Taste Of Oklahoma: Having A Great Time With Mexican Fusion Flavor

A downtown Tulsa restaurant is combining its vibrant atmosphere with unique tequila-based cocktails, fusion Mexican cuisine, and flavors that are all enhanced by a hot wood oven.

Wednesday, April 10th 2024, 5:30 pm

By: News On 6


A downtown Tulsa restaurant is combining its vibrant atmosphere with unique tequila-based cocktails, fusion Mexican cuisine, and flavors that are all enhanced by a hot wood oven.

Noche takes inspiration from Mexico, the south, and even Oklahoma and Arkansas.

It doesn’t claim to be authentic, but the wood-fired food is packed with flavor and you might just fall in love with a stunning dish you’ve never tried. The sun sets in downtown Tulsa ushering in a packed house inside the downtown restaurant.

“What we wanted to do was create this idea of being transported to another city," said owner Sheamus Feeley.

Noche Woodfired Grill greets you with vibrant red and blue walls, colorful art, funky lighting and a direct view into the kitchen– the woodfire oven prominently displayed. Owner Sheamus Feeley is an Arkansas native who has traveled the world and cooked under Wolfgang Puck before helping run a successful restaurant group, opening locations across the country.

With 30 years in the restaurant biz, he always had his eyes on T-Town.

“Tulsa for me has always had this pull," he said. "For me, it's the most underrated city in the US.”

The location next to Drillers stadium came open and it was time to make Noche a reality.

Sheamus drafted Marco Herrera to be his executive chef. Herrera was a school principal but knew his passion was cooking– so a few years ago he followed his dream.

He worked at pop-up chef’s collective Et. Al in Tulsa, until he was poached for Noche. Now, he takes inspiration from his El Paso roots to lead the charge in bringing these fusion dishes to life.

"A tlayuda is a Oaxacan street food, it's all over Mexico.”

Marco toasts blue corn tortillas to the perfect crisp as a vessel for toppings. He tops the tlayuda with beans, green chorizo, salsa and cabbage.

“Less is more," he said. "You don't want a ton of stuff on it.”

This appetizer is an explosion of flavor, especially when it gets a dip in the salsa habanero. The beef tenderloin tampiquena starts with a grilled filet that then gets a drizzle in clarified butter and a trip to the 650-degree oven.

The pollo a la brasa, a half chicken that marinates for 48 hours, also takes a trip into the fire.

“Just smoked, marinated, in tons of orange juice, soy sauce, garlic we confit," he said.

It’s served atop an ahi verde sauce.

“Spicy and creamy and super herbaceous," Herrera said.

A bite of the juicy chicken makes all that time marinating worth every minute. The filet is paired with cheese enchiladas and golden rice. Sheamus said these dishes take inspiration from all kinds of places and he wants to keep Oklahoma palates in mind too, so authenticity isn’t the goal.

“What’s authentic can be subjective; we have to be cognizant of where we are," Feeley said.

It’s why they offer everything from classic queso to the Mexico City-inspired tlayuda. The same goes for their drink selection.

"I will make you love tequila and agave spirits," said Beverage director Alfredo Aquilera.

Aquilera hails from Tequila, Jalisco in Mexico, and has mixed up drinks around the world before being recruited to Noche. His classic margarita includes hand squeezed juices, agave, and egg white for some froth.

Another option is his twist on an espresso martini, the carajillo.

"I got an idea of using chile with coffee.”

He mixes a chile liqueur with tequila and adds chocolate bitters to the foamy top.

Both drinks are balanced, fresh, and dangerously delicious. Noche also offers tequila flights, so anyone can find a flavor they fancy. Sheamus said Noche has stayed busy and well received in its four months open, and he hopes these unique, special flavors and stunning cocktails will continue providing an experience that wasn’t here before.

“We want a place for Tulsans to celebrate, have a good time, and do what Tulsans do best, which is be social, eat well, drink well, and have a great time.”

We're always looking for unique, special restaurants all over Green Country. You can send an email to Kristen.Weaver@Griffin.News with your recommendations.

You can also follow @Kristeats on Instagram.

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