(Top) A lobster tail gets a simple treatment at Mahogany Prime Steakhouse. Steak, however, is still the main event.
(Middle) The dining room at Mahogany Prime lives up to its name.
STEPHEN HOLMAN / Tulsa World
MAHOGANY PRIME STEAKHOUSE
6823 S. Yale Ave. 494-4043
Food Steaks, seafood
Price $16.99 (stuffed chicken breast) to $38.99 (22-ounce porterhouse steak)
Non-smoking section Yes
Credit cards All major
Food four stars atmosphere four stars service three stars (Ratings reflect the quality of the food, setting and service. One is fair, two good, three very good, four excellent.)
Searing selections and powerful setting set off the new Mahogany Prime.
The ownership of Mahogany Prime Steakhouse has gone all-out to offer quality steaks in a handsome setting.
The steaks, according to corporate executive chef Brad Johnson, come from prime beef purchased from a Chicago packer that also provides beef to some of the top restaurants in the Midwest.
Johnson said great effort also is made to bring in fresh Maine lobster, rock lobster tail and Belluga caviar, all priced on a daily basis. The night I was there the rock lobster, a luscious-looking, enormous fellow, was $90.
Mahogany is a beautiful facility. Wine storage racks are on each side of the front door as you enter the room filled with rich, mahogany hardwoods, black leather booths and tasteful artwork, including a couple of huge old photos of downtown Tulsa. The color of the textured walls is a 500 percent reduction of the stain used on the mahogany and blends nicely throughout.
The classic table setting includes heavy silverware and white rose linen draped over tabletop pads, probably underappreciated but a welcome touch nonetheless. The lighting is dim, but small flashlights are provided to help read the menus.
The noise level is fairly high with a near-capacity crowd but doesn't drown out conversation, although it does cover up the background music. The Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr., etc., recordings only can be heard in the plush restrooms, which include individual cloth towels to dry your hands.
The restaurant seats 110 and has two lovely private rooms, one that seats eight and another that seats 18.
Before getting into the steaks, we tried an appetizer of fried oysters ($11.99). The oysters were fried in a light batter and served with three sauces -- an excellent, refreshing quacamole; a tomatilla salsa that had a little bite to it, and a mustard sauce.
Two salads were terrific. The Caesar ($4.99) had a subtle flavor with just a hint of anchovy, and the mozzarella-tomato salad ($5.99) featured buffalo mozzarella, incredibly fresh but not overripe tomatoes, a balsamic vinaigrette and peppercorns. I also saw a 1950s-style lettuce wedge ($4.99) that looked good dressed up with beets, carrots and scallions.
The entree choices are mostly steaks -- seven altogether -- plus a lamb chop, stuffed chicken breast, grilled salmon and the lobster. We tried the least expensive of the steaks, a 7-ounce filet mignon ($19.99), as well as a peppercorn steak ($25.99).
The filet was tender, flavorful and cooked perfectly. The peppercorn was a 14-ounce strip steak that also was cooked just right and delivered a tangy flavor with the beef.
The nine side dishes all serve two people and all are priced at $6.99. I had good reports on the au gratin potatoes and onion rings but we opted for the wild mushrooms. Crimini, shiitake and button mushrooms were sauteed in a wine sauce made from St. Francis Vineyard cabernet sauvignon, the same wine I ordered with my steak.
The wine list is moderate -- maybe 50 wines -- and most of the selections are proven winners. Full bar service is available, and martinis are shaken table side.
I liked the good, hot homemade yeast rolls, but they were served about three-fourths of the way through our salads and before our entrees. I don't know if that is standard, but the timing seemed odd.
Pineapple upside down cake ($5.99), an unusual dessert for an upscale restaurant, was wonderful baked in an individual custard dish and served with French vanilla ice cream and hot pineapple bourbon sauce. A thin creme brulee ($5.99) that sat on a layer of chocolate and was topped with traditional seared sugar was good but not outstanding.
A fresh glass of lemon and ice water -- not just a refill, but an entire fresh glass -- was served at the END of the meal, an outstanding policy.
A nearly perfect evening caved a bit at the finish. We had not eaten all of our steaks or sauteed mushrooms and asked the server to put the leftovers -- probably $20 worth of food -- in a to-go box. After the bill was paid, the waiter informed us the assistant waiter accidentally had thrown away our food.
It would have been apropos to have the manager come over before the bill was paid and make an offer -- or have the waiter make the offer with the manager's OK -- to take the desserts, maybe the drinks, SOMETHING off the check.
Instead, the waiter said, "I'm sorry this happened. Is there anything I can do for you?" If I had not been reviewing, I would have said, "Sure, comp the meal." And then we probably would have encountered the manager anyway but under less pleasant circumstances. What we did was quietly walk away.
My only other complaint -- and this may be a matter of preference -- was the food service was a little too brisk. Salads arrived before we finished the appetizer, and entrees arrived before we finished our salads. Unless we are trying to make a movie or something and request quick service, I prefer a somewhat more leisurely pace.
Another peeve has nothing to do with the restaurant but rather with the crowd. I saw one gentleman -- who spent somewhere around $150 for dinner for two -- in shorts and very dirty tennis shoes, as though he had just come in from mowing the yard. I saw a number of others in shorts and sandals.
I know the weather is hot, but the restaurant was cool inside and most of the cars in the parking lot appeared to be equipped with air-conditioning. I probably tend to reside on the laissez-faire side of most issues, but sometimes, when the occasion and restaurant warrant it, there's nothing wrong with a tiny touch of class to help make the evening more special.
Mahogany is part of the Hal Smith Restaurant Group that also operates Bellini's (which previously was in this space), Red Rock Canyon Grill on Lake Hefner and Mahogany's current next-door neighbor, Charleston's. This is the first Mahogany Prime Steakhouse. Jerry Bolen is general manager.
Mahogany is open for dinner only Monday through Saturday. Reservations are strongly suggested.