Local: Cacio e Pepe
The Jones Assembly is certainly an interesting place. Huge area, including a restaurant, two bars and space for a band to play when booked. Nowhere else (at least in my experience) is there a gourmet restaurant + concert venue like this.
I've been to The Jones Assembly more than a half a dozen times. The food is always great, but in my (I guess limited) experience, the service is frequently lacking. I think their ambiance and quality is fantastic, so I keep coming back. I just do hope they train their staff to greet a new table in under 15 minutes.
Ben Folds was playing with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic at the Civic Center on Tuesday, May 1, and before the concert we ate at The Jones Assembly—my decision, and based solely on the amazingness of the Cacio e Pepe at Jones.
For the uninitiated, "Cacio e Pepe" means "cheese and pepper" in several central Italian dialects. As the name suggests, the ingredients of the dish are very simple and include only black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese and pasta. When preparing the dish, some of the hot cooking water is left with the pasta; the heat melts the cheese, while the starches in the water help bind the pepper and cheese to the pasta.
I honestly have never had Cacio e Pepe elsewhere, but I feel that the recipe at The Jones Assembly certainly does the dish justice. It's rich, it's simple and it's beautiful. Absolutely spot-on. Can't quite finish it, but I damn well try.
The Jones Assembly also has one of my favorite cocktails in town, the Disco Nap: Viejo Cancun Plata Tequila, Cointreau, lime, sage syrup and blackberry. I honestly think non-tequila lovers would even like this drink. It's super smooth and refreshing; you feel, rather than taste, the boozy kick, which I know a lot of people like.
All in all, I do recommend The Jones, but prepare for a "European style" dinner :)