It’s impossible to imagine the Brady Arts District without Hey Mambo’s delicious brick oven Italian cuisine. Its vibrant atmosphere matches Brady’s hip vibe with an air of zesty tomatoes and luxuriously fresh cheese. Gourmet pizzas like the Center of the Universe (an artichoke, spinach and bacon delight), or the Diablo (Italian sausage, pepperoni and jalapenos) will keep you visiting. The Ravioli All’Arrabbiata (cheese filled ravioli), Pasta el Sol (jumbo shrimp sautéed with tangy tomatoes, red onions, fresh lime, pineapple rosemary and garlic mambo mojo served over linguini) and Pescatora (6 ounce grilled trout based with citrus-butter sauce) will make you think you’re back in old Italy. Hey Mambo also crushes it Sunday mornings. You can’t go wrong with staples like eggs, sausage, French toast and omelets, as well as composed dishes like Farmers Pie (pesto cream, spinach, pepper bacon, sliced prosciutto, roma tomatoes, feta and three eggs) and Eggs Benicio (served over English muffins with capicola, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce drizzle on top).
If the wind is right, you can start enjoying your experience at Hey Mambo before even walking in the doors. The scent of pecan smoke drifts through the air as you cross the street, letting you know you’re in for something special at this refined Italian eatery and wine bar. The Brady Arts District is home to many of Tulsa’s most unique locations, and Hey Mambo is definitely a big part of that special ambiance and flavor. The location is spacious and airy with high ceilings, exposed light bulbs and ducts, patio dining and a window wall entrance.
The heart of Hey Mambo is the source of that wonderful scent of pecan wood smoke: the brick oven. Flames play deep inside, keeping the oven hot and ready to cook your pizza.
“There are not a lot of brick oven restaurants. The pecan wood gives it that flavor and keeps the oven hot,” says Scott Moore, the owner and operator. “We make our own sauce, our own dough and cook the pizza at the perfect sweet spot of 720 to 740 degrees. We have people from all over the world — including Italy and New York — who says ours is the best pizza they’ve ever had.”
Moore set out to open a brick oven restaurant with great pizza inspired by the thin crust pizzas of New York City, with a casual and relaxed atmosphere. And he succeeded. The atmosphere combines the edgy feel of a New York pizza place with the open, contemporary clean feel of someplace in the Pacific Northwest where you could expect to enjoy a cool night breeze while sipping your wine. Hey Mambo offers more than their delicious pizza, though. They have a diverse and flavorful menu of popular pasta dishes, hearty soups, fresh salads and grilled choices. Chefs Nichole Brooks and Yancey Friend are dedicated to the consistent quality that brings customers back from all over the country. Moore appreciates that his chefs like to play with specials, offering small plates and other creative options.
The extensive menu includes many popular items. The scallopini with meatballs is a favorite off the pasta menu. The Agnello alla Montanara — a lamb shank braised with rosemary and served with rosemary gold potatoes and mambo ratatouille — is another favored choice. The Pollo Bracciola is a chicken breast, pounded out and stuffed with sautéed crimini mushrooms and diced prosciutto and served with polenta and ratatouille.
If you want the most popular items off the pizza menu, you have a choice between the Center of the Universe and the Diablo. The Center of the Universe is a mouth-watering combination of pesto cream with artichoke, spinach, pepper bacon, sliced prosciutto, roma tomatoes and feta cheese. The Diablo is the pizza that bites back, with Italian sausage, pepperoni, pepper bacon and jalapenos.
Moore has his own favorite, however, the sweet and cheesy Baroness. It starts with pesto cream sauce, topped with diced pears, prosciutto, Gorgonzola, walnuts and drizzled with local honey.
He also suggests the Torta al Gorgonzola, which is a cheese torte made with Gorgonzola, ground onion and salt pork and served with lavash bread.
The dessert menu includes Vino Pasticcino, a wine cake; house made gelato; Dolce al Formagglo, a rich and creamy cheesecake; and Ganache al Cioccolato, a sweet and smooth chocolate cake.
The wine rack, which stretches from the floor nearly to the ceiling, is made from repurposed wood. “The wood is from one of the warehouse walls. I saved it and used it to build the wine rack. Some of the wood is stamped — not painted, but stamped into the wood — with ‘Alaskan Washington Timber Co.’” The unique wooden fixture, filled with wine and spirits, dominates an entire wall.
Speaking of wine and spirits, the collection at Hey Mambo includes several local selections. “We have wine from Pecan Creek winery out of Muskogee, local beers like Marshall, and there’s a distillery in Guthrie that makes vodka and gin that we stock.”
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