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Basketball is too easy for KD, so he opened a restaurant

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant has diversified his game to the point that he is generally considered one of the two best basketball players on the planet. Most folks around here tend to believe he’s No. 1. When, not if, that first gold ball finds its way into KD’s massive mitts, the world will agree with what we already knew: KD is the man.

But only time will take care of that debate.

Meanwhile, Durant has diversified his business interests off the court by partnering with the Hal Smith Restaurant Group to open KD’s Southern Cuisine, 224 Johnny Bench Dr., in Bricktown.

The restaurant opened earlier this week, and I was able to dine there on Saturday during the one and only preview service the restaurant was able to run through before opening. Two other services were planned but Jack Frost treated those plans the way Serge Ibaka treats those who take it to the rack without conviction.

The interior of KD’s is as spectacular as its part-owner’s arsenal of scoring weapons. Upon entry, guests are faced with the swanky horseshoeish bar that’s splashed in subtle Thunder tones, gold, blue and white. The music is founded on hip hop, one wall dotted with the oversized basketball shoes. The wine cellar looks like a transporter pod from the future.

The menu is easily the most spectacular in town. When you open this hefty binder it lights up from beneath the pages. The gradually going blind like me are a welcome surprise in this low-lit atmosphere.

The contents of the menu are decidedly Southern and Soul: Fried Chicken and Waffles, Mardi Gras Chicken, Barbecue Pork Ribs, Deep South Meatloaf, Smothered Pork Chop, Country Fried Steak, Honey Fried Chicken, Creole Shrimp and Grits and Fried Catfish are among the standards. The menu also includes a burger and a fried chicken sandwich, salads and a handful of recognizable starters.

The Baller Menu is where KD and his NBA mates will likely choose their entrees from the private room encased in glass that frosts at the flick of a switch for privacy. The Baller Menu offers prime beef in New York strip and Tomahawk rib-eye. It also includes tenderloin medallions with toast points and a collections of iced shellfish.

The menu also offers a nice selection of sides, including some of the finest green beans with bacon I’ve ever had. I also tried the Honey Chicken, which may or may not be an homage to Bobo’s Chicken. Very good, look forward to trying it again. The Spicy Jerk Wings lived up to their name, and the Fried Green tomatoes were crisp and tart. The Wedge salad was perfect, the Caesar Salad NOT overdressed, which is rare at restaurants. For dessert, we tried the four-layer chocolate cake with raspberry, which is exactly as you’d expect.

Being the first service, it’s impossible to give a fully formed opinion other than to say I look forward to going back, but I have a feeling wait times will be long. Good thing they’ve got a nice bar and plenty of eye-candy.

Prices range from a little under $10 and to beyond $50 on the Baller’s Menu. The restaurant appears to be a slam dunk business model, but only if the food rises to the quality of KD’s jumper. And just as we must be patient for KD to bring home the gold, the worth of his restaurant will be determined in time.

The restaurant is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday with Sunday hours 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant offers brunch Friday through Sunday. I’ll report on KD’s again in the spring.

Meanwhile, if you go, let me know what you thought.

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Dave Cathey

The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene. Read more ›