West Brings Beauty into Restaurant Décor, Food

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West Brings Beauty into Restaurant Décor, Food

The Haynes brothers have been in the restaurant business since 1971, the year their father, Johnnie Haynes, opened the first Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler in Oklahoma City.

In 2007, the brothers decided they want to create a modern, upscale restaurant in the metro. They partnered with director of operations Janet Estes and executive chef Eric Smith to create West.

West opened in 2010, and from the beginning, it was clear that the Haynes brothers were doing something different, both in terms of cuisine and design. The interior is beautiful, featuring dark woods, black leather, a ponderous and prominent bar, and soft lighting.

The most arresting feature, though, is the vertical wine storage, a beautiful, glass case featuring separate temperature control for reds and whites. The storage takes up the biggest section of the east wall in the secondary dining room.

Wine is taken seriously at West, and so are cocktails. Andy Dixon is the beverage director, and he has one of the best trained bar staffs in Oklahoma City.
The by the glass wine list is also one of the metro’s best, featuring wines handpicked by Dixon with an eye toward mixing traditional tastes with contemporary wines. There is something for every taste.

Dixon rotates the list regularly, including the cocktail list, which changes by season, just like West’s food.

Rather than change the entire menu, executive chef Eric Smith creates a supplemental seasonal menu each season. The base menu remains the same, and features some of West’s most popular choices, including Johnnie’s burgers, a grilled cheese sandwich designed for adults, and a $20 burger that is the very definition of decadent.

The grilled cheese sandwich is made on Tuscan bread and includes three cheeses: herbed ricotta, goat cheese, and mozzarella. It’s served with pesto, and you should absolutely have it with the Tomato Basil soup. It’s everything you loved about the combination as a kid, but now made for your grown-up palate.

If a Johnnie’s burger won’t fill you up (seriously?), opt for the $20 burger. The burger is a half pound of truffled, ground beef tenderloin, truffled mayo, and two quail eggs, cooked sunny side up.

It’s enough to split, we promise, and the truffles create such a rich experience, you will likely need to split or get a box.

West is also one of the few restaurants in town to take vegetarian food seriously, and the menu has several delicious, creative options, including the wonderful Brussels sprouts salad, a puree trio of hummus and tapenade, delicious veggie plates, and excellent bruschetta. For the pescatarians, West’s ahi tuna is arguably the best in Oklahoma City.

In addition to lunch and dinner, West has an outstanding brunch that includes both traditional and non-traditional options. The traditional breakfast includes two eggs prepared to order, bacon, housemade chicken sausage, biscuits and cream gravy, and roasted potatoes, which includes sweet potatoes. It’s a hearty breakfast.

The pancakes are made according to Janet Estes’s own recipe, and you will absolutely need a box for the leftovers.

West is open seven days a week, and brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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