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Taco 'bout timing, Cultivar opens Monday and more local food/drink news

Ever since its sign went up over the space at 714 N Broadway late last year, Cultivar Mexican Kitchen has been an almost constant source of conversation in hospitality circles.

What is it? Cultivar is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant and craft cocktail bar.

Who's behind it? Local businessman Gary Goldman, formerly of Chesapeake, and chef Dean James Max, who boast an impressive resume.

When does it open? Monday.

Maverick designer and man of leisure Larry Dean Pickering has sculpted an impressive industrial farmhouse setting out of the old Goodrich Rubber building. You'll find little about the place that isn't original, but much of the available material has been charged with new responsibilities like the shelves behind the bar that served for years as stairs for the folks at Goodrich.

The bar top is made of reclaimed boxcar flooring. The original freight elevator has been revived and repurposed as a private chef’s table. The west portion of the dining room is enclosed by twin garage doors that will open into a curb-side patio. The space also boasts a private dining area that seats 32 and is fully equipped for media presentations. Rooftop seating will eventually be offered as will fresh flowers sold in the foyer. 

Goldman and James are dedicated to creating an environment focused on sustainability, GMO-free, and organic ingredients while promoting an honest message.

"I hate more than anything dishonesty in advertising," he said during Friday's preview service. "I never want to say we're 100-percent anything. When you hear that, it's probably not true. But at least seventy percent of the ingredients we'll use will be organic."

The 137-seat space features a Craft Taco station where patrons can view the grinder at work as hominy is ground into masa and the tortillas are cooked fresh on a flat-top griddle. The salad and burrito stations allow patrons to select from more than 50 fresh ingredients, ten proteins, and 15 house-made dressings.

The full-service bar serves craft cocktails, house sangria, and local craft beer and wine.

"You can order tacos and quesadillas from bar," Goldman said. "Or you can open a tab at any of the food stations and order drinks afterward."

The menu offers seasonal tacos, salads, burritos, Bodega rotisserie chicken, and specialty quesadillas. Tables are topped with three house-bottled sauces plus fresh salsa available at the counter. Octane-free drinks come form the Maine Root soda company.

I enjoyed a burrito bowl with Lamb Asado on Friday plus a salad and some salsas. It's a good start for an ambitious concept. Goldman and Max dream of a day when Cultivar concepts will dot the map with each store drawing inspiration from the communities where they're born.

Cultivar Mexican Kitchen will be open daily, Sunday and Monday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight, with the bar remaining open 30 minutes later.

Check out the menu here.

Hog and Hops

Chef David Henry of The Coach House and The Hutch will take his pop-up skills to Anthem Brewing on Sunday.

Henry will serve a four-course dinner out of a whole pig he recently came into possession of, including porchetta. The dinner will be paired with with four Anthem beers starting at 6:30 p.m. at the brewery, 908 SW 4 Street.

Cost is $50. Call 842-1000 for reservations.

KD shoots, and scores, for charity

Make plans now to be a part of Kevin Durant's The Spot.

Scheduled for KD's Southern Kitchen, 224 Johnny Bench Dr., the evening of jazz, food and drink benefits the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation and expand the work of his foundation and the “Build it and They Will Ball” Courts Renovation Initiative.

Click here for more information and ticket options.

Eats and drinks for local kids

Bites and Brews is a special event scheduled for Tuesday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Chesapeake Boathouse, benefiting Youth Services of Oklahoma County.

To help out, Coop Ale Works, Anthem Brewing , Oak & Ore, the R&J Lounge and Supper Club, Gigglez Bar and Grill and Slaughter’s Hall will offer the food and drink.

Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple and include unlimited food samples and two drink tickets per person. Buy them here.

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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 ›