I missed the grand opening of The Drake in Oklahoma City by one day. I was passing through on my way to Tulsa for the 2013 BASSMASTER Classic (my day job is making fish bait) and subsequently scanned the internets for notable places in OKC on my way to and from the event. Headed to Alabama this past weekend to cover yet another fishing tournament, I planned to rectify that situation and popped into the cheery Drake for fresh oysters and Midwestern nibbles.
Part of the notable Good Egg Dining Group (sister restaurants include Kitchen No. 324, Cheevers, Red Prime Steak, Republic and Tucker's), The Drake serves up fresh seafood and oysters from both coasts (as well as the Texas Gulf the day I stopped by) alongside stand-alone vegetable plates and land animals sourced locally.
OKC is obviously landlocked, but The Drake is bright and airy, befitting of a restaurant featuring entrees from the sea. The staff is energetic and proud to share detailed information about the dishes your party might be ordering. Hospitality is clearly a key component to The Drake experience. Dishes are served family-style and meant to be shared. Plan on bringing as many friends as you can to take advantage of their "super-super specials" like the Whole Salt Crusted Branzio or the Seafood Paella.
The Drake is the perfect spot for a first date (and hopefully a second and third) but you should probably drag all your friends to their weekend brunch as well. If you're in the area, this spot is a no-brainer.
Here's what I enjoyed at The Drake:
First, a Campari and soda while I perused the daily oyster menu. Offerings from both coasts, as well as the gulf meant I was ordering one all of them. Tip: if you sit at the bar, oysters are only $1.00/each.
Oysters were followed by the Lona Faye's Four "H" Club - Hushpuppies, country ham, honey butter, hot sauce. My delightful bartender suggested a handy way to eat this appetizer delicately: slice the puppy in half, slather that half with the honey butter and hot sauce, then wrap it up with a piece of country ham. Pop that little package in your mouth and stay classy.
And you know I can never turn down a fried chicken sammy. Crispy, juicy chicken breast rests on a schmear of hey-hey sauce, topped with crunchy coleslaw and bread-and-butter pickles.