Welcome to the second installment of our new feature here on the918.org. 9 to 18 Favorite. Different contributors will share with you a list of between 9 to 18 places, events, or things that are their favorite in that category. Have a list of 9 to 18 that you want to share? Email it to our lead contributor Aaron Tiger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Today, Joli Beasley shares with you her and her husband Todd’s 9 to 18 Favorite Date Night Restaurant Ideas in Tulsa, a list which she keeps updated on her phone. Have a place that Joli or our readers should know about for date night? Add it in the comments!
1) In the spring and the fall, we love to sit outside on the deck at Dalesandro’s. One of their specialties is Swordfish Piccata. In fact, it’s so special it’s only served on the weekends.
2) Get a drink at Hodges Bend then walk across the street to sit outside in the super cool courtyard at Bohemian Pizza. I love the Lemon Pesto Shrimp Appetizer and the Local Sausage Pizza, but you have to save room for the S’mores Calzone. ProTip: Before you go to Hodges Bend, see if there is a wait at Bohemian Pizza. If there is, put your name on the list and they will call your cell phone when your table is ready.
3) Fleming’s (love the patio here too) — Let’s face it, if you’re at Fleming’s you’ll want to splurge, and my favorite thing is the Filet Mignon with Fleming’s potatoes. But if you want the more upscale feel with a more affordable price, you can’t beat their “5 before 7 for $6” deals. Just go before 7pm and there are 5 different things you can get for $6.00 each. I love the bacon burger and fries, and for just $6.00, there’s no way to have a cheaper date at a nicer place. Whether you go upscale or low-key, don’t forget to finish it off with a delicious lava cake.
4) Pizza and Gelato downtown at STG Pizzeria. It’s all good.
5) Villa Ravenna at the Farm Shopping Center — As a truly authentic Italian restaurant, everything is delicious, but I especially like their appetizers, like shrimp and avocado slices served in a fresh pineapple, the grilled pear and gorgonzola, and the fried zucchini. They also make their own homemade limoncello, which is a great way end an authentic Italian meal.
6) Lucky’s on Cherry Street — My favorite dish alternates between the Crispy Sea Bass and the Chicken Fried Steak. On a side note, their Sunday Brunch is incredible, too.
7) Doc’s on Brookside — I like to go on Wednesday nights when they feature their fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. ProTip: Lots of people go on Wednesday nights for this special and they will run out, so make a reservation and even reserve your chicken. Seriously.
8) Mondo’s on Brookside — Everything is really great here, but one of the best things about Mondo’s is the atmosphere. The vibe in this restaurant, especially on the weekends, is so energizing and fun. I love the clam chowder and ravioli, but I usually get full on the bread before my food comes.
9) Patio overlooking downtown at Zanmai — Honestly, I like the food on the Hibachi side of the restaurant better, but the patio overlooking downtown makes for a much more romantic date night. The crab cakes are a great appetizer and the Carnival sushi roll is quite spectacular.
10) For a really unique date, try a fried rice bowl and kimchi fries from Lone Wolf food truck. There is no way to describe this to you. Pack a blanket and some drinks and have a picnic at the nearby Guthrie Green.
11) Red Rock Canyon — Think meat and potatoes. Yum. Get the best of both worlds by ordering the Cluck-n-Moo which features rotisserie chicken and beef tenderloin. The sides aren’t too shabby either with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots, and these aren’t your momma’s carrots. If you’re going for something a little more healthy, you have to try the Salmon Caesar Salad. Let me emphasize that by saying this is my favorite salad I have ever eaten. For real. Something about the hot salmon right off the grill, the dressing that’s so light but flavorful, topped off with the cornbread croutons make this salad a formidable competitor for the always reliable Cluck-n-Moo.
12) Mi Cocina — In my humble opinion, the best thing about Mi Cocina is the Mambo Taxi. I’ll just leave it at that.
13) Stonehorse Cafe — This is another one of those places that can be made to feel like a more expensive date than it actually is because our favorite thing here is the pizza. Add an appetizer of their French Onion Soup, which I think is the best in all of Tulsa, and you’re still under $20.
14) Chuy’s — I love their chips and queso, but if you’re going there for a real meal, I’ve been getting their Baja Tacos (one fish and one shrimp) with some extra creamy jalapeño sauce on the side. I’m betting you don’t often order dessert at Mexican restaurants, but you have to try to the Tres Leches cake. Just do it.
15) The rooftop patio at El Guapo downtown — Get whatever you want…everything tastes good when you’re sitting outside on the rooftop at El Guapo.
16) Lanna Thai — I love the Gang Dang (#55) red coconut curry dish and Todd likes the On-Shore Sen-Lek (#L6) which is a noodle dish. We also get some chicken fried rice. For an extra treat, they often have live music on the weekends for your entertainment.
17) Andolini’s on Cherry Street — Start with the Arencini which is crispy fried risotto stuffed with cheese and basil. Also, the BBQ Chicken Pizza is quite a sight and is worth ordering just for the presentation. Oh, and it tastes really good too.
18) PF Chang’s — This is another place I could just eat the appetizers and be perfectly happy. I like the dumplings, the crispy green beans and the lettuce wraps. If you’re still hungry after all of that, you can’t go wrong with the Crispy Honey Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken or Shrimp, Hot Fish or Mongolian Beef. ProTip: Pay close attention to the discussion at the table when the fortune cookies arrive and divert the conversation as need be. My family was debating whether or not to get to a new puppy when our fortune cookies were delivered. (“Debating” means I was emphatically saying “no” and everyone else was begging me “yes”.) At that moment my son opened his fortune cookie and read it aloud, “A small gift will bring joy to the whole family.” Guess who lost the debate, and all thanks to a fortune cookie.
Joli was born and raised in Tulsa and is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. She is a Board member for the Tulsa Town Hall lecture series, a freelance writer for TulsaPeople magazine, and a member of the Waller PR team. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Todd, for 22 years and they have three children. Their oldest, Josh, is a sophomore at OU, Luke is a freshman at the University of Colorado, and Anna Kate is a junior at Booker T. Washington High School.