Local Chef Bruce Rinehart opened Rococo Restaurant and Fine Wine at the corner of 28th and Penn in 2004. Chef Bruce created an “little island of fine dining” with East Coast style fresh seafood, killer pastas and a huge variety of favorites from the New England area. Over the last decade, Rinehart has created a culinary brand known for quality. The “original” is still going strong, along with the second Rococo location in Northpark Mall.
His newest venture is in the heart of downtown - tucked in the western corner of the Oklahoma Tower at 210 Park Avenue - The Manhattan, a neighborhood bar restaurant. The space is small - 1800 square feet – however, floorto-ceiling windowed walls and a patio in the shadow of the Metropolitan Library, public art, and a giant treescape mural, The Manhattan has a contemporary, laid-back vibe.
The restaurant itself is as light and airy. The tables and chairs are made from reclaimed barn wood from Kentucky while the bar is a gray, soothing marble. Local artists adorn the walls with their own interpretation of the Manhattan drink, and the vibe is definitely laid back and metro.
Part bar, part restaurant and part downtown neighborhood hangout, the joint is famous for not only the food – which ranges from sandwiches and salads for lunch and steak and seafood for dinner – but also for 14 different varieties of manhattans made with five different types of cherries, six to eight varieties of vermouth and bitters of all flavors.
The Manhattan has already become part of the fabric of downtown. They are not just a bar – they are a place for lunch, dinner and brunch too. The menu features a variety of tastes for everyone – including their renowned variety of fresh seafood - but there are a couple of ‘must-do’s” on the menu. The Manhattan features the locally (if not nationally) famous Rococo Jumbo Lump Crab Cake. Sitting atop a mild Thai chili cream sauce and House-made daily, it is a staple for us landlocked Okie’s.
If you’re a fan of the classic Reuben Sandwich – this is also a must-do. The Manhattan’s ‘Zach’s Classic Reuben’ is piled thick with burgundy-colored pastrami that takes Chef Zach Rupple of Rococo Penn more than a week to prepare. The pastrami is brined in pink salt and spices, rubbed and smoked over 10 days, then topped with homemade sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing served warm on rye with gruyere cheese and whole grain mustard sauce.
Dinner at The Manhattan includes a filet made with blue cheese , roasted mushrooms and spinach. Other great choices include pork tenderloin, scallops, lobster and a variety of pasta dishes. Brunch on Saturday is also a big deal. They feature omelets and waffles made to order in the dining area, crab cakes and eggs - and Bloody Marys.
The Manhattan Neighborhood Bar in Downtown OKC is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Call 405-605-5300 or visit www.themanhattanokc.com for more information.
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