to Rococo once. I thought it was great – loved the wonderful crab cakes! I was very happy when Chef/Owner Bruce Rinehart confirmed that they would be serving lunch on Saturdays when they open soon in their second location in Northpark Mall – I can’t wait!

  • Matt says:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 9:06 am   

    It’s amazing how much of a difference there can be between good food and great food. Rococo has a great wine-by-the-glass menu, diverse food menu with great meat, seafood and pasta selections, and as everyone has already said, the crab cake appetizer is amazing. Most crab cakes are a bread patty with some crab mixed in. Bruce Rinehart doesn’t use bread, and his crab cake is more like chunks of fresh crab meat with some great seasoning mixed in. A must try. The food and drink is a little more expensive than some other places, but it’s worth the extra money to get great food instead of the good food you’ll get elsewhere.

  • Lesa says:
    December 9th, 2010 at 4:34 pm   

    We went to the new Rococo(North Park Mall) for Thanksgiving brunch!! WOW was it good. The service was fantastic and everyone was friendly. Even spoke with Chef Rinehart. We started with a fresh salad and followed it up with a cheese tray. The main meal was slice beef & turkey with all the fixings… the dressing was homemade and you could tell it was made with love. It was a little more than most buffets but it’s great for a special occasion.
    They also have a Sunday brunch that we will try soon.

  • Hayley says:
    December 30th, 2010 at 2:43 pm   

    I have only been to Rococo once and I loved it. The crabcake was fantastic! Got a great drink based on the recommendation of my server. I enjoyed the environment immensely. You can sit by a fire sipping cocktails and eating crabcakes?!… Yes please!

  • Sharon says:
    March 9th, 2011 at 1:12 am   

    Had lunch at Rococo NP… One of the specials was potatoe & andouille sausage soup. It really hit the spot on this cold damp & dreary day.

  • SHAWNA CRUZ says:
    March 22nd, 2011 at 4:16 pm   

    everything here is wonderful. This is one of my husbands and my favorite restaurants. The crab cake is to die for, seriously the best I have ever had. The “cookies” are good too. Our personal favorite is the blue cheese one. The portions of the entree’s are HUGE! Normally we will get a crab cake to split, and an entree to split and that is plenty of food. If you still think that you want more food, the love salad is a great addition!

    I read in some of the reviews that people thought the restaurant was too small to have a live band, i totally disagree. The autmosphere is one of the main reasons we go there.

  • Sharon says:
    April 19th, 2011 at 3:30 pm   

    Had a group of women get together last wedensday night 14 in all. We had a fabulous time. The wait staff was excellent and the food of course was to die for.

  • John Harris says:
    June 25th, 2011 at 10:34 pm   

    The food is good, but I think $30 + tip is too high for a plate of pasta and a drink.

  • Michele says:
    June 26th, 2011 at 10:34 am   

    I love Rococo. I have not had one item that was not incredible. I have one wish and that is their pear/sage soup were on the menu everyday….mmmmmmm!

  • Bizzle says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 12:01 am   

    Had dinner again last night. Fab crabcake to start (I swear it gets better every single time I order it), and the seafood special. Four grilled scallops in a lemon burre blanc sauce, four jumbo grilled shrimp, a huge portion of squash risotto, and an equally huge portion of spinach with feta and tomato. $32. So wonderful.

    My mom had the the clam chowder and it came out steaming hot. Almost too hot to eat which I think is great. Too often I find restaurants serve their soup lukewarm. Another great meal. I really prefer dinner over brunch here. And I’m not so crazy about the caesar salad, go for the love instead.

  • Rick says:
    June 30th, 2011 at 11:04 am   

    Good place to take business clients to lunch. Very good sandwiches and everything is put together with care.

  • Debbie says:
    March 2nd, 2012 at 6:28 pm   

    Husband and I had lunch at Rococco Northpark one recent Saturday. Although I really love their crab cake, we skipped appetizers this time. Husband had their fish & chips which he loved. The breading was very light, just the way he likes it. I tried the shrimp risotto for the first time – rich and delicious – and balanced it with a side of fresh fruit. We really enjoy the food and atmosphere (love the fireplace) at Rococco.

  • Brian says:
    April 30th, 2012 at 9:27 am   

    I went to the Northpark location recently for a business lunch, and while the food was good, I can’t say that I was jumping out of my seat. I may give it another try in the future, but I do not live in the area so I am in no real rush to go back.

  • Kaylee says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 3:48 pm   

    I’ve heard good things about Rococo for along time, and my mom wanted to try it out, so I thought Mother’s Day brunch would be the perfect time. I made a rervation for 6 adults and 2 kids at 11:30 this past Sunday. My parents got there first at about 11:20 and checked in. We were running late and didn’t get there till about 11:40 and they were still waiting. Not a big deal, but my dad wasn’t convinced that they had properly checked us in (even though by this time he had a second time when a new hostess came up) so I checked us in (for the 3rd time) and they said “Oh ok, you hadn’t check in yet, but it will be just a minute”. Ok, not a great sign since my dad had checked in twice, but they were busy. Then the people behind us checked in, a party of 8, w/o a reservation. I thought, wow, they are going to be in for a long wait. Well wouldn’t you know they got called to be seated before us. At this point I went back to the hostess and informed them that the table of 8 they were currently seating before us did not have a reservation, and we did. To this she replied, “oh, yes, I forgot about yall”. So needless to say I was a little miffed. They did seat us not long after, and our service at the table and the food were both great, so I would return, but not on a busy day like Mother’s Day, or even a busy Friday night.

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