There’s no denying that OKC’s dining scene has blown up in the past few years. New restaurants are popping up all the time, and our list of places we want to try grows longer by the day. New is great, but there are definitely a few iconic Oklahoma City restaurants that have stood the test of time. One of my favorites is Mickey Mantle’s in Bricktown.
The restaurant pays homage to Oklahoma-born baseball legend Mickey Mantle. After he passed away, his family created the space in the then-deserted area downtown that would eventually become Bricktown. Mickey Mantle’s was a pioneer from the beginning, and it’s kept the momentum going ever since. The decor definitely includes nods to the famous athlete, but Mickey Mantle’s is more of a romantic dining destination than a sports bar. That’s not to say it’s stuffy and pretentious – far from it. The reason I like this restaurant so much is it’s ability to strike a perfect balance between fun and elegant.
Making Memories at Mickey Mantle’s
I have tons of wonderful memories from my visits to Mickey Mantle’s over the years. In college, it was one of my favorite places to go with friends for a classy night out at the bar. Speaking of the bar, you won’t find a better martini in town (pair it with some fried pickles, trust me). It’s also the perfect spot to grab a beer before (or during) a Thunder game. My sister-in-law introduced me to the magic of martinis shortly after college, and my family would often gather there to celebrate special occasions with a cocktail.
Most memorably, Mickey Mantle’s was the place where Tom asked my dad for my hand in marriage. (He nervously cornered him in the hall outside the restrooms, unable to eat his steak until he asked the question. Obviously, Dad said yes and the rest is history!) So we were thrilled about having a romantic dinner at Mickey’s during our recent staycation in Bricktown (much more about that coming soon).
A Romantic OKC Date Night
One thing you can always count on at Mickey’s is stellar service, and this visit was no exception. Our server walked us through the tantalizing menu, the extensive wine list and the show-stopping specials without being overly pushy or persuasive. Mickey Mantle’s wine list is a thing of beauty, so we knew we wanted a bottle to accompany our meal. We settled on a bottle of 2015 Ritual Pinot Noir out of Chile. Chilean Pinot Noirs have been our secret weapon lately when dining out. They’re usually quite affordable yet very expressive and versatile. The bottle was a great accompaniment with the variety of dishes we chose.
First Base – Amuse Bouche
To start, we were offered a palate-energizing amuse bouche of fried figs stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon. This was a nice play on bacon-wrapped dates, which have become quite popular. The fig added a nice earthiness that was balanced beautifully by the cheese and a balsamic reduction. We were ready to keep going.
Second Base – Seafood Salad
Mickey Mantle’s is best-known as a steakhouse, but it’s also my favorite place in OKC to eat seafood. The loaded seafood salad with big chunks of fresh shrimp and crab, artichokes, hearts of palm and a creamy garlic dressing was a delicious way to transition to some of the heavier menu items.
Third Base – Lobster Cargot (aka Heaven)
The Lobster Cargot may be the richesst, most decadent, most heavenly dish in the city. Tender lump lobster meat is cooked in butter, garlic and lobster cream sauce and baked to a bubbling perfection. Be sure to keep a slice of bread handy to mop up the leftover cheesy goodness.
Homerun – Pan Roasted Sea Bass
To be honest, we could have ended our meal with the lobster cargot, but at Mickey Mantle’s you have to round all the bases. For me, this meant the pan roasted sea bass with lobster risotto. I first had this dish with my friend Taylor several years ago, long before I had any knowledge of fine dining and culinary technique, and fell head over heels in love. In fact, this plate may just have transformed me into the food-obsessed person I am today. On this night, it was every bit as delicious as I remembered. The sea bass is cooked to golden, flaky perfection. The lobster risotto is creamy, the rice tender with just a hint of chew.
Grand Slam – The Steak
Unfortunately, I can’t show any pictures of Tom’s steak entree. Steaks in dim lighting are just not that photogenic. But be assured, any steak you order at Mickey Mantle’s will hit it out of the park. He opted for one of the day’s specials, which offered a cut of Japanese Wagyu steak with a similar cut of American filet along with two grilled shrimp. He raved about both steaks saying the Japanese Wagyu was as tender as a marshmallow. The American cut was no slouch either and packed a ton of flavor. He added black garlic butter on top to take even more over the top. He was in meat heaven.
This was such a wonderful meal and fabulous date night to celebrate our return to OKC. I am positive Mickey Mantle’s will continue to be our go-to spot for celebrations and making culinary memories for years to come.
This post is part of a collaboration with Visit OKC. We were hosted by Mickey Mantle’s, all opinions are 100% genuine.