When McGill’s restaurant opened its KingsPointe Village location during the U.S. Open golf tournament in the summer of 2001, a Tulsa World review described it as “richly decorated in jewel-toned plaid carpeting and paisley corduroy booth backs.”
It talked about a fireplace, a revolving-door entrance — a nod to co-owner Greg McGill’s New York City background — and dozens of photos and posters on textured green walls.
That was then; this is now. The fireplace and revolving door still are there, but that’s about it.
“It was time to make everything more modern and bring it up to date,” said operating partner Amy Moss, who has worked with McGill and co-owner Hal Walker for more than 20 years.
Bring it up to date, they did.
“We have all new booths, and our colors are more grayish and black,” Moss said. “We have new lighting, new high-top tables in the bar and new carpet. We overhauled our private room (that seats 12 to 14) with padded chairs and television. We cleaned up the patio a bit and added a television.
“We upgraded both bathrooms, we have new plateware, and we took out two booths in the center of the dining room and turned the space into a chef’s table for six. We also used to have about 100 photos on the walls; now, we have nine, but they still give that local feel. It’s just an overall cleaner look.”
The dining areas seat up to 200 overall, but it seems more intimate than that.
We liked the more modern ambience when we visited on a recent cold evening. We landed a booth in the bar area just steps from the fireplace and settled in for a long, leisurely dinner.
We shared a smoked salmon mousse appetizer ($15) and a Caprese salad ($9) while deciding on our entrees.
A platter with a mound of cold, creamy smoked salmon arrived with capers, diced hard-boiled eggs, diced red onion and five, thick-cut crostini brushed with olive oil and herbs. At first, I wasn’t sure the salmon would make it through five servings, but it did, with a little to spare.
We had told our friendly server, Joey, that we would share the salad, and she thoughtfully had it split on two plates, each holding two slices of tomato and a slice of mozzarella cheese, all topped with fresh basil and balsamic vinaigrette. It was a traditional Caprese, our favorite.
We could have made a satisfying light dinner out of the salmon and salad, but we were there for the whole show. McGill’s is equally known for its beef and seafood, so we ordered the prime rib of beef ($36) and fillet of orange roughy ($22).
The ounces weren’t listed for the prime rib on the menu, but this was a big guy. It was at least an inch thick and covered a good portion of the plate. It was tender and juicy, and we liked it plain and dipped in sides of au jus and horseradish sauce.
The orange roughy had been lightly dusted, and I mean lightly, with seasoned flour and sautéed and deglazed with white wine. It was mild-tasting and had a flaky texture. It was garnished with an orange slice, which I went ahead and squeezed over the fish with OK results.
I never run across orange roughy without thinking about its origins. It didn’t gain much traction in restaurants under its original name, slime head, if you can imagine, but did much better after getting a name change through a U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service program in the late 1970s.
I noticed the peppery steak Gerard, which had been around for many years, no longer was on the menu. A new signature steak is called the Manhattan ($36), cut from the heart of the striploin and aged for 28 days.
A Sunday night special to note is a filet of beef with a 5-ounce lobster tail dinner for $24.99.
Dinners come with crusty, complimentary bread with butter, as well as ice water with lemon slices.
A separate lunch menu is heavy on salads and sandwiches, running $8 to $19. Lunch entrees, many smaller versions of dinner items, are $12 to $25.
McGill’s has full bar service, including wines, beers and specialty cocktails.
McGill and Walker opened the original McGill’s in November 1990 at 1560 E. 21st St. That location was renovated a few years ago. A third McGill’s, called McGill’s on 19, operates under a licensing agreement at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.