Restaurant of the Week: Okra

Restaurant of the Week: Okra

Okra, on 7th Avenue in Central Phoenix, is the second restaurant from the award-winning team behind Crudo.

Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails is part of the revitalized 7th Street in Central Phoenix. They’re located in “Crown on 7th” along with The Central Kitchen and specialty retail shops. Chef Cullen Campbell and mixologist/sommelier Micah Olson are the team responsible for Okra.

Okra serves authentic Southern food – with an Italian twist – in a modern setting. The atmosphere is casual but elegant and is perfect for date night or to celebrate a special occasion with friends. Okra also has Happy Hour seven days a week.

okra-cocktails

Olson has created a custom cocktail list that has something for everyone. There is a list of “refreshing” cocktails, all of which have citrus juice. The “direct” cocktails are what you’d expect, featuring the traditional (old-fashioned and sazerac) and some of Olson’s handcrafted creations. Keeping in line with the southern spirit of Okra, there is also a list of various Julep recipes.

Campbell’s dinner menu is a far cry from the raw fish and fine Italian cuisine that put him on the culinary map. The talent and creativity Campbell displays at Crudo, however, definitely travels here with him. The menu, recently updated and revamped, is split into multiple sections.

okra-shared-plates

The shared plates – “shares” on the menu – are the largest section on the menu. Okra is the perfect place to bring friends, order a bunch and pass them around. The Smoked Oysters are creamy and delicate and a wonderful introduction if you’ve never tried them. The Shaved Catfish is a staff favorite for good reason. The breading is light, the fish is cooked perfectly and the crystal aioli and pickle vinaigrette are perfect accompaniments. The Brussel Sprouts with bbq lamb neck is also a highlight.

The signature Fried Chicken has its own section on the menu, and deservedly so. You can order it in five different styles including Tennessee Hot and Umbrian style. The breading is thick and crispy and keeps the meat tender and juicy. It’s just like your grandma used to make – if your grandma made some of the best fried chicken in the south.

okra-fried-chicken

The “bigs” are the other dinner plates and there are four to choose from. One of the choices is a BBQ Meatloaf with mashed potatoes. If you like a little spiciness, the meatloaf is a great choice and the crispy onion rings are addictive. Sandwiches are also available, including a sandwich version of the meatloaf. Plentiful side dishes and three dessert choices round out the menu.

When you go to Okra, make sure you go hungry and bring some friends or family. Southern cooking like this tastes even better when you can share it over laughs and some of the signature cocktails.

Okra is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information about Okra, visit www.okraaz.com.

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