Restaurant Week Insider: Don’t miss KEO!

By on September 12, 2014

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Though I dine out almost every day of the week and twice on Fridays, I never seem to make it to more than two or three of the Restaurant Week deals. But I always find time to go to KEO. It’s not every restaurant that prepares elaborate and tasty entrees that you’ll see on Restaurant Week and never again, but KEO always does and it never disappoints. I stopped by for dinner just as the sun was slowly sinking below the horizon, so I had my first course as sunbeams streamed through the big plate glass windows overlooking Peoria.

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I had the Bean Thread Noodle Salad. Cold thin noodles, quite a few yummy shrimp, and a bracing lime dressing made this vaguely Vietnamese dish a refreshing treat.

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No complaints on the first course, but the main course was truly exceptional.  In fact, despite a more than adequate hangover as I write these words early in the early morning, I am drooling just thinking about it. The name of the dish is Cornish Hen Adobo. The other choices sound tempting indeed… there’s duck breast with a plum sauce and salmon cooked in a paper bag (en papillote). But if I went again, I’d surely go for the Adobo.

KEO

“Is it South American or Philippine adobo?” I asked the server. In South America, adobo is a method (invented by the Spanish) of marinating meat in sugar, paprika, salt and vinegar and then roasting it. It’s not that great. But in the Philippines, adobo refers to an indigenous process of stewing meat in a yummy mixture of soy sauce, vinegar and various spices. When the Spanish arrived over 400 years ago, they found the local people happily eating this dish, so they conquered the people and named the dish adobo. But the dish the waitress proudly brought was neither. Though the entree was clearly inspired by the Philippine (not the South American) dish, the sauce, made with coconut milk and exotic spices, had a unique Thai-inflected flavor profile that took traditional adobo to a higher level. There wasn’t much sauce… only a bit at the bottom of the big soup bowl in which the dish was served, but that didn’t matter. Thanks to marinating and stewing, the flavor had thoroughly permeated the meat, while at the same time making it juicy and tender. All this was complemented by a mound of crunchy bok choy on top of which perched the luscious half-bird.

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Dessert was fairly minimal, but presented very well. A scoop of ice cream, a slice of peach. I didn’t care. I had already enjoyed what I came for.

Side Note: If you want to try a delicious version of the traditional Philippine chicken adobo, just hit up Teri Fermo’s food truck, Bohemia. So – try KEO’s adobo dish this week while you still have a chance, then find Bohemia next week to enjoy a fun and delicious comparison!)

 

KEO
www.keorestaurant.com

3524 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK 74105-2529
(918) 794-8200

8921 S Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
(918) 794-0090
Brian Schwartz

About Brian Schwartz

Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society. www.theomegasociety.com I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola. “A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.

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