REVIEW: Warren Duck Club
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Has it really been 11 years since the Warren Duck Club dropped its coat-and-tie requirement for gentlemen diners?
It has, according to a feature I wrote in 2001. That article also said the dessert bar had been shelved and that tenderloin Oscar had replaced blackened filet as the then-16-year-old restaurant’s No. 1 dish and that tournedos of beef and pistachio-crusted shrimp had overtaken rotisserie duck as the second favorite.
For local purists at the time, it seemed as though sophisticated, elegant dining was going to you-know-where in a handbasket.
I hadn’t received much feedback about the Duck Club in recent years, so we decided to make a dinner visit to check it out.
With the most recent ownership shift, it now is Warren Duck Club in the Doubletree Hotel at Warren Place. For our purposes, Duck Club will do fine.
We were pleasantly surprised by the ambience, still elegant but updated to include all-wood floors, new drapes pulled back to show the pretty garden area and snazzy Italian chandeliers.
Familiar faces added a touch of comfort with the fresh decor. Hamid Baghestani is dining room captain, a position he has held for 25 years, and our server, Shawn, has been with the Duck Club for 17 years, though he works part time now.
We also learned director of operations Travis Taylor is in his third tour with the hotel, chef Deborah Young has been in the kitchen 25 years, and executive chef Anthony Perez three years.
Baghestani told us blackened filet and rotisserie duck are back to Nos. 1 and 2, where they belong. Having had those dishes in the past, we ordered the 12-ounce bone-in rib-eye ($36) and the poached halibut ($35). The kitchen was out of halibut, so we substituted it with a lemon-basil salmon fillet ($24).
The salmon featured a good-sized fillet served over wild rice pilaf and a wonderful basil butter sauce. The salmon, garnished with rosemary, was firm, fresh and cooked just through.
The rib-eye, garnished with lemon thyme, was big around, cut rather thin and had a small piece of bone on one side. It had a lot of strains of fat, which was good for flavor but made it a little tough to chew.
Sides dishes - butternut Yukon gold mashed potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, haricot verts and sauteed spinach - were as satisfying and flavorful as one could imagine.
We also shared lobster bisque with cream sherry creme fraiche ($6.50), whiskey shrimp ($13.50) and jumbo stuffed mushrooms ($12.50).
The mushrooms were the stars of that group. The dish included four mushrooms filled with lump crab meat, goat cheese and chives and topped with hollandaise.
Read more of this review and find out how many stars the restaurant received in Thursday's Weekend magazine or online at tulsaworld.com/weekend.
Rotisserie Duck, served at the Warren Duck Club. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World