Tag Archives: Ludivine Restaurant

Ludivine OKC Lives Up To Its Second and Third Syllables: A Restaurant Review

If you do what I did and accidentally search for the Ludivine restaurant in Oklahoma City by typing “Ludivine dot com” into your browser, you’ll be met with a screen full of drop dead gorgeous, blond – um…nakedness.  Evidently Ludivine Sagnier, the French actress, is famous for her nude acting scenes. And, still photos of these scenes are displayed on the front page of her website in case you needed to be convinced of her ability to pull off the roles into which she was cast.  Certainly it’s not just to garner website attention and attract high internet traffic, right?

I’m sharing this uncomfortable detail of my personal life because the information could be valuable in case you wish to eat at a new restaurant in the Mid-Town OKC area and you might happen to do a search at your place of employment.  And, if you’re already past that stage and you work for a state agency like I do, then you might also want to do what I did:  Immediately call or write your information technology friend and let them know of your faux pas.  Here’s a copy of my e-mail…

Dear [Name of IT friend]–

I was looking up Ludivine restaurant because I want to go eat there tonight.  I typed in Ludivine dot com (rather than the correct ludivineokc dot com) and for a brief moment was flashed with naked women photos.

Eek! I’m just telling you this because I may have set off some kind of filter or monitoring system within the workplace internet software…

See ya,[me]

In case you’re wondering if I’ll be the next state employee on the 10:00 p.m. news, the answer is no.  Evidently, my anxiety level was much higher than my friend’s and his response was basically, “This stuff happens.  Thanks for the heads up.”

I’m saving my e-mail just in case.

Enough about me…let’s talk about Ludivine.  The restaurant.  In Oklahoma City.
The Red Dirt Chronicles has already covered the establishment in three ways: a) We gave a shout out to Peach Crest farms, one of their local suppliers; b) I wrote an article about why I’m crazy about the concept of the restaurant and featured a link to their YouTube video library educating the viewer about various aspects re: their growers or producers, their purchasing philosophy, etc; and, c) the fact that they are now open for business.  This review will wrap our regular coverage of the restaurant and we’ll only go back if we do some specialty work such as an interview or collaborative event.  Oops – still talking about “us” now…time to get down to business.

Ludivine, New Prairie Cuisine…A Review

The restaurant site and interior

Located on the corner of 7th and Hudson, Ludivine sits diagonally across from the new Federal Building in the Mid-Town area of Oklahoma City.  The streets in the vicinity are not too busy and provide ample parallel parking.  At night, the restaurant sign beacons you with its bright robin egg blue color and a scissortail flycatcher punctuating the logo.

Enter the restaurant and you are met with a smart décor stitched together with pewter-look delicate chandelier placements, commissioned paintings that will keep you glancing at them throughout your entire visit, and heavy dark wood tables juxtaposed against seating covered with moss-green and soft gray textiles.  A color palette of burnished fulvous, deep brick-red, ebony, gray, accents of goldenrod and a knock-out indigo made my synapses start firing…astute choices indeed.   My favorite tabletop item was not the flowers grown in the Shawnee area, although they’re close.  Rather, I was especially drawn to the flatware design – the forks have a 45-degree angle at the base of their tines, so they lend a trendy finish to a comfortable, sharp context.

The kitchen is in full view and guests are given a choice of sitting at the surrounding counter to watch the cooking action, or sit at a table in the dining area.  The only drawback to the dining area I could see is that they could use between two and four feet more floor space width.  The wait staff and guests move fluidly enough, but can be seen jockeying for position to find their way, regardless of the engaging and friendly banter.

The bar has plenty of space for a comfortable hang out, or to meet and greet prior to a meal.  I’m still mulling over the large stripe patterned curtain chosen for the south window in the bar, but I’d take out-of-town guests there in a heartbeat.  Overall, even with the space constraints factored in, I give the space a solid “A.”  And, I tip my hat to the person or team who sweated the details to bring it all together.  Nice job, Ludivine.  You won’t be redecorating your space for a good long while.

