I was excited to hear that Slice magazine was going to feature a profile of Guernsey Park’s delicious food. (You can read Steve Gill’s wonderful review here.A truly good food writer, Mr. Gill says everything necessary about the atmosphere and production value at this establishment, and the only reason I’m going to throw my two cents in as well is because I ate different things, and want to tell you how wonderful THEY are, too, just so you’ll get the message that this is a place you should eat.)
I love to see talented folks opening up unique eateries, and I love sharing when the experience is fantastic. (You’ll note that I don’t post bad reviews. That’s not because I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like–although I know some of you wonder–but because I prefer to publicize those who are doing great, and not punish someone for sucking. Or just having a bad day. Which is possible in the chef/restaurant world, sometimes. Those who suck will eventually go out of business, and those who have an occasional misstep deserve to be able to redeem themselves later on. So if I can’t say something good, I usually keep quiet.)
No need to keep quiet about Guernsey Park, though.
I ate there with my sister, who also loves a good meal–and never meets a stranger–and by the time I arrived (and found it; it’s tucked behind Cuppies and Joe, off of 23rd), she already had the chef and manager lined up to meet me, and was sampling drinks they were concocting for the dinner hour.
We chatted with (classically trained) Chef Nguyen about the Asian fusion menu, and I decided then and there to try the Korean Cowboy; a 12 oz ribeye steak served with bulgogi ketchup and crispy kimchi slaw. We made our way to the table, and chose appetizers. You’ll hear raves about the Chicken Lollipops, and I’m sure they’re fantastic, but I cannot recommend the Oxtail Ravioli (served with a pho salad garnish) heartily enough. (I know, you’re saying, “Jill, you’re getting a beef entree…AND ordering an appetizer with beef?” and my answer is yes, yes, a thousand times…yes.)
After formalizing my order with the waiter, Chef Nguyen caught me (on my way to the bathroom) and wheedled me out of my “medium well” choice for cooking the steak. “This is Oklahoma!” he exclaimed good-naturedly, referring, I assume, to our state’s phenomenal track record with regards to beef safety. (Never been a recall of Oklahoma beef examined in a USDA-inspected facility).
In an exercise of taste trust (that could also double as a means of OCD therapy), I agreed to put my steak’s doneness in Chef Nguyen’s capable hands, and my reward was a buttery, beefy dream. Bulgogi Ketchup might sound suspicious to you, but the tangy, tart complement is a superlative addition to an incredible piece of meat. The fries were a little salty for me, and the kimchi slaw a little spicy…but any minor complaint at all was overshadowed by the sheer tastiness of it all.
My sister got the Shrimp and Cake–seared shrimp with bacon green beans and sriracha butter–and while I eschew shellfish (yes, food writers CAN SO be picky), the bite of potato cake that I took from her plate was delicious.
I hesitate to even mention the Almond/Chocolate Symphony dessert, because I didn’t see it on their online menu–it might not be available–but I have to.
A delightful combination of flavors and textures–chocolate and almond ice cream, toffee, chocolate sauce, almond cake, chocolate mousse and chocolate and almond “tuille”, whatever that is, it’s wonderful–come together in a harmonious marriage of taste that is truly music for your mouth. Wonderful. (It’s still listed on their PDF menu, just not the website.)
The place is just lovely, the people are friendly, the atmosphere is low-key but refined, and most importantly of all, the food is fantastic.
Give them a try!