Dining in the Arts District
The 21C Museum Hotel brand is well known around the country, both for its quality accommodations and its large collection of modern art. Each hotel also has its own restaurant, and each concept is different. When the hoteliers chose Chef Jason Campbell from the Cincinnati location to helm the Oklahoma City restaurant, Oklahoma City got a wonderful introduction to Gulf States cuisine at Mary Eddy’s. The restaurant has a beautiful bar and lounge, as well as outside seating (The Train Shed) open seasonally.
Mary Eddy’s has five menus: bar, breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, and the food is stellar across the menus. Campbell changes the menu regularly, so recommending particular dishes is difficult because he’s been known to change items weekly depending on available ingredients—he likes to source as locally as possible. Consistently, though, choosing his seafood options is a fantastic choice: crab fingers, striped bass, trout, cobia or snapper, all are excellent. Lunch also has seafood features like octopus and shrimp po’ boys.
In addition to the seafood, Campbell cures his own meats in-house, so his charcuterie is one of the best in the state. The Tin Lizzy burger makes it onto a few menus—including the bar menu—and tends to show up every season. While it seems too basic to recommend a burger, the Tin Lizzy is spectacular; only the toppings change according to the season.
The bar makes excellent cocktails, and there are even some non-alcoholic sodas made in-house that are fun and delicious. The wine list is excellent, and by-the-glass pours come in two sizes. A nice selection of local beers is also available. Because they are a hotel restaurant, they are open daily for all meals, and brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm. The bar menu is available until 1 am on weekends.
The Jones Assembly
The Jones Assembly is a restaurant, a bar—two really—and a music venue. It is also one of the metro’s newest hot spots, featuring brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. We highly recommend you start any of the meals with the scratch biscuits, and while you’re at it, get the deviled eggs, too. The kitchen at Jones is massive, so they have plenty of space to make everything from scratch, which means they have a pastry chef in house to make those biscuits. Oklahomans are serious about biscuits, and so that locals love them should be all the reassurance you need.
For lunch, the steak frites is the best option on the menu, but the wood fire pizzas are also delicious. The Jones has plenty of vegetarian options, too, including the G.O.A.T. pizza: goat cheese, red onions, crushed pistachios, and local honey, as well as the mushroom pizza with cremini mushrooms, three cheeses and roasted garlic. For a little bit of simple pasta goodness, the Cacio e Pepe is made just like your Italian grandmother made it, or someone’s grandma.
Dinner features one of the city’s best starters: octopus with Thai chile glaze. It’s fork-tender, so don’t worry about the chewy octopus you’ve had in the past. This is nothing like that. The tuna tartare made with shiitake mushrooms is also a local favorite. The steak frites reappears on the dinner menu, as does the Cacio e Pepe. The halibut is an excellent choice, as well.
The bar makes excellent craft cocktails, and the by-the-glass wine list is one of the best in Oklahoma City. Local beers are available on tap, and you can even enjoy one on the outdoor patio. The Jones opens at 11 am Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 am on Sunday for brunch. They are open until midnight Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and until 2 am Thursday through Saturday.