Restaurants, in many ways, are about symmetry. It’s the balance of flavors on a plate and in a glass. It’s the aesthetic fine line between comfort and style. And it’s the people behind the whole endeavor, working in harmony to cook up something distinct, memorable and refined. The latter is a particular guiding light for the owners of Symmetry In OKC, a contemporary American newcomer at 9203 N. Penn Ave. in Casady Square that threads the needle between familiar comforts and thoughtful innovation.
“Hospitality Refined” is the ethos for co-owners Dave Osborn and Jason Pool, seasoned experts in the local fine dining field who, after years working at establishments like Mahogany Steakhouse, finally fulfilled their dream of opening their own concept together, synchronizing their skillsets for a restaurant that, despite being brand-new, instantly feels classic.
While ruminating over the initial idea, Osborn fortuitously drove by the Symmetry space while out shopping for shoes, and saw that it was for sale. Formerly Naifeh Fine Jewelry, and most recently a short-lived restaurant called The Vault, the space was precisely what they were looking for. “I called Jason right away, and we talked to a real estate guy,” says Osborn. “We stepped in the building and thought ‘We’re doing this, aren’t we?’”
Being a turnkey space with no construction necessary, it made for an easier transition for the pair, who made some aesthetic changes and hired Tammy Barrett as interior designer. “We wanted a different vibe of a restaurant that you don’t see anywhere,” explained Osborn, describing the space as sexy and sophisticated, and pointing out a striking painting of a women’s face, aptly split into two symmetrical halves over an elongated fireplace as a central focal point. “That picture, we fell in love with it and texted it to Tammy and said we want to design the space around it.”
Osborn and Pool worked with Krysta Henry to upholster stunning symmetrical lounge booths, bedazzled with diamond-shaped tufting, which anchor the dining room in front of the painting. From there, the swank dining room sprawls out with cozy curtain-clad booths, candlelit tables and a rounded bar, where bar manager Austin Greer uses a special ice press to create perfectly translucent and symmetrical diamond-shaped ice.
Glenn Scott serves as executive chef, manning what Osborn and Pool call a “chef-driven steakhouse” with international influences and a refined, meaty menu of filets, rib-eyes and bison, along with truffle beurre blanc salmon, pork chops with chimichurri and chicken breast with calabrian romesco and saffron cream.
“Chef has an incredible palate, and eye for color,” said Pool, citing his menu inspirations from Korea, Spain, Morocco, France and beyond, while sourcing steaks from a farm an hour south. “It all makes sense on the menu. The dishes tie in together, and it flows.” For instance, an oyster trio stands out as a star starter, featuring two with Argentine chimichurri, two with French-style apple mignonette and two with Spanish romesco.
The same concept holds true behind the bar, where Greer leads a collaborative team and a menu of modernized classics, like an Old Fashioned with pumpernickel rye and pecan syrup, or a Paper Plane topped with fluffy blackberry-sage foam.
Conveniently situated just north of Nichols Hills, and close to areas like the Britton District, The Village and Quail Creek, Osborn and Pool want Symmetry to become a one-stop shop for area residents — one that can double as a destination and a familiar favorite. “What we created is a destination,” said Osborn. “You can hang out, have a drink, a really nice dinner and a nightcap at the bar.”
For the two longtime restaurateurs with an eye for aesthetic, a penchant for hospitality and a palate for refined cuisine, every element of their dream establishment came down to symmetry. “We wanted to pay homage to what had been here the longest, and we love history,” Osborn recalled. “Looking up all the terms in the jewelry world, we found symmetry, and what stuck was the cut of a diamond needed to be perfectly cut in order to shine. For a restaurant to be successful, everything needs to come into play.”