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Adventure on an International Scale

Every Wednesday, ol’Vine offers an ensemble of flavors, colors, and textures to delight the senses in small enough portions that you can sample several plates at one sitting during its Savory Swirl.

Donna Leahey
Marc Rains
April 28, 2018

What are you doing Wednesday for dinner? Cancel that, because you should be visiting ol’Vine’s weekly Savory Swirl. Starting at 4 p.m. every Wednesday, Savory Swirl is a world tour of flavor for your palate and a chance to play with different wine pairings, all at a great price.

Ol’Vine is the second restaurant for Don Jones on Brookside. He’s been leading Cafe Ole for the last six years and branched out a year ago with ol’Vine. He built it to be a casual place with a rustic and diverse approach to the menu. Wednesday evening’s Savory Swirl began last summer.

“We saw the popularity of travel TV and food trucks,” says Jones, “and the trend toward small plates. We built the menu with these trends in mind, and we played with the ethnicity of the food.”

The result is an ensemble cast of flavors, colors, and textures to delight the senses in small enough portions that you can sample several plates at one sitting. Pick a flight of wines to go with it, and you can tour the world by way of your palate.

Lamb Sliders (Photo: Marc Rains)
Lamb Sliders (Photo: Marc Rains)

“Big plates get boring,” says Jones. “If you order a variety of tastes, your palate stays stimulated. With small plates, we can do a variety of food well at a great price point.”

Ol’Vine’s Savory Swirl plates range from $4 to $6, giving you a lot of flavor bang for just a few bucks. Put three or four plates together into a meal, and you can experience plenty of tastes from diverse cultures all at one sitting.

Some of the cultures inspiring the flavors behind Savory Swirl include Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, and American Southwest. The menu includes a few gluten-free options as well as some vegetarian options. All the delicious plates are cooked from scratch. Ol’Vine chef Sarah Browne works hard to make these plates perfect, tweaking the recipes until they’re just right and as fresh as she can make them.

The Vietnamese inspired Bun Cha Gio Salad is a delight of both texture and flavor. The salad bowl is filled with rice noodles and chopped lettuce, then topped with hoisin chicken, pickled veggies, and comes with peanut and nuoc mam sauce. Like most Vietnamese dishes, it’s a delight of tastes, hitting all the notes of sweet, sour, salt and bitter.

Wine Flight (Photo: Marc Rains)
Wine Flight (Photo: Marc Rains)

The cast iron garlic shrimp is one of the gluten-free options. The generously meaty shrimp are sautéed in garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes and served sizzling in a cast iron dish. The shrimp are cooked to a tender perfection and seasoned just right so you still taste the delicate shrimp without it being overpowered by the garlic or onion.

The veggie couscous is a treat. If you’ve never had Israeli couscous, the grains are much larger than what you may be used to, which creates a pleasant and unique texture. It’s topped with grilled vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash, and dressed with a sweet and tangy pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette. Don’t skip over this one because it’s vegetarian; the flavors are a great complement to any of the other choices.

The lamb slider is a thick ground patty of farm lamb seasoned with Greek flavors and served in fresh housemade pita. The traditional tzatziki sauce is great on it, but the smoked baba ganoush is rich and flavorful and should be tried, either on the lamb, or on its own.

For another light, textural delight, try the summer shrimp roll. The shrimp is stacked with carrots, red pepper, jicama, basil, and cucumber and wrapped in rice paper. The veggies add fresh flavors along with crisp texture. The peanut sauce sets it all off perfectly.

A plate of puttanesca bruschetta is a fresh counterpoint to some of the more savory plates. It’s a combination of fresh tomatoes, olives, garlic, shallots, and herbs, served on crispy grilled toast, with a surprising hint of heat. These flavorful bites are topped with briny fried capers and slivers of Parmesan cheese.

Other options include a tuna tartar flavored with ginger, caper, shallot, sesame oil, truffle oil, and topped with wasabi crème fraiche. The braised pork belly is tender and rich and served with miso-sake risotto with a caramelized onion confit. The asopao rice stew is a savory combination of shrimp, calamari, chorizo, pulled pork, and chicken. The adobo chicken skewers are perfectly grilled chicken served with a smoky chipotle tomato sauce.

As spring makes its way closer to summer, you should consider enjoying your Savory Swirl on ol’Vine’s patio or the courtyard in the back. Or, if you prefer your air conditioning, there’s plenty of space inside this comfortable, casual eatery.

The popular wine flights are available Tuesday nights as well as Wednesday and are a great travel companion for your culinary explorations. According to Jones, ol’Vine has been recognized as having the second-best wine list in Tulsa. “Our wine rep is savvy and sharp and put a lot of thought into the flights, which allowed them to have great success,” Jones says. Some of the flights you can try include the Wagner Family Flight of three wines, including their excellent red blend. The biggest seller is the Viva la France! flight of three of ol’Vine’s French wines. The summer wines features some of ol’Vine’s best light and bright wines.

ol’Vine Fresh Grill
3523 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday Brunch: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.