Bluestone Steakhouse & Seafood restaurant has been a fine-dining staple in south Tulsa since it opened in 2008. Owners Sharon and Bill Tackett recently branched out with a very different concept.
They have taken over the cozy dining space in The Market at Walnut Creek, a place more suitable for a ladies’ luncheon than the steak-and-potato crowd.
“We didn’t want to abandon anything from Bluestone Steakhouse in terms of quality, but we knew we had to scale down the size of the portions and the price points,” Bill Tackett said. “We wrestled with it for a while, but we are happy with the results.
“We still make everything from scratch, and we use quality products. We make our own potato salad and pasta salad, and we have fresh-baked bread every day. We’ve been open about a month and a half, and the feedback has been very positive.”
For those who haven’t been there, The Market at Walnut Creek is in a 25,000-square-foot building with more than 100 locally owned showrooms and boutiques selling home décor, furnishings, gifts, clothing and accessories.
If your spouse or partner likes to shop, and you don’t, this can be a dangerous place, unless you need a gift for a hard-to-buy-for someone, and then it’s a gold mine.
It probably is safe to say that on most days shoppers are about 90% women, and this is reflected in the menu for Bluestone By Day. Items are divided into sections, such as “The Chicks Choice,” “New York Deli,” “Dallas Girls Trip” and “Queen for a Day.” Those cover all of the sandwiches and salads. The only dishes not in those categories are soups and quiche, not counting a Saturday-only brunch menu.
By happy coincidence, we dined there on a Saturday and drew from the regular menu and the brunch menu.
We shared cups of a daily offering, tomato basil soup ($6), and the soup of the day, creamy button mushroom ($6). Both came out piping hot, and both were delicious. Some of the basil leaves made it through the puree process, so watch for that, but the fresh tomato flavor with the basil and other seasonings (garlic, pepper?) was perfect for a cool day. The mushroom soup held whole button mushrooms in a rich, creamy broth.
My wife also had the quintessential ladies’ luncheon dish — think bridge, Mahjong, etc., parties going back decades. At Bluestone, it is called the Half Crown Tomato ($12) and features two tomato halves filled with chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad or a combination of two of those served over lettuce.
We had the egg salad on one and the tuna salad on the other. The egg salad had a touch of onion, which isn’t my favorite preparation, but my wife liked it. The tuna salad had a little pickle, egg and mayo in a nice balance. Though we didn’t have the chicken salad, our server, Conner, said it had roasted pecans, grapes, onions and celery.
Conner, by the way, was friendly without being over the top and seemed to have a good grasp of the menu.
I had eggs Benedict ($12), which featured a traditional preparation with two English muffins topped with slices of deli ham, runny eggs and a velvety hollandaise sauce. I downed every bite, plus a side of fruit that included red and green grapes, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Tackett said he uses uncured deli meats because he prefers the flavor over those with other preservation agents. I had a tasting during our interview and have to agree.
Goodness knows I’m no chemist, but after snooping around some, I found all deli meats have preservatives. They can be “cured” meats with sodium nitrate/nitrite or “uncured” meats most notably with celery powder, which is rich in naturally occurring nitrate.
Shopping note: Packages of deli meats that say “no nitrates or nitrites added” almost always have an asterisk that leads to a statement that says “other than those which naturally occur in celery powder.”
Mimosas and Bloody Marys were available Saturday, and Tackett said a wine list will be added in the near future.
Bluestone By Day has two small dining areas but enough seating for small groups. Reservations are accepted. A group of Red Hat Society ladies was leaving just as we entered.
Black tablecloths are glass-topped, and the table settings include black cloth napkins, faux flowers and a pair of reading glasses. One wall is filled with decorative mirrors and others with local artwork for sale.
Valorie Reynolds, director of operations for The Market, said Bluestone will participate with market vendors in a new promotion beginning in March called “Sip and Shop” from 5-7 p.m. Thursdays. Bluestone will offer wine and appetizers.
“Some of our Bluestone Steakhouse customers have been introduced to The Market because of Bluestone By Day,” Tackett said. “Some Market customers are finding Bluestone Steakhouse by way of Bluestone By Day, so it has been mutually beneficial for The Market and both of our restaurants.”
Gallery: Bluestone by Day inside The Market