A delightful aspect of Charleston’s is the seemingly effortless way everything is done in this comfortable place. Zero in on its new 13-buck enchilada, or its attractive appetizers that are offered for half price from 4 to 7 p.m. during happy hour, one of the best-kept secrets around Edmond. Order up the shrimp “cargot,” the irresistible creamy spinach and artichoke dip or the chicken-fried steak.
Whispering Pines Bed And Breakfast
7820 E. State Highway 9, Norman
For those old enough to remember, Chinda and Rany Kchao used to own and operate l’Indochine, but now it’s Whispering Pines in Norman and is open to non-guests with prior reservations. The menu is ever-evolving and could involve freshly baked bread, along with entrées around $18. For example, the panseared chicken breast is served with wild mushrooms and a rich Marsala and veal demi-glace.
$$$ Bed and Breakfast
Haunted House Restaurant
7101 Miramar Blvd.
The Haunted House, a part of culinary history in Oklahoma, is celebrating its 47th birthday and has become an Oklahoma institution. Several items for less than $20 are available. Savvy diners order its shrimp scampi sautéed with garlic butter, its boneless breast of chicken, the deep-fried shrimp and the pasta and shrimp. Note that they will be open Oct. 30, the Sunday before Halloween.
The Mantel Wine Bar & Bistro
201 E. Sheridan
Conveniently located in Bricktown, get to The Mantel early enough for free parking out front and an attendant watching the area. A $15 appetizer called the Wellington Trio is pretty filling because the food comes wrapped in puff pastry. It contains beef Wellington, a shrimp Wellington and wild mushrooms. The balanced menu keeps things interesting.
Blu Fine Wine & Food
201 S. Crawford, Norman
The Sunday brunch here has an average price of around $8, with nothing more than $15 — and that includes a filet. Its fish is flown in from Hawaii once a week, and those dishes are never more than $20. The seared ahi tuna remains popular, too, along with the half-price pasta that gets crisp in the oven and is served 3 to 6 p.m. for happy hour. The pizza is just plain delicious.
Lottinvilles Wood Grill
801 Signal Ridge Drive, Edmond
Tables here are comfortably spaced and the setting is quiet and tasteful. What captures the attention of its regulars are its Coyote Chicken sandwich for $10, done with pulled rotisserie chicken, Jack cheese, jalapeños and onions and balanced with a chipotle mayonnaise. Or, try the Cuban sandwich, also $10, done with pork carnitas. Other top picks are its enchiladas or its chicken-fried steak — all honest, enjoyable, basic fare.
2824 N. Penn
To tell the truth, Rococo is known for its crab cakes, but there are several other delights. In the $20 range, they include its fettuccini carbonara, rigatoni pomodoro and some neat, East Coast chicken dishes. By the way, all Oklahoma City University staff and students get 10 percent off with proper OCU identification, and check back soon for a special bistro lunch menu geared toward the prices and foods college students will love.
$$$ Seafood and More
—Carol Smaglinski, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
$$: Up to $15
$$$$: Above $30