My fondness for The Pritchard Wine Bar in the Plaza District cannot be overstated. Even though I have a SERIOUS and PERSONAL beef with chef Shelby Sieg over her INSANE and POSSIBLY CRIMINAL decision to take butternut squash gnudi off the menu, I could not adore a restaurant more than this one.
Sieg and general manager Mindy “Drum” Magers have created one of the finest spots for dinner and drinks in Oklahoma City.
The menu is, in the parlance of the kids who have gotten older and no longer use this slang, redonkulous. If you try to donk it, try again. It needs a second donking at least.
And the wine list is wonderful. I think. I don’t actually know a ton about wine other than I like some of it. Not all of it. One time I got a wine called “Sweet Bitch” at the liquor store and, wow, did it live up to the name.
But Mindy “Minor” Magers has been studying wine since, I’m guessing, a few years before she was legally allowed to study wine. She knows her stuff. She even knows enough stuff to teach a guy dumb enough to buy “Sweet Bitch” wine how to pair wine with food.
Once a month, Sieg and Mindy “Lee” Magers teach a class at The Pritchard where you (assuming you’re 21 or older) can learn all about wine while tasting some of the chef’s ingenious creations.
In March, my friend Julie and I imbibed five wines paired with some stupid good food. I mean real stupid. Like, “this is emblematic of the problems with Oklahoma’s education system” stupid.
Bacon-wrapped dates better than I’d ever had them before. A lemon cream topped with fresh rhubarb elderflower compote. A slice of pizza, made all the more mischievous because Sieg’s roommate works at the nearby pizza juggernaut Empire Slice House.
Alongside each dish, Mindy “College” Magers taught us how different foods transform the flavors of the wine and vice versa. Sometimes chefs pair like flavors and other times they seek out contrasts. It was both satisfying to my ample stomach and edifying to my far-less ample mind.
This month The Pritchard is teaming with guest sommelier Amie Hendrickson for April Fooled: Blind Tasting, 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 24 at The Pritchard, 1749 NW 16th St.
Tickets are $40 each and include food, wine and a noggin-full of wine smarts, regardless of your oenophilic knowledge. But! Reservations are required, so call (405) 601-4067 real quick like to save your seat.