Tuesday 22 Jul
 
 

Vietnamese comfort food

I’ve always had a love affair with the refreshing, healthy cuisine of Vietnam. I love the fragrances, the fresh herbs, cilantro, basil, mint and other Asian herbs: perilla, Vietnamese coriander and sawtooth cilantro. And I love the contrast and balance in almost every dish: spicy vs. cool, salty vs. sweet and steamed vs. crispy.
07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Hill tops

Northwest Classen High School has produced an impressive list of alumni over the years, including current Sonic president and CEO Cliff Hudson, former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Bill Hill, a 1969 alumnus, left Oklahoma after graduating from the University of Oklahoma and has been instrumental in the development of some of California’s super premium vineyards and wines.
07/17/2014 | Comments 0

Top of the city

With Josh Valentine running the kitchen at The George, the anticipated opening of the restaurant atop Founders Tower has been worth the wait.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0

New kids on the block

There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG Eat

Ah, the perils of working with special dietary needs. It can make dining out a pain. Luckily, with restaurateurs becoming more savvy to their diners’ needs, there are a bevy of places in OKC to satisfy your craving for the foods you love without losing taste. All choices this week have been road-tested by gluten-sensitive foodies to guarantee satisfaction.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Know your rights

What better way to celebrate your freedom than grilling it to perfection over an open flame? We’ve combed local meat markets for the best ingredients to make traditional burgers or brisket. Feeling more adventurous? Why not go for lamb or buffalo? Whatever your heart desires, local butchers will be more than happy to help you praise hot-off-the grill freedom.
07/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Creative cuisine
Restaurant Reviews
 

Creative cuisine


Ludivine mixes innovative cuisine with green principles for a restaurant and dinner you’ll remember.

Jenny Coon Peterson April 20th, 2011

Review of Ludivine
805 N. Hudson
778-6800

WHAT WORKS: The vibe, menu and staff create a seamless — and stellar — experience.

WHAT NEEDS WORK: The small menu could make ordering difficult for pickier diners.

THE TIP: Go with an open mind, and just maybe you'll find something you never thought you'd love (like sea urchin!).

Our server was sporting suspenders — suspenders! — over his white tee and hipster-approved pants.

It was all very “Doctor Who,” which made me an instant fan, but what spoke louder than his jaunty suspenders were the very obvious passion and intelligence he had about the food at Ludivine. And that’s the vibe that imbues the entire space — it’s innovative without being too full of itself.

Plus, Ludivine means what it says when it throws around words like “locavore” and “green.”

“It is very important to us to show where everything comes from,” said Jonathon Stranger, co-owner and chef at the restaurant. “We want our customers to go to these people at the farmers’ market … and support them as well. If you love the spring garlic we are serving, you can go to Phil Young and Two Tomatoes Veggie Farm and bring it home to cook for your family.”

On the green end, the restaurant does a number of things to help the planet, like composting, using recycled materials and even donating grease to the Urban Agrarian to help run his Veggie Van.

But Veggie Van, Smeggie Van. I was thinking only of dinner and drinks when I met a friend recently at Ludivine.

If you are able to, opt to sit at the chef bar to get a little “chef-in-action” entertainment with your meal.

The menu at Ludivine is small and changes at least weekly, so check it out online first if you’re a picky eater. And before you lament the absence of your standard chicken-fried whatever, know that all those unique ingredients and combinations are coming to you incredibly fresh. Trust me, if you give it a try, you’ll probably like it.

In the spirit of “trying,” I goaded my friend into ordering the sweetbreads ($11), the oxymoronic term for the “other” meat. “Other” as in the thymus and pancreas. No bread in sight.

Terror aside, my friend tentatively tried her first sweetbread and said the flavor of the beurre noisette sauce was enough to keep her mind off what she was eating.

She wasn’t about to go home and write a diary entry raving about her new love, but she was happy she tried the dish. For my part, I stuck with a safe — but delicious — bowl of potato and leek soup ($7).

I’m not always such a wimp. Last time I was at Ludivine, I tried the sea urchin — knowing full well what they look like in the wild — and loved it. On that same visit, I ordered halibut with potatoes and probably would have started licking the dish if I thought people wouldn’t notice.

For our entrées, I tried the vegetarian option ($22). Even if you don’t see it on the menu, it’s always available and will include a selection of vegetables and maybe egg. Mine was a mix of sautéed veggies (like Brussels sprouts, carrots and tomatoes) in a pecan mirepoix puree topped with an over-medium egg — lots of great flavor and definitely filling.

My friend went for the braised beef short rib from Sandy Spring Farm ($25), a colorful, flavorful plate done with lightly sautéed greens and tomatoes mixed with gnocchi — cooked perfectly, according to my friend.

We ended on a sweet note with the suspender-recommended chocolate and lavender bread pudding ($8). The bread pudding was moist and rich, served with a thick and creamy orange ice cream and local honey.

In the end, Ludivine is about trying something new — either a dish you’ve never heard of or a unique twist on a classic. And, according to Stranger, diners have embraced just that.

“We are surprised by the willingness of our great guests to try new things,” he said. “This also tells (co-owner and chef) Russ (Johnson) and I that people trust our cooking and us.”

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

 
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