Food and drink

A server fully invested in the restaurant, as well as his role as our dinner guide greeted us.  He mentioned we were “lucky tonight because they had Coq au Vin on the menu,” kept the chilled water coming and answered all our questions.  I had my eighteen year-old daughter with me; she decided to order the lamb burger.  I ordered the Coq au Vin.  We held off on appetizers because there was a strong possibility of dessert in our future, and I ordered one of their house specialty cocktails to start the evening.

A drink with a grown-up finish: The "Bees Smashed Kneecaps." Gotta love that lavender finish... - RDC Photo

I chose this particular drink because I had watched a video demonstration on their Facebook page and decided the beverage needed further investigation.  When my Bee Smashed Kneecaps (an adaptation of their Bee’s Knees cocktail) arrived, I was not disappointed.  A mixture of Broker’s gin, lemon, lavender, and honey – shaken and strained, filled the glass.  At the same time refreshing and bold, the finish of lavender filled my “exhale” after the first gulp.  I had been concerned there would be too much honey or sweetness but this fear was put to rest immediately.  It was a grown up drink and a dandy one at that.  The Ludivine bar also gets a solid “A.”

The chilled water plus the assortment of breads was a nice filler between courses.  My daughter appreciated the pumpkin bread.  I liked the bacon crumble extra-chewy baguette.

Coq au Vin - Ludivine, 10/9/10 - RDC Photo

Next came dinner.  I’ve had several variations of Coq au Vin over the years, so I was curious about the Ludivine approach.  They served their chicken quarter over whipped turnips, with a few Crowder peas, steamed turnip wedges and a small pickled okra spear, the Vin sauce pooling on all sides.  My most important question was answered on the first bite:  Yes, the chicken came before the Vin, and was not covered up by the reduction.  There is a spectrum of “done” for cooked vegetables and I was surprised to find the turnip wedges at the front edge of that range.  I thought they might have been slow roasted for some time.  This was a good choice because with a roasted chicken in rich sauce, plus brown Crowder peas and whipped turnip bed tending to take on the Vin flavor, a difference is needed.  The barely-done turnip wedges and the tender okra spear provided that difference.  I’d like to see perhaps one more element of variety to set off the complete dish; perhaps kicking the whipped turnips for something that holds up better, or pooling less sauce.  Still, this dish earns an “A-.”

We ordered a plate of four assorted desserts.  I’m sure these rotate every evening, so I won’t dwell too much on the detail.  I will say, however, that the chilled blueberry soup was one of my top picks for the evening.  If that soup is available when you visit, order it.  They serve their coffee French Press fashion and for that I was grateful.  The blend of their beans was roasted one to two shades too dark and oily, with a slightly bitter finish.  Perhaps an intentional choice to compliment the sweet palate of desserts, but I think a bit more mellow of a finish would sit better with the majority of those dining.  Dessert, A; coffee; B.

Here are a few extra notes to finish off this particular review – I noticed there wasn’t a huge amount of noise coming out of the open kitchen.  This is unusual and I wonder if intentional as well?  For me, it was a pleasant surprise.  They provide a recycled carry out container similar to a cardboard material you would see in egg cartons…another nice touch.  And, although they weren’t initially taking reservations last week, they are now.  A needed addition if they keep performing like they did for our visit.

In sum, from the moment we exited my car to the moment we left the building after our meal, I felt relaxed, well served, and well fed.  My artistic side was nurtured by the interior design.  And, I’m certain I will go back again and again.  My next goal is to try some of their colder salads and check out the homemade noodles dressed with soft herb pesto.

An overall solid “A” visit.  And, I feel good about sending you, your family or your business guests there any time you’d like to go.  Enjoy!

Lovin’ the New Prairie Cuisine…Red Dirt Kelly

P.S.  If you click here, you’ll get straight to the CORRECT website.  Isn’t is nice that we took care of that little task for you?

Lamb Burger with wilted greens and sweet potatoes...Nice! - RDC Photo

Ludivine on Urbanspoon

Silent Sundays: 10/10/10


Seeing an opportunity to influence change, "Sassy" posted photos of delapidated properties and eyesore lots on the Sayre, OK city newspaper website. I wonder if "Sassy" will get some municipal clean-up action in his/her town now? Click photo to visit website and see a few other shots of areas needing attention.



