Packard's Revs Up The Innovation

The Midtown OKC Building Is Approaching The Century Mark, But It Hasn’t Felt This Fresh In Decades. Its Recently Added Namesake Restaurant Combines The timeless Charm Of The Packard Building – Huge Showroom Windows, Unpainted Wood, Vintage Black And White Tile Floors – With A Menu Fueled By Innovative Flights Of Fancy. When Packard’s New American Kitchen Is Firing On All Cylinders, It’s Quite A Culinary Ride.

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New often means different, and at first blush the menu looks like it leans a little hard on the inclusion of unusual ingredients; many listings contain at least one eyebrow-raiser, like the pork chop’s accompanying green apple and tomatillo tamale, or the caul-wrapped bleu sirloin. All but the most adventurous diners might be a trifle thrown to find that even the burger’s description includes the phrase “spicy tomato jam.” On the other hand, when the ingredients all come together to justify the innovation, the result is a marvel. Take, for example, the Sichuan smoked pastrami sandwich, already very good thanks to the house-made pumpernickel rye, Russian dressing and loads of succulent, tender pastrami – but the addition of julienned slivers of pickled Granny Smith apples absolutely makes it sing; it’s a tart, crunchy masterstroke that elevates the whole dish into the realm not only of “must have,” but of “must continue having until it’s all gone.”

One classic dinner option that immediately stands out is the pepper-crusted filet, set off with a cabernet reduction and accompanied by broccoli and whipped potatoes – but pace yourself; it’d be a shame to miss out on either the joyously colorful rustic kale salad (featuring beets, blueberries, orange segments and lotus root) or the delicate sweetness of the panna cotta in berry bourbon sauce topped with sugared blackberries.

And if you’re up to starting out on an adventurous note, the whole table can ooh and ahh at the Himalayan pink salt block, which is just that: a slab of pure salt from central Asia, heated to use as a tabletop grill that simultaneously sears and seasons a sampling of meats and vegetables.

Not everything on the Packard’s menu will appeal to every palate, but the breadth of options gives excellent odds that something tempting is in store. And as your mother always told you, it’s good to try new things.

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► Explore. There are a couple of direct streetside entrances, but by going through the lobby you’ll get a chance to see a bit more of the Packard’s freshly revitalized interior. It's well worth a quick tour.

► Stick around. While it’s a good spot for lunch and afternoon drinks (hint: rooftop patio), the restaurant’s atmosphere is at its most luminously alluring at dusk.

► Don’t worry about convenient access. There’s an ample parking lot for Packard Building customers on the south side of 10th Street.

Packard’s New American Kitchen
201 N.W. 10th St., OKC
405.605.3771

Monday-Thursday
Lunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Dinner 5-9 p.m.

Friday
Lunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Dinner 5-10 p.m.

Saturday
Dinner 5-10 p.m.

Categories: Eat & Drink, Eat & Drink Featured, Food Lover’s Guide Featured