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


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 · Penthouse pizza
Restaurant Reviews

Penthouse pizza

Wood-fired artisan pizza is served in surroundings with contemporary style at this Classen Curve spot.

Doug Hill June 22nd, 2011

Upper Crust Wood-Fired Pizza’s structure looks like a mondo Italiano design, with its white top, sloping roof and floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

It fits right in on the hip Classen Curve, with Whole Foods under construction across the street and the attractive, blocks-long Chesapeake Energy campus on view from the dining room.

Nichols Hills’ ladies who lunch barely get the Jaguar warmed up driving here. Once inside, trendy goes into overdrive. It’s one big asymmetrical room, with dining tables and booths done in elegant blond wood and red leather. There’s not a tremendous amount of seating, but the room feels massive because of the very tall ceiling.

A granite-topped bar spans the length of one brick and mahogany trimmed wall and an impressive walk-in glass-fronted wine chill room with 12-foot-tall racks accessed by a sliding ladder invites browsing the extensive vino selection.

“A lot of our guests like to go right in and chose a bottle, or our entire list is on the back of the menu,” said Lindsey Keeton, Upper Crust’s manager. “We have really great Chianti that goes well with pizza.”

Any skepticism about the pizza actually being baked in wood-fired ovens is easily remedied because they’re in open view. The pies are slipped in right next to the smoldering logs.

“We burn pecan, hickory and oak,” Keeton said. “Each pizza is cooked at about 500 degrees. The temperature is controlled by how much wood is fed into it.”

Jeff Dixon at Upper Crust Wood-Fired Pizza
Credits: Shannon Cornman

A pizza chef working the oven said it takes experience to master this ancient baking system. There’s no computer control; it’s all a matter of measured judgment. The result doesn’t taste smoked, but there is something that defies description. It’s a rustic heartiness that comes across in every robust bite.

This is a pizzeria that spurns Midwestern convention. There is no “supreme” pie with a dozen toppings. You may order a customized pizza, but the menu has some advice:  “We suggest no more than three toppings for the crispiest, authentic Italian taste.”

Toppings are $1.50 each, and you’ll find fennel, Texas goat cheese, prosciutto, capers and truffle oil among the 34 toppings listed, but no bell pepper.

Upper Crust pizzas are all 12 inches, round and sliced into sixths. It’s debatable whether they serve two. I ate an entire Some Like It Hot ($12), artistically decorated with spicy Italian sausage, balsamic peppadew, pepperoncini and hot cherry peppers. But gluttons discounted, with salads or an appetizer, one pizza would probably feed a normal couple.

Psycho Shroom ($13) — the pies mostly have cutesy menu names like this — is adorned with fontina, mushroom mix, chives, truffle oil and grana padano cheese. For a plain, no-nonsense cheese pizza, there’s the Upper classic pie ($10) that lacked the eye appeal of the others, but tasted superb.

The equally simple garlic cheese bread ($8) appetizer is the restaurant’s top seller. Besides pizza, also look for panini ($8), lasagna ($13), meatball subs ($9) and spaghetti and meatballs ($13) — all tempting.

For healthier eaters, the Farmer’s Market salad (large, $6) is seasonal. It was made with Boston bib lettuce, arugula, candied walnuts, Fuji apples and Gorgonzola cheese, tossed with a vinaigrette, when I visited.

Finally, dessert: “Our cookie pie ($6) is the best thing on the menu,” Keeton said with a Cookie Monster gleam in her eye. “It’s half white chocolate macadamia nut and half dark chocolate chunks with ice cream on top. Amazing.”

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

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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