A Portal To Paradise In Tulsa’s East Village District
3 min read
Just on the outskirts of downtown Tulsa only a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of the Deco district lies East Village. The area earned the nickname “The Bend” in the early 20th century as the roads curve to meet the southwest-northeast orientation of downtown. The name stuck, with wine and coffee shop Hodges Bend borrowing the moniker now for nearly a decade.
Looking to bring something new to Tulsa, the owners of Hodges Bend, John Gaberino and Noah Bush partnered with T.C. LeRoy to open a restaurant in the neighborhood they had grown to love. They acquired the former Girouard Vines space, which provided them the ideal canvas, and opened Lowood in September 2019.
The restaurant is inspired by a favorite pastime of the co-owners, hosting dinner parties. Co-owner T.C. LeRoy emphasized that at the base of everything Lowood does is hospitality. From hiring and training staff with a key focus on care, to creating an environment that welcomes each visitor.
Lowood’s charming dining room paired with an open kitchen echoes the co-owners’ vision as it embraces each guest. As their new Chef Bobby Benjamin describes, the space embodies a “beautiful relationship between elegant and rustic.”
Out back on Lowood’s patio, guests find themselves in a lush herb garden (yes, the herbs are for kitchen use) ensconced by delicate grape vines. Beyond the dining tables are informal seating areas comprised of cozy conversation sets and abundant open wood fireplaces.
The back of the courtyard area is in process of being converted to a private dining space among the grape vines, remnants of the building’s former tenants. From this backyard haven, patrons can admire the Tulsa skyline while enjoying live music (the amazingly talented Chris Combs Trio is a staple on Thursday evenings) and expertly crafted cuisine.
Inspired by European fare, the restaurant cannot be simplified as “Italian.” The menu spans the flavors of southern Italy to Greece and beyond. Lowood offers several delightful starter dishes including their decadent cheese and prosciutto plates.
The entrees and pastas are equally as delicious, with the reginette standing out as a crowd favorite. A twist on carbonara, the dish includes Parmigiano Reggiano, an arugula pesto, applewood smoked bacon and a farm egg yolk. Another big hit is Lowood’s fall-off-the-bone tender woodfire plancha lamb chops.
Of course, no meal is complete without the right glass of wine, and Lowood’s service staff, including a full-time sommelier, are there to help you navigate the wine list.
The genius behind these dishes is relatively new to Tulsa, thanks to Lowood. Chef Bobby Benjamin is a Tennessee transplant with decades of experience. From attending Lambstock (a Woodstock for chefs) to opening restaurants across the United States, Benjamin brings with him to Tulsa his family along with new ideas to incorporate into the Lowood menu. Visitors can find Chef Bobby Benjamin in Lowood’s open kitchen, or in the herb garden harvesting ingredients for his next creation.
Lowood is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. This uniquely Tulsa experience transports you to the vineyards of California with an impressive view of the downtown skyline. Whether you only have time for charcuterie and drinks or are looking for a place to impress your date with a four-course meal, add Lowood to your list.