It's cold outside, and pasta is calling! Downtown Tulsa has a growing food scene that is to die for. Here are some of our picks for pasta paired with seafood, cheese, beef, roasted seasonal vegetables, wine sauces, and so much more. Whatever you're craving, as usual, Downtown's got it.
We'll start with the new kid on the block, Bourbon St. Cafe. Their story begins in November 2000 in Oklahoma City, first as Jazmo'z Bourbon St. Cafe, and then as Bourbon St. Cafe. They expanded to Tulsa in fall 2022. Here, customers will find Southern hospitality merged with the flavor, style, and festive vibe of New Orleans.
Enjoy these delicious dishes with Creole flavors:
New Orleans Style Fettuccine Alfredo
Rich and creamy alfredo sauce with Bourbon St. Spice, tossed with Fettuccine and your choice of chicken, shrimp, or crawfish
Sautéed shrimp, lump crab, and scallops in a buttery herb sauce over angel hair pasta
Cajun Mac and Cheese
Blackened alligator and andouille sausage in a creamy three-cheese sauce and penne pasta with toasted Parmesan and a bread crumb topping
Ti Amo Ristorante was originally established in west Berlin and moved to Tulsa in 1988. They have quickly expanded and, in 2009, opened their Downtown location across from the BOK Center. They strive to bring an exceptional dining experience with traditional Italian dishes. Their menu has something for everyone, especially those who love pasta! It's a perfect spot for business meetings, romantic evenings, or a gals night out on the town.
Here's a peek at their menu:
Stuffed with beef, topped with your choice of marinara or rose sauce
Spicy Linguini Ti Amo
Linguini noodles with olives and capers tossed in your choice of a spicy vodka rose sauce or a chipotle marinara sauce
Tortellini Al Forno
Ham and Italian cheeses baked in Parmesan cream sauce
il seme is a delicious Italian restaurant from James Beard nominated-Chef Lisa Becklund and Linda Ford, co-owners of FarmBar in Tulsa and Living Kitchen Farm & Dairy in Depew. The name 'il seme' is Italian for "the seed," referencing how the restaurant concept began as just a seed of an idea that ultimately grew into something much bigger, as well as a nod to Lisa's and Linda's agrarian roots.
il seme's menu is locally sourced, seasonal and changes regularly. The items listed below will give you an idea of what to expect, but they might not be there every night. Trust us, though, whatever they have on the menu, it'll be worth the trip!
The French Hen has been Tulsa's French fine dining for over 40 years, but the eatery moved from south Tulsa to Downtown's Vast Bank building a few years ago. Everything is prepared each day by hand in this bright, modern restaurant. Chef/owner Kathy Bondy has assembled one of the most talented and accomplished teams in Tulsa and keeps to The French Hen's high standards for food and service.
All we can say about their menu is that you should try it all, especially these pasta dishes:
Osso Bucco Buccatini Nicoise olives, capers, and lemon
Seared Diver Scallops
Creamy sherry and shrimp over angel hair pasta
Located in the East End Village of Downtown, Lowood has a variety of fresh pasta, wood-fired dishes, and thoughtful pairings — all with an emphasis on local produce and meats grown and raised by farmers in and around northeastern Oklahoma. The base of everything Lowood does is hospitality, and their menu spans flavors from southern Italy to Greece and beyond. Don't forget to try their wine selection!
Some of our pasta picks:
Reginette and Arugula Pesto
Applewood smoked bacon, farm egg yolk, and parmigiano reggiano
Cavatelli and Pink Argentina Shrimp
Basil, tomato, saffron, citrus, capers, parsley, and cervasi olive oil
Bucatini and Bourbon Barrel Smoked Black Pepper
White wine, shallots, and grana padano
Pat Johnson and Amy Johnson McMillin are the brother-sister duo behind the delicious food and hospitality at Bohemian Pizzeria. Experience their wood-fired pizzas and handmade pasta, made with the finest ingredients imported from Italy and the freshest locally sourced produce. They also have an impressive drink menu, with craft cocktails featuring house-made infusions, Italian wines, local beers on tap, and mocktails.
Some pasta favorites:
Fettucine alla Vodka
House-made fettuccine tossed with creamy tomato vodka sauce
Cacio e Pepe
House-made spaghetti tossed in a creamy butter, Parmesan cheese, and cracked black pepper sauce
House-made pasta layered with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, herbed ricotta, and Italian sausage
In 2012, after an extensive historical renovation of the property, Tulsa native and OSU Culinary School graduate Libby Billings opened The Vault in Downtown's former auto bank. The menu combines classic American fare and craft cocktails with retro influences. In addition to a delicious menu, The Vault has hosted countless private events, cocktail classes, drag shows, and musical performances, and it is one of Tulsa's favorite weekend brunch spots!
Here are a few of their pasta dishes:
Rotini pasta, sausage or garbanzo beans, zucchini and yellow squash, spinach, cherry tomatoes, lemon, garlic, Parmesan, and toasted pecans
Bank Teller Shrimp
Five pan-seared shrimp, rotini pasta, sun-dried tomato cream sauce, bacon, spinach, and Parmesan
Loaded Mac and Cashew Cheese
House-made cashew cheese, rotini pasta, crispy kale, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and Head Country BBQ
Located in the Tulsa Arts District, Sisserou’s is inspired by the colorful cuisine of the island of Dominica, the Nature Isle of the Caribbean. Their menu includes a broader spectrum stylized on authentic Caribbean cuisine with a touch of European and American influences.
Have yourself a different take on pasta:
Salmon Rasta Pasta
Crab-stuffed salmon topped with walnut pesto on Rasta Pasta, a classic Jamaican dish with crimini mushrooms, shrimp, red peppers, and red onions tossed in a savory cream sauce garnished with a Parmesan crisp
Amelia's makes its delicious pastas from scratch, and their taste is something to write home about. The following dishes are from Amelia's fall and winter menu, but expect some fresh spring dishes (including pasta!) just around the corner. Amelia's spring 2022 Pappardelle featured rock shrimp and pesto — yum!
Charred cabbage, speck, pumpkin bechamel, and 12-month aged provolone
Beef Brisket and Carmelized Onion Ravioli
Mushroom cream, rosemary oil, hazelnuts, and grana padano
Located on the west side of Downtown, Baxter's is always a solid bet for a tasty lunch or dinner. Of course, pasta can be perfect for either! For lunch, order a small portion and a dinner or Caesar salad. For dinner, try one of these entrees:
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Seasoned chicken, red onions, bell peppers and fresh roma tomatoes tossed in a Cajun alfredo sauce with penne
Tomato Basil Pasta
Linguini, fresh roma tomatoes, basil, artichoke hearts, sweet onion, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil
Tortellini with Pesto Cream Sauce Cheese filled tortellini with sautéed onions in a creamy sun-dried tomato basil pesto sauce
If have suggestions for future Downtown food blogs, let us know at Hello@DowntownTulsa.com. Happy eating!