Land and Sea: a perfect pairing

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Chef prepares dish.
Sean pours beer while listening to guest
Sean pours water for guests

Land and Sea: a perfect pairing

By Tim Farley

Sean Cummings is ecstatic that Land and Sea Restaurant is still open.

Riding the waves of an unpredictable economy sparked by plunging oil prices, Cummings knows restaurants stay in business when people are spending their disposal cash.

“It hasn’t been an enormous gangbuster, but it (business) has been good,” he said during a recent interview.

Land and Sea, located at 7523 N. May Avenue, seats 40 people in a small, quaint area.

“The norm in larger cities is to have small restaurants and that’s what we do here,” Cummings said.

The service and friendly atmosphere, which is almost identical to next-door neighbor Vito’s Ristorante owned by wife Cathy Cummings, make Land and Sea unique.

“Oklahoma City has treated us very well,” Sean said. “What we do here is completely different. We have steak and people order it, but there’s enough of that. We probably sell 80 percent fish.”

Land & Sea focuses on fresh fish, which is flown in twice a week. The menu, driven by Chef Chris Bickel, has four appetizers, seven entrees and four desserts. The house specialties include the mouth-watering potato encrusted Chilean Sea Bass and rack of lamb and the No. 1 appetizer is fresh mussels tossed in garlic-gingered basil coconut sauce.

This reviewer, accompanied by nine members of his family, ordered the sea bass, rack of lamb, Shepherd’s pie and the chicken breast, which is stuffed with grilled vegetables and grainy mustard. Every entrée, salad, dessert and libation was well worth it. Everyone left satisfied and happy with that particular dining experience.

Sean Cummings, a veteran of the restaurant business in Kansas City and Oklahoma City, said the national and state economy have major impacts on the food industry.

“When the price of oil went from $100 to $45, I thought for the first time in 30 years we’d fail. There are no guarantees for anybody,” he said. “I’m thrilled we’re open. Everything’s delicious and I’m happy with where we’re at now.”

The long-term goal for Land and Sea is to continue implementing creative ideas that build the on the success of the neighborhood gastro pub, which already has earned a reputation for providing diners with affordable, quality food that allows the restaurant to sustain itself.

Sean Cummings is a front man in many ways, managing the front end of the restaurant and being the guy who organizes and opens a new eatery.

“I’m always trying to work myself out of a job, but it hasn’t happened yet,” he said, with a laugh.

Much like the infamous “Cheers” bar in the iconic television comedy, Land and Sea is a place where “everybody knows you,” Cummings said. There are five stools at the bar where moderately-priced wines and beer are served and customers almost seem to know the person sitting next to them. In most cases, they’re considered regulars who are willing to provide witty and colorful banter about their host or current issues.

Land and Sea is, without a doubt, a fun, cozy place to dine, drink and make new friends. It’s definitely a place where, as the song goes, “everybody knows your name.”

For more information about Land and Sea or to make reservations, visit www.landandseaok.com. The restaurant’s telephone number is 405-755-2622. Land and Sea is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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