You’ll come for the stunning views of Lake Hefner, but you’ll stay for the delicious food and wonderful atmosphere of Redrock Canyon Grill.
Last month I went back to Maryland for a weekend to visit family and friends. During football season it’s rare to have completely free weekends, so I take full advantage when the opportunity presents itself. OSU had a bye week, Maryland had a home football game, and it was my birthday weekend all rolled into one.
One of the challenges of living in Stillwater is that there is no close major airport. Both OKC and Tulsa have large airports, but they are each about 90 minutes away. A few months ago, American Airlines began regional air service from Stillwater to Dallas. That will be great for me when traveling for work, but Southwest has a direct flight from OKC to Baltimore. So as long as I’m flying to Maryland, I’ll make the drive to the airport. Michele graciously offered to take me to the airport on this trip, and when she picked me up on Sunday evening we were both hungry. After some back and forth and indecision (something we do really well), we finally settled on Redrock Canyon Grill.
When I lived in Maryland there was a Redrock Canyon Grill in downtown Silver Spring, not far from my parents’ house. It changed names to Copper Canyon Grill soon after I moved to Oklahoma, and now there are 5 Redrock Canyon Grill locations in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Redrock Canyon Grill is part of the Hal Smith Restaurant Group, and includes a variety of restaurants throughout the Midwest.
Redrock Canyon Grill is located on Lake Hefner, a beautiful area just north of Oklahoma City. You can travel all the way around the lake via sidewalk, and there are boat ramps, fishing docks, a golf course, and trails. During great weather, the lake and surrounding areas are very popular. There are several restaurants along the lake, all with stunning views.
Every time I visit a restaurant at Lake Hefner, I say we need to spend more time there. It’s such a great place to socialize and meet people, and do something different. But sadly, we never do. That’s something we definitely need to change, beginning in the spring when the weather is beautiful again.
As the evening progresses, the views become even more beautiful, and lots of people take advantage of the photo opportunities. Redrock Canyon Grill also celebrates the sunset every evening, as bells ring when the sun goes down.
The architecture of Redrock Canyon Grill kind of reminds me of a lodge. The building has a brick exterior, and a large outdoor fireplace near the front entrance.
There is also an outside bar under a gazebo. Redrock Canyon Grill hosts Live on the Lake, with live music on the patio. The concerts are every weekend, from April through October, weather permitting.
The inside of the building is very warm and inviting, with rich color tones. There is a host stand at the entrance to the restaurant; a large, U-shaped bar in the center that encompasses nearly the entire length of the restaurant; and an open kitchen at the far end of the bar. The dining tables are a combination of booths, tables, larger semi-circle booths, and patio seating. The patio extends the length of the restaurant, and has large windows that roll up, so the patio is available year-round.
Redrock Canyon Grill is open for dinner daily, plus Sunday brunch. On weekends the wait for a table can be long. It was very crowded when we arrived, but we only waited a few minutes for a table. We sat out on the patio. It was a very windy evening, but the cover provided enough of a buffer that it wasn’t bad at all.
The Redrock Canyon Grill menu is quite small, but that works well for me. The dinner menu features appetizers, soups/sides, entree salads, wood-fired rotisserie chicken, entrees, and desserts. The brunch menu includes nearly everything on the dinner menu, as well as a few breakfast entrees plus a couple of sandwiches.
All entrees come with two sides. One of the side dishes is redskin mashed potatoes, but we both substituted the garden salad. I did blue cheese dressing on the side
I like that they use romaine lettuce, rather than iceburg. They use a darker bread for the croutons, and they have a wonderfully hard crunch. The raw carrots are a nice twist from a typical house salad, and add great color and texture. The dressing is thick and rich, and delicious. I always ask for dressing on the side, so I can dictate the amount. I’ve heard TV chefs say that isn’t the way to go; that they know how to properly dress a salad. Maybe, but I also don’t want a salad drenched in dressing. So I do what works for me.
I very rarely ever get the special at a restaurant. I’ve read that some restaurants create the “specials” menu with ingredients that have been in the restaurant for a few days, so it’s product they are trying to get rid of. But I think that really depends on the quality of the restaurant, and how often those specials change. The other catch with the specials is the price; those dishes are usually at or near the top end of the menu price, and servers don’t always divulge the price until you ask.
I’m not quite sure what came over us, because we both got the specials! They both just sounded so good to us that we couldn’t resist. Redrock Canyon Grill has 4 items each week on their specials menu: starter, fresh fish, “Canyon Cut”, and dessert. Michele got the ahi tuna
I don’t typically care for tuna steaks, because they are so rare. I’m a huge texture eater, and don’t like the idea of biting into a chunk of rare meat. Michele raved about the tuna from the first bite, so I decided to be adventurous and try it. Michele was right…the tuna was excellent. It was perfectly cooked, and the sesame seeds add a really nice contrast in texture. The dipping sauce adds a wonderful flavor.
I was ready to order the rotisserie chicken, until I heard our server describe the beef tenderloin special to a guest at another table. I didn’t have to hear anything else after blue cheese sauce.
The tenderloin was fabulous. It was cooked to a perfect medium, juicy, and extremely tender. The red wine reduction sauce adds such a silky texture to the meat. The combination of the red wine reduction and blue cheese sauce was wonderful. As I ate, I realized the redskin mashed potatoes would go so well, especially mixed with the reduction. The creamed corn was okay, but not hot enough for my tastes. The corn is shucked straight from the cob, as there were a few corn silks mixed in. I try to always use fresh corn when I cook, so that is a huge plus in my book.
Will I go back to Redrock Canyon Grill? No question. As I mentioned earlier, I’m on a mission to visit Lake Hefner more frequently in the future. I will definitely be back for Live on the Lake when it starts again in the spring. Plus, I love Redrock Canyon Grill’s skillet cornbread, and we didn’t order it on this visit.
For reviews of more restaurants in the Hal Smith Restaurant Group, click on the photos below!