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From Sea and Land

Whether you’re grabbing lunch, dinner, drinks, or brunch, this Jenks staple is the kind of place where every element serves a purpose.

Donna Leahey
Sarah Eliza Roberts
August 28, 2019

Green Country and Tulsa are blessed with an abundance of great dining choices. You want fancy to celebrate a special occasion? You can do that. Want quick and casual that won’t break the bank? No problem. A great steak? Amazing seafood? Tasty burger? Beautiful and delicious sushi? Sure thing. What about creative mixed drinks or a patio with a view?

It shouldn’t surprise you that you can find all of that in the 918. What might surprise you is you can also find it all at Waterfront Grill in Jenks.

“It’s something for everyone,” says Michael Banks, vice president of operations. “It’s a place you can feel comfortable coming to after being on a golf course or tennis court. You can come with the girls, your spouse, or a large party. We’re not pretentious.”

It’s easy to understand why people might think Waterfront Grill is just for special occasions; it’s beautiful, inside and out. From the stone exterior with lush trees and grass to the calm and lovely interior, Waterfront Grill is a high-end destination. Full-length windows surround the dining area, spilling copious amounts of natural light inside. Thoughtful details on the walls and ceiling add to the beauty of the setting.

Chicken Stir Fry (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Chicken Stir Fry (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

But don’t think of Waterfront Grill as an expensive luxury car — think of it as a sporty convertible. When you want, you can put the top down and let the wind muss with your hair. It can be casual or elegant, fun and comfortable, budget-friendly, or high-end.

“We want to meet any budget, and any mood,” says Banks. “We want to try to please everyone’s likes and dislikes. And we try to be the best. Our steak rivals the best steakhouses in Tulsa, and our sushi rivals the best sushi in town. I put our seafood, burgers, and sandwiches against any other restaurant. You can come in, feel good about yourself, and not spend a bunch of money. If you want a fun environment, good food, good service, then Waterfront’s your game.”

You can start enjoying that food with a glance at the appetizers. Waterfront’s take on spinach artichoke dip includes applewood smoked bacon and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Another delicious appetizer is the seared ahi tuna. The tuna is delicately seared and served with Asian slaw and a cilantro ginger vinaigrette. The tuna is tender, fresh, and tasty. Don’t overlook the crab, avocado, and mango stack; a treat that’s been voted “best appetizer in Oklahoma.”

If you’re looking for a fresh salad for lunch, consider the strawberry fields salad. This salad mixes hearty spinach with tart strawberries and diced green apples, savory Gorgonzola cheese, and bacon, and tosses it all into a dark, sweet balsamic dressing. Or maybe try the seared ahi tuna on a bed of field greens, avocado, red onions, and fresh mango. The whole thing is topped with sesame seeds and a sweet, tangy champagne vinaigrette.

Waterfront Grill can be casual or elegant, fun and comfortable, budget-friendly, or high-end. (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Waterfront Grill can be casual or elegant, fun and comfortable, budget-friendly, or high-end. (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

There are some special choices on the grilled menu. The 16-ounce, center-cut pork chop is cooked perfectly over hickory to juicy perfection. Or treat yourself to a center-cut filet. “We fly them in every week from Allen Brothers. They’re a famous Chicago meathouse that supplies all the best restaurants in Chicago,” says Banks. This remarkably tender fillet is seasoned deftly and cooked to succulent perfection. It’s worth a splurge.

Waterfront Grill also has a great seafood selection, but pay special attention to the Japanese seabass. The seabass is flown in fresh. This fish is flaky and buttery and comes with a side of veggies. You can have it grilled or sautéed.

Save room for dessert, because Waterfront has some sweet treats. “The crème brûlée is to-die-for,” says Banks. “It’s made fresh with a hint of vanilla bean.” This classic dessert is creamy, rich, and decadent, with a crispy, sugary crust on top and sweet custardy goodness inside. Or if you prefer some tangy with your sweet, try the key lime pie. The sour lime contrasts beautifully with the sweet creaminess of the pie, and the graham cracker crust sets the whole thing off just right.

The artisan drinks are another treat. The watermelon martini is cool and refreshing with just a hint of sweet. It’s a pretty drink, with a wedge of watermelon setting if off, but it’s not too sweet. The cucumber martini is also a delight.

What about the weekend? “Our brunch is the best in town,” says Banks. “We offer everything from traditional breakfast to homemade tamales. There’s an omelette bar and a bloody mary bar. You can enjoy some hearty shrimp and grits, flavorful huevos rancheros, sticky-gooey monkey bread, or an elegant plate of eggs Benedict.”

One way Waterfront makes good on its inspiration to be something for everyone is the happy-hour deals from Sunday through Thursday. Monday offers half off wine and sushi. Wednesdays you can get half off specialty drinks and appetizers. Thursday is half off martinis and the Japanese seabass.

If you need catering or banquet help, Waterfront is there for you as well. “Our banquet room seats 44,” says Banks, “We can do whatever you need. We’ve done a luau with a whole pig, a job with 40 steaks, and a burger bar with homemade chips.”

Waterfront Grill
120 Aquarium Drive | Jenks
Monday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.