REVIEW: Four stars for The Artichoke
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
3/25/13 at 2:27 PM
This story originally contained an incorrect phone number. It has been corrected.
One does not run across artichoke serving dishes often, but then, whole artichokes are not a common restaurant item, either.
We recently found both, near Grand Lake of all places, in a cozy fine-dining spot between Langley and Ketchum called — can you guess? — The Artichoke.
“The first restaurant I managed in Kansas City was called the Leather Bottle, and artichokes were the only vegetable on the menu,” said Jim Sellers, who owns The Artichoke with his wife, Diana.
“When the restaurant dropped that idea, I acquired the plates they used for the artichokes. Also, I love to teach people who aren’t familiar with whole artichokes how to eat them.”
Our plump artichoke ($6.95) arrived on a metal artichoke plate that had a recessed compartment for melted lemon butter (mayo and sour cream also are available).
Some years ago I used to cook artichokes in a pressure cooker, so I know the drill about eating them: pull off each leaf individually, dip in sauce and slide between teeth to pull off the small amount of meat at the end of the leaf; continue until reaching the thick heart at the bottom. The heart can be sliced into several pieces.
This, along with a bowl of thick bean soup ($4.95), was a fun way to start the dinner. These items came with sourdough bread, butter and a clove of roasted garlic wrapped in gold foil, a nice touch.
For our entrees, we chose steak Oscar ($33.95) and sauteed shrimp ($18.95) with garden salads and sides of sauteed mushrooms and a fried whole potato.
The thick, 8-ounce filet was fork-tender and cooked a true medium-rare. It was topped with asparagus tips, sweet crab meat (the real thing) and bearnaise sauce — a classic dish perfectly executed.
The shrimp entree featured six tail-on, nice-sized shrimp that had been sauteed in garlic butter with mushrooms and a cream sauce.
Sliced, sauteed mushrooms were fine, and the fried potato had the character of fried potatoes on the edges and a standard baked potato near the center. The potato was served with a butter and herb sauce.
The dinner salads included mixed greens, grape tomatoes, cucumbers and slivered almonds with a good ranch dressing. A variety of other dressings is available.
The Artichoke has six steak entrees, eight seafood, three chicken and a pasta of the day, along with appetizers, salads, soups and desserts. Steak soup, adapted from the Plaza III in Kansas City, is a signature dish.
A children’s menu includes chicken strips, hamburger, PB&J, pasta with cheese sauce, and grilled cheese for $2.95 to $4.75.
The restaurant has a serviceable regular wine list, plus a reserve list for those willing to go the extra dollars.
The 44-seat dining room, which once was part of a 100-year-old farmhouse, has a pine ceiling, rough wood and taupe walls, a wood floor, black tablecloths, Victorian-style chairs, and original paintings on the wall for sale. A bar area seats 11. Big-band music from the ’30s and ’40s played in the background. Reading glasses are provided, if needed.
Diana Sellers is a horticulturist and runs a retail greenhouse, The Potting Shed, on the property where she also provides herbs for the restaurant and runs a Saturday farmers market, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April to October.
“We had a catering company in Oklahoma City for many years,” Jim Sellers said. “When we sold it we wanted to live on Grand Lake and have a place for Diana to have a greenhouse.
“When we found this property, it had the old house on it — and we figured we had to do something with it, too — so we made it into a restaurant. We opened in July of 2004 and have been busy ever since.”
Find this and other restaurants in a special Bassmaster Classic edition of Weekend magazine on Thursday.
2610 N. Third, Langley
on Oklahoma 82 between Langley and Kethcum
5 p.m. to close (varies seasonally); accepts all major credit cards; reservations recommended: go to
Blackened salmon served at the Artichoke restaurant, taken in Langley. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World