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Edward Delk’s Brings Back Glory to Philtower
“Oh you should have seen the Philtower in all its glory!” crowed my neighbor’s friend. She’d worked there 40 years before. Ah but I had. I’d been there the night before. I stepped inside the lobby, its walls glowing like a cathedral, the ethereal Gothic sculpting as fine as when Edward Delk designed it in 1928.
Suddenly the walls rang with booming boisterous laughter. I followed the raucous sounds around the corner and entered Edward Delk’s. It’s a new place, named after that architect of Protean talent who designed not only the Gothic and Deco style Philtower but also the Palladian style Philbrook and many other fine buildings besides. The bar area was packed with happy professionals who’d just got off work (which is why they were happy) and wanted to kick back with a brew or two.
At the back you can see the bottom of a mysterious mural found during the restaurant’s construction. It’s of a Crusader castle in Syria, Castle Margat. A strange, graceful mural with dancing figures. Is it by Oklahoma’s mysterious and forgotten painter, Olinka Hrdy? Maybe it is. The owners told me that Margat was the first castle to be captured by Crusaders and the last to be relinquished. Not quite true, but the owners are very conscious of history. They’ve blended the old and new in building Edward Delk’s.
An antique staircase, original to the space, a classic chandelier, and huge enlargements of Delk’s original architectural drawings ornament one wall. Opposite that is the bar.
It’s a nice bar to hang out, and indeed Delk’s is a nice place for young professionals to hang out. If you’re working downtown, it’s about the only place you can go without taking a car. That’s what the owners designed it for. But there’s also great food.
Tuck Curren, who designed the menu, calls it bar food. But if you’re Tuck Curren, 20 year veteran of top kitchens, owner of Biga and Local Table, your idea of bar food is a bit different from most people. In fact, it’s most people’s idea of haute cuisine. Take the lovely, highly addictive Brie & Wild Mushroom Fondue ($8)
It’s a classic French Bechamel, with dried porcini added as the roux is made. Brie and portabellos go on top and then it’s baked in a pizza oven. It’s awesome. I’m sure the tuna tartare, the chili-rubbed shrimp with avocado and corn and all the other appetizers are too. Did I say pizza oven? Yes, they have great pizzas. Here’s a classic Margherita ($8).
It’s awesome. The owners favor the Beef Short Rib. That’s a lot less traditional; it has barbecue sauce, cheddar, caramelized onions and cilantro. And they also have sandwiches.
I didn’t choose this one ($8); it has chicken breast, which I loathe. But a hefty helping of roasted peppers made it quite a treat. There’s also short rib and pastrami.
There are no entrees. The owners are considering buying more space next door and then they might expand the menu. Let’s hope they do!
427 S Boston Av
Open Monday through Friday 11 AM and Saturday 4 PM. They close around 2 AM on weekends and 11PM on weekdays, possibly earlier if it’s empty.
Article on painter Olinka Hrdy http://thislandpress.com/09/20/2011/lost-olinka
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.