FOOD: Redefining Fine Dining at Lottinvilles

Lottinvilles Wood GrillEven on a Wednesday evening, one
can find the parking lot almost full at Lottinvilles Wood Grill during these
cool wintery months. The mood inside Lottinvilles provides a warm feeling of
contentment with its relaxed lighting, comfortable seating and curved main
dining area.

People are always looking for
fine dining with a casual feel, but what is most impressive about Lottinvilles
Wood Grill is that they’ve been embracing this concept since 1999.

Michael Jones, the owner and
creator of Lottinvilles, introduced the original concept of offering healthy,
delicious food while embracing the popularity of wood-burning grills. The
restaurant serves dishes that highlight the flavors of smokiness like
wood-grilled rotisserie chicken.

Jones, his wife and restaurant
partner Lory, and Chef Santiago Luna (or “Chago”) are always trying new dishes
and experimenting with unique items on the menu. If something is a hit, like
their Southwest meatloaf—made with pork, veal, turkey and filled with cheese
and jalapeños—they’ll keep it. But even after 13 years, they still enjoy mixing
up their menu with items like Thai Steak Salad, Blue Corn Enchiladas and a
Reuben sandwich. Of course, everything has a unique Lottinvilles’ twist. For a
long time, Jones didn’t want to feature a chicken-fried steak until they
created a breading with their in-house sourdough bread, then topped it with a
chorizo gravy. Their goal is to always have a menu that remains both original
and inspired.

Their sourdough bread is a
terrific introduction to lunch or dinner. At many restaurants, the
complimentary bread is an afterthought, but here, one can taste the time, care and
effort that has gone into this recipe.

Meatloaf and Cabin Salad are
classic favorites, but if you want to try something new, order the Crispy
Tilapia or Wood Grilled Pork Tenderloin. To avoid plate envy, be willing to
share dishes with friends. It can be interesting to hear someone else’s take on
the same fork full of food.

The cornmeal crusted Crispy
Tilapia has a very prevalent Southwest influence. Corn pico and tartar sauce
add a nice spiciness to the fish that isn’t overwhelming. The mashed potatoes
are creamy and the contrast gives a perfect balance to the entrée.

The Wood Grilled Pork
Tenderloin, which comes with a fig and chipotle chutney, has very sweet
flavors. There is a small hint of smokiness and the meat is so moist that one
could cut into it with a fork.

As we were dining, I noticed the
variety of guests around us. To my right, in a booth, was a group of laughing,
smiling women celebrating a birthday and drinking what looked to be chocolate
martinis. Behind us was a large party of college students, wearing mostly jeans
and t-shirts, enjoying a regular Wednesday night out together. In the booth in
front of our table was an older gentlemen dining alone, wearing a fine suit and
enjoying a wood-grilled steak.

There is something really
special happening here. Everyone in Lottinvilles seems comfortable and even a
bit jovial—from the staff to the guests. It is easy to see, taste, hear, smell
and feel why diners choose to be here. 

Lottinvilles is located at 801
Signal Ridge Dr., Edmond, OK 73013. Drop in Monday –Thursday from 11am to 9pm
and Friday or Saturday from 11am to 10pm for lunch or dinner. On Sunday, a
brunch buffet is served from 10:30am to 2pm and dinner from 5pm to 9pm. For
more information, visit www.lottinvillesrestaurant.com.

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