Grief, loss...and community: In a powerful demonstration of support and faith, friends and family of Leslie Joy Evans pray outside her hospital. Leslie was a friend of local college grads and many in the Norman/OKC metro area. She and her premature twin babies died during a difficult pregnancy challenge. You can visit the memorial site and blog her family created by clicking this photo. May peace and comfort find her husband and extended family.



Rylee Roberts, a contributing photographer for the RDC, dines at Ludivine Restaurant in Mid-Town OKC on 10/9/10. The establishment opened this week after much planning and preparation, and features a rotating menu of available foods most all from local growers and producers. A "full color" review of the new restaurant coming later this week. Click photo to visit their website.



Conked out. Mid-semester is always rough and this one is no exception. A student takes a study break and naps in the Edmon Low Library on the OSU campus in Stillwater, 10/6/10.



Pink boots. The nation "thinks pink" this month, as Breast Cancer Awareness Week takes place. RDC Homestead and Garden author, Julie Allgyer, made sure those around her were thinking pink as well. Click photo for more information about Breast Cancer Awareness Month.



Sometimes Red Dirt Kelly turns into driveways with "Estate Sale" signs posted by the road. She usually doesn't buy anything, but she frequently takes photos of cool old treasures. Here's a Maytag Washer that was for sale, listed at $200. "But (they'd) take $50 for it..."




I wonder if Suzy Welch is reading her book today? If I were her, I'd do SOMETHING to commemorate the volume. This edition was the only random thing I could find named for today's date...a perfect "10."


Ludivine is Open and the Operation is Lookin’ Fine…Plus, Big Truck Tacos Saves the Day

Last night my hubby and I decided to go enjoy the festivities of Ludivine’s maiden voyage, their first night with doors open to the public.  Here’s the sunset I enjoyed on the drive from work…

7:35 p.m., prairie view approximately 10 miles west of Meridian, OK

When I got to the house, Mick was dressed and ready to go.  He looked up the address one final time (805 N. Hudson) while I brushed my teeth and sprayed on perfume.  When we pulled up to the restaurant it was already dark, and most of the parallel spaces along the street were taken.  “Good,” I thought.  “A nice crowd even though it’s after 8:00 p.m.”  Here are a couple shots from the street view…

As we entered the restaurant, I noticed the staff were busy, friendly and everyone seemed to have at least two tasks on which they were focusing.  The front-end manager greeted us and told us that there was approximately an hour wait.  I looked around the house and saw every table full but one.  She offered to have us wait in their “great bar” but I knew what our answer would be.  Mick gets up at 4:00 a.m. and staying out this late was already a stretch.  She suggested coming early to lessen the wait; they open at 5:00 p.m.  I agreed, told her we would be back and we prepared to go somewhere else.  I wasn’t discouraged at all – in fact I was happy that their opening night provided them with a full house.

Before I left, I took a few shots of the dining, kitchen and bar areas – and one of the table general manager Tracey Leird was setting for their next guests.  I commented on their flowers and she mentioned that they, too, were grown in Oklahoma.  “Perfect,” I thought.

So, we headed down the road and pulled into another place near to our heart: Big Truck Tacos.  I cannot get enough of their ceviche.

I’m glad Ludivine had a good first night.  I’m glad I learned when to show up in order to get a table more quickly, and I’m glad that another strong business model has found it’s way to the heart of Oklahoma City.  Oh…I’m ALSO glad Big Truck Tacos is there to make our tummies happy! – Red Dirt Kelly

(A few shots of Big Truck Tacos in case you’ve not yet graced their establishment.  And if you’ve not…get on down there!)

Why Does Ludivine Get an Uber-Rare “Double Shout-Out?” Let Me ‘Splain.

Editor’s note: For a full review on Ludivine OKC Restaurant, please visit HERE.


There is a line in The Princess Bride where Inigo Montoya says, “Let me ‘splain.  No…there is too much.  Let me sum up.”  Well, I feel the need to ‘splain – not summarize.

Growing up in rural Oklahoma as a youngster meant I was exposed to a life different from my current suburban context.  My father was tri-vocational.  He worked at FAA for his day job, he and my mother operated a small Angus cattle farm during the evenings and weekends, he did electrical wiring jobs for occasional money and ran a small business with his friend called B&C Enterprises. Dad was the “B.”  My maiden name is Bomgardner.  B&C enterprises operated a transportation service to and from FAA every work day, bought scrap gold and jewelry to send to the refinery for a small profit, and perhaps other ventures I didn’t even comprehend.

