Haute Cuisine at The George
Photos by Carli Wentworth
I Keep Coming Back To The Ice Bucket.
When we sat down at our table at The George Prime Steakhouse, I ordered an Old Fashioned (best I’ve ever had, by the way), and my wife said, “Oh, just water for me.” The waiter asked if she preferred bottled, filtered or sparkling, then brought her a liter of Pellegrino in a chrome ice bucket on a pedestal, which stood at her shoulder through the meal. The George may be 20 stories up in the sky, but it’s the little details that truly elevate it.
For example, being called up at the door. When you walk into Founders Tower, you check in at the front desk and they phone the restaurant to announce your arrival, so the staff upstairs is ready to show you to your table. No harm in taking a detour, though – the view is amazing. Since the kitchen, bar, restrooms and dining areas are collected in the interior of the circular space, walking around the glass-clad perimeter gives guests a 360-degree view of … well, everything for miles around; the downtown skyline, Lake Hefner, the State Capitol and on and on. Unlike previous occupants of the space, The George does not revolve, so a preprandial ramble is in order to enjoy a scenic treat.
And speaking of treats, once you settle back into your seat, the cuisine from Executive Chef Josh Valentine’s kitchen is equally exceptional. Even the bread basket comes with three individual varieties for each diner (the focaccia is especially nice), and starters include an expertly balanced wedge salad with green apples, celery and flecks of blue cheese plus candied bacon for good measure, or a baked tart with a pastry shell filled with bacon and onions, then topped with a lightly dressed frisee and a runny egg for richness.
The George is, after all, a steakhouse – so the selection is ample and impressive, spanning sizes and cuts from a New York Strip of imported Wagyu (the chief among beef) to a two-pound USDA Prime rib eye to a 10-ounce filet of surpassing tenderness and flavor. It’s a good place to be carnivorous.
Assuming you can be swayed from the beef options, possibly on a second trip, I sincerely recommend the dish listed on the menu as Carolina Gold Rice; that’s a hefty lobster tail on a bed of risotto, braced with cauliflower buds, pecans for texture and capers to give it a slight tang. It’s so rich it should come with a financial advisor. It’s so rich you can practically hear it pontificating about the estate tax. I wasn’t able to finish mine in one sitting, but – like everything else I had – I was happy to try.
If you hear a complaint about the restaurant, it’s likely to be tied to the price tag: dining at The George is not inexpensive. But take that argument with a grain of fleur de sel. I didn’t find the bill outrageous, and in a broader sense having a few places like this – focused on elite quality and a luxurious experience rather than reducing the price by scrimping on amenities – is good for the metro. Not every establishment has to be grounds for a special occasion, someplace you can impress your date or your clients or yourself … but we’re a finer community for having those options. With the addition of The George to Oklahoma City, the culinary landscape is a little less lonely at the top.
Let Yourself Be Feted. When you call for reservations, they’ll ask whether you’re celebrating a special occasion. Though we were actually marking our anniversary, I almost said no reflexively (I was never a fan of singing waiters and birthday sombreros) but changed my mind and admitted the raison date – and wound up sincerely glad I did. For dessert we ordered the house-made doughnuts with a scoop of espresso ice cream, which came with “Happy Anniversary” spelled out in salted caramel ganache. Delicious and festive.
The George Prime Steakhouse
5900 Mosteller Drive, OKC // 405.242.4761
5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday