Metro Wine Bar & Bistro

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Metro Wine Bar & Bistro delivers the goods for 25 years

By Greg Horton

The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro has been in business for just over 25 years. Owner LaVeryl Lower opened The Metro across the street from The Coach House because at the time there was no place in town doing what she and her partners, husband Chris Lower and Coach House owner Kurt Fleischfresser, were doing: opening a high quality bistro in proximity to a fine dining restaurant. The trend was popular in France at the time, and the Lowers and Fleischfresser wanted to replicate that model in Oklahoma City.

From the beginning, the goal was to offer high quality food, excellent service, and premium wines in an atmosphere that felt like a neighborhood bistro, and with prices that made it possible to eat there more than once a month. For 25 years, Lower has been delivering on those goals. Her restaurant now boasts one of the most tenured staffs in the metro, with many servers there from 10-20 years, guaranteeing consistent, highly-qualified, knowledgeable staff.

The menu has changed substantially over the years, although a couple of the original items remain. Lower also creates a quarterly, supplemental menu that changes seasonally. The seasonal menu always includes an appetizer, main courses (including a fish selection), a vegetarian option, and dessert. The Metro has always been vegetarian friendly, primarily because Lower has long been committed to offering creative, delicious vegetarian options.

Do not fail to start with an appetizer. The smoked salmon is some of the best in town, and the style is slightly different than many are used to. It’s cooked a little longer, but the smoke is quite mild. The lamb potstickers are delicious, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself dipping the fresh-baked bread into the tamarind ketchup that accompanies the potstickers.

The Metro serves lunch and dinner, and the menu of appetizers and entrees is different for both, although some appetizer items appear on both. One item that remains on the menu consistently is the veal liver and onions. Really, it’s the Cadillac of liver and onions. If you are a fan, theirs is a must try. For the less adventurous, The Metro serves delicious steak and fish, especially the fish specials. It is simply one of the best places in Oklahoma to get fish.

The risotto has long been a popular choice on the dinner menu, and The Metro makes two: parmesan risotto and saffron risotto with shrimp and scallops. The menu includes pork tenderloin and two chicken dishes, as well.

Lower was one of the first restaurateurs in Oklahoma to commit to an expanded, high quality wine list. She was the first in Oklahoma City to offer wine by the ounce. Her by-the-glass list is one of the gold standards in Oklahoma City, and she changes it five times a year. The bottle list is extensive, populated with classic names, but her prices are very reasonable.

Finally, people drive all the way across town to get The Metro’s bread pudding. Their desserts are rich and delicious, including crème brulee, lemon tart, and pot de crème. Before deciding, be sure to look at the seasonal option as well.

The Metro serves lunch and dinner Monday through Friday. They are dinner only on Saturday and Sunday, and Sunday dinner features a family-dinner menu.

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