Restaurant: Osteria OKC
Any foodie in OKC will likely agree that the hype around Osteria has been long, drawn-out and slightly mind numbing. They started their Instagram page (@osteriaokc) back in June 2017, and as of this second they’ve amassed 174 posts and 9,266 followers. The general chatter was, “is this place ever going to open??” But then they did, somewhat suddenly, and you better believe I was scrambling to snag a reservation just like everyone else.
First off, it’s absolutely crazy to me that the space that Osteria now occupies used to be a Starbucks. I imagine that much of the delay in opening can be attributed to the massive amount of renovation they had to undertake. The large bar and bar back is absolutely gorgeous, and there’s a lovely red-tiled wood fired pizza oven in the far corner. It’s an intimate space that feels large at the same time; there was a palpable excitement and energy in the atmosphere that I haven’t encountered at a restaurant in OKC in a while. It almost seemed like we were in another city entirely.
Our server Ariana (she was fantastic, btw) recommended the Wind Through the Orchard cocktail to start—Weller Reserve Bourbon, Grapefruit, Apple Cider and Aperol. This cocktail was fantastically refreshing, well-balanced and had just the right hint of autumnal flavors. It went down smoothly, and props to Ariana for the great recommendation.
I’d already been hearing some buzz around the Smoked Mozzarella in Carrozza appetizer, pictured above, so this was an easy pick (although next time I would like to try the Truffle Potato Skins). The dish featured two large triangles of smokey mozzarella, hand-breaded in a perfectly crunchy crust and served with Heirloom Tomato Jam, Arugula, Spiced Ceci (basically chickpeas), Arrabbiata Confit and Pepperoncini.
This appetizer is seriously a showstopper. The smokey notes in the mozzarella come through strong and were complemented well by the sweetness of the tomato jam. It came with a touch of sauce (the arrabbiata confit) and a light dressing on the arugula. Easily one of the best starters in town, people, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t order this.
Main course time. I was pleased to see that Osteria offered a number of vegetarian options—classic Cacio e Pepe, two Gnocchi dishes (one with basil pesto and one with wild mushrooms), Margherita and Tartufi pizzas and what I ended up ordering, the House Made Ricotta & Spinach Agnolotti. If you’re unfamiliar with agnolotti, it’s sort of a smaller, more tubular ravioli.
Though Cacio e Pepe is one of my favorite dishes of all time (I’ll probably try it out next time), I think I made the right choice in ordering the Ricotta & Spinach Agnolotti. It was served with a light, brothy sauce of heirloom tomatoes and was topped with shaved garlic and EVOO. I just absolutely loved this dish; the ricotta/spinach stuffing in the agnolotti was the star of the show and was paired well with the mild sauce. Only complaint is that I could’ve eaten more of it!
Verdict: Osteria lived up to the hype, folks. It may have been opening night, but the place was a well-oiled machine and the service was fantastic. I’m already ready to go back. Cheers to finally having a quality modern Italian restaurant in OKC!
6430 Avondale Drive. Make a reservation here.