Rococo Northpark Open; Thanksgiving Feast Planned
Bruce Rinehart has escaped the island and done it with style: via cruise ship.
The chef/owner of Rococo Restaurant and Fine Wine has long referred to his restaurant as his “little island on 28th and Penn,” but now he’s expanded his interests with a spot in Northpark Mall, three times the size of the original with what Rinehart calls a “cruise-line style brunch on Sundays.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the new location will be open Thanksgiving, offering a buffet with all the classics plus typical Rococo flourish.
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- Video: New location for Rococo (2010-11-17)
Rinehart plans a brief escape is brief, intending to return to his island while giving the wheel to chef/partner Jason Bustamante, who ‘s worked with Rinehart 16 years. The super-sized version takes over the mall’s northern-most space, which was most recently Poblano Grill. The space has been vacant since Poblano moved a few blocks north on May Avenue in February 2009. Before that, the space was occupied by Tommy’s Italian Grill and Interurban.
The original Rococo is at 2824 N Pennsylvania, in the space where Tony’s Italian Specialties reigned for many years. Rinehart settled in Oklahoma City eight years ago after extensive restaurant work on both coasts , which is reflected in the broad menu. Rinehart features Maryland Crabcakes, Hawaiian Pokis, steaks, and classic East Coast-style pasta.
“If you wanna come in and buy dinner for the whole family without spending a fortune, we’ve got burgers and sandwiches under ten bucks,” Rinehart said. “But if you wanna live it up a little, you can come in and spend $75 on a trio.”
Special to the new location is a chef’s table, located in the kitchen. The dark, oak banquet table seats a dozen comfortably and allows diners a behind-the-scenes experience plus the ability to have a hand in the menu for the night.
But the most ambitious portion of the new restaurant is the brunch, which is set up like those on luxury liners. A carving station, custom omelet and egg station, and fresh fruit are located around the restaurant.
The new space also includes the original’s signature fireplace surrounded by couches but a wall-mounted water fountain flows nearby. On Sundays, an ice carving amplifies the elemental theme.
Borrowing the original’s red and black color schemes, Rinehart’s wife Amber has mixed modern and antique decor with the brick and glass interiors. Large flat-screen televisions are mounted around the restaurant and in the mall, featuring what Rinehart calls “Rococo Cam,” giving diners a peak at what’s going on in the kitchen.
” We’re having a great time,” Bustamante said from behind the chic bar with signature pineapple-infused vodka. “The place is beautiful.”
His uncontainable smile evidenced how anxious he is to show it off.
Eateries open for Thanksgiving
Here’s a list of other restaurants that have confirmed they will be open for Thanksgiving. Reservations are advised by most operators:
- Deep Deuce Grill, 307 NE 2, opening at 4 p.m., 235-9100.
- Chequers Restaurant, 1009 S Air Depot, Midwest City, open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 736-6944.
- Paseo Grill, 2909 Paseo Suite A, open 4 to 9 p.m., 601-1079.
- Legend’s Restaurant, 1313 W Lindsey, Norman, seating at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m., 329-8888.
- Rococo Northpark, 12252 Northpark Mall, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., 212-4577.
- Deep Fork Grill, 5418 N Western Ave., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., prix fixe, 848-7678.
- Grand House Asian Bistro, 2701 N Classen Blvd., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., dim sum, 524-7333.
- Embassy Suites Norman, 2501 Conference Drive, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 364-8040.