For outstanding seafood flown in twice daily, and a wonderful fine dining experience in Tulsa, look no further than Bodean
My friends all know my distrust of seafood in a landlocked state, and I’m not ashamed or afraid to admit it. I know there are a few restaurants in OKC and Tulsa that have good seafood, but I’m still extremely picky about it. Last week I had a stewardship visit with Vance & Lori, a wonderful couple I’ve gotten to know through them having club seats. Vance always sends me very entertaining responses to the post-game surveys… much needed after a rough game day. They suggested either McGill’s or Bodean. I had never been to either one, and since Vance knew of my love for seafood he recommended Bodean.
I have heard from numerous people that Bodean and White River Fish Market are the 2 best places to get truly fresh seafood in Tulsa. Both fly in fresh seafood daily, and both have restaurants and a market for purchasing fresh fish.
Bodean is just off the highway in a non-descript strip mall. The original building was smaller and older, on the other side of the highway. When the highway was expanded, Bodean moved to their current location, on the corner of a strip mall. It looks very plain from the outside, but inside transforms you into a fine dining restaurant. There’s a beautiful fish tank as soon as you walk in, built into a free-standing wall. Behind that wall is the bar area. It’s very spacious, with barstools along the bar, several tables, and several half booths. Vance & Lori often go and eat in the bar area. They offer a full menu, as well as oysters at a great price. The main dining space is all white tablecloths, dark wood tables and chairs, and beautiful décor. There are also 2 fireplaces, one at either end of the dining room. Our table was right next to a fireplace, and it was beautiful. Along either wall are the semi circle tables, and the regular tables are in the middle. There are also 2 private rooms.
First to come to the table was warm bread. The bread was really delicious, and had a little salt on the crust. I could eat warm bread all day, so I had to stop myself from going overboard.
Until about 15 years ago, I refused to eat oysters. To me they were just slimy and gross. Friends convinced me to try them at an event, and after one I became a fan. Now I eat them whenever I can, when they are very fresh. So no surprise, I never in a million years thought I would ever eat raw oysters in Oklahoma.
Bodean features 6 different types of oysters daily, and Vance said to bring the best 2, and we had a dozen of each.
These oysters were amazing, and I could have eaten all of them by myself. It was like being back on the east coast. One of the sauces was vinegar based that I really didn’t care for because it was too strong, but the cocktail sauce was delicious. I made sure not to go overboard with the horseradish. I forgot to take a picture of the lemon presentation, but it was large wedges of lemon pierced with the seafood forks. Very cool.
Bodean changes their menu daily. Some things are always on the menu, but I really like that they do change, to ensure they are only serving the freshest and best product. You have to be really good at what you do to pull that off. Sea bass is one of my favorite types of fish, so when I saw herb crusted pan seared chilean sea bass on the menu, I knew I had to have it. Amazingly, Walmart used to sell a really good flash frozen sea bass, and I used to buy it all the time. I was so bummed when they stopped selling it.
Wow. This was one of the best dishes I’ve ever had. The fish literally melted in my mouth. I was very pleasantly surprised with how big the serving was. Sea bass is such a rich fish, and is quite expensive, so normally the portions are smaller. The risotto was extremely flavorful, and it had whole pieces of rock shrimp that were perfectly cooked and tender. I really enjoyed the pickled okra. The coating was light and flavorful, and the pickling was not overpowering at all.
I also had the crab bisque, which was fantastic
Lori got the seared yellowfin tuna
I know this is the way you’re “supposed” to eat tuna, but I prefer mine cooked nearly all the way through. I decided to be adventurous and try a bite, and I’m so glad that I did because it was fantastic. I had never tried soba noodles before, so that was more adventure. They were delicious, cooked in a soy/ginger reduction and served cold. The wasabi powder was very interesting, and I’ve never seen anything like it before. I didn’t try any, because I had the feeling it wold be even hotter than normal wasabi, since it was so concentrated.
Vance wasn’t super hungry, so he went with the calamari and clam chowder. I didn’t try any, but he said they were both wonderful.
As if that wasn’t enough, Vance and I decided to have some dessert. After some back and forth, we agreed to share the cheesecake
The cheesecake was light and creamy, and delicious. It was the perfect way to end the meal.
Yes, I will definitely be going back to Bodean. There is no question about that. I’ll definitely be visiting the market when I’m in town, to buy fresh seafood.