Morel mushrooms are a rare treat to find in wooded areas or creek banks in Oklahoma. Dredge them in a very simple light egg batter, then saute in olive oil, add salt and pepper - you'll have a heavenly tasting side OR center of your plate.

We usually traded my grandfather one of our steers for one of his, thus not eating our own beef (we frequently named our cattle), but beef we knew was raised in an acceptable way.  We ate eggs from our Bantam (we called them Banty) chickens and harvested honey from our beehives.  We gathered dandelion greens and poke salad off the land and gathered Morel mushrooms from the creek beds.  And, we raised much of our food in a garden.  An “Organic Gardening” garden.

“Organic Gardening” was one of the magazines my father received in the mail for much of my formative years.  Every year, my father would order a load of cotton hulls to be delivered to our garden.  They would sit on top of the soil all winter long breaking down with the moisture of the snow, and in the springtime before planting he would turn it all under to begin the growing process once again.

There are GOOD Sand Plum years, and NOT SO GOOD Sand Plum years. 2010 was a decent year for them.

My mother canned vegetables with a pressure cooker.  My grandparents raised corn in a section of their land that we harvested every year.  We picked sand plums to make jams and jellies, and picked blackberries when they were in season.  Our neighbors’ parents had a large strawberry patch that we were allowed to harvest. My grandfather raised watermelons.  My uncle in Tuttle and my aunt in Bethany had an apricot tree.  My great-grandmother in town had a pear tree.  We had an orchard where we raised sweet and tart cherries, peaches, plums and apples.

My brother and I used to play a game where we would ride our small Yamaha 50 under the cherry tree during harvesting time.  We would reach out with one hand and grab a bunch while cruising under the tree at top 50cc speed, then stop to see how many cherries we had scored on that particular run.

We purchased milk from our neighbors and a friend in town who had a dairy.  My parents made their own yogurt with their yogurt maker. We sometimes make sumac lemonade or tea when the red velvet sumac on our property pollinated at the end of the summer.  We cut and bailed the prairie hay we fed our cattle.  We purchased bales of alfalfa from local farmers for supplements.

A trip into town to eat at a restaurant was fairly rare.  I usually ordered a bologna sandwich or a corn dog when that happened…that was “fancy food” to me. Ah, youth…

I’m sharing this information with you because it might better help you understand why I’m using this space on the RDC to give not just one but TWO shout-outs this week to the soon-to-open Ludivine restaurant in downtown Oklahoma City.  I’ve now watched every one of their eleven 4.5 minute videos posted on their YouTube channel.  In each segment, they highlight a vendor they have built a relationship with in order to bring the food raised in Oklahoma to the table of those who eat in their restaurant.

"Sunchokes" or Jerusalem Artichokes

My heart warmed while viewing them.  We used to raise “Jerusalem Artichokes” in our garden at home.  They’re using “Sunchokes” (same thing) in their restaurants.  One of the videos shows the pains of gathering Sand Plums and discusses the rewards of why you would do such a thing.  And most of all – there are people across Oklahoma who Ludivine has connected with carrying on a tradition of raising organic, nutritious, fresh and wonderful treasures in our precious Oklahoma soil.  They seem to be committed to helping you feast on their crops or products that they prepared in a loving and conscientious way.

Here’s to you, Ludivine, for documenting your developmental journeys and relationships with your growers and vendors.  And here’s to you, Wagon Creek Creamery, Two Tomatoes Farm, OM Gardens, Regional Food Bank, Avalon Seafood, Willie’s Ribs, Coop Ale Works and Urban Agrarian.  (We mentioned Peach Crest Farms earlier this week).

Thank you twice. Thanks for all you do, all your plans and for all you hope to be.

Good luck! (Click the picture below to visit Ludivine’s YouTube videos).


RDC Shout-Out to: OK Food Cooperative, Peach Crest Farms and Ludivine Restaurant

Thank you, Ludivine Restaurant, for making short videos highlighting local growers and the products you use.  Thank you, Oklahoma Food Cooperative, for helping share the story and share the love.

All three of you rock.  Keep up the great work, Red Dirt Kelly