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Event Alert: Valentine's Day with The Cheese Wench and Rub

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Restaurants refer to Valentine’s Day as “amateur hour” for a reason. It’s the night when people who don’t go out go out and they behave exactly as you might expect.

It’s a big night. Tons of customers, usually a smaller prix fixe menu and seating after seating after seating.

If you’re a frequent restaurant diner, however, it can be a bit tedious. Gone, for the night at least, are your favorite servers and favorite dishes. Gone is the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely meal.

Besides, if everybody is treating an occasion as “special,” it’s not really special anymore, is it? That’s when folks like us seek out something a little more niche, more exclusive, more intimate. That’s when you need The Cheese Wench.

Amanda Jane Simcoe is one of my favorite people for a number of reasons. She’s a gifted raconteur, a supremely talented wine drinker and, best of all, an amazing chef. For the last several years, she’s put her Valentine’s Day plans on hold in order to make the evening more enjoyable for others.

For the second year in a row, she’s teamed up with Joel Bein of Rub for a Valentine’s dinner that gets you out of the crowded restaurants and into a family-style setting where boisterous laughter is interrupted occasionally by people making nearly inappropriate “yummy” sounds over a multi-course menu with appropriate beverage pairings.

Simcoe and Bein

Simcoe said the response to last year’s dinner was so immediate they added a second evening, so if you can’t get away with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day, there’s a second chance on Friday.

Tickets are $125 each and seating is extremely limited. Like...eight-seats-a-night limited.

Simcoe, who is bi-coastal, but in an Oklahoma City-and-Tulsa sort of way, and Bein work together frequently at food events and came up with a menu that sounds amazing and adventuruous:

- White chocolate tuna tartare

- Cucumber rosette salad

- Char-grilled oyster

- Cocoa, cacio e pepe

- Mole Wellington

- Chipotle chocolate cake

- And a midnight snack of maple bacon bread pudding with “hard” sauce

Simcoe is an avowed fan of all things local, especially when it comes to produce, so she’s using products from Prairie Creek Farms, Farrell Family Bread, Prairie Thyme Farm, Urban Greens Tulsa, AliMade Healing Foods, Emre Natural Foods, Redbird Ranch Fare, Oklahoma Distilling Company and Baby D's Bee Sting (read my review of Baby D’s products here). But she’s also an avowed fan of all things delicious, which means if you’re lucky enough to get a seat, you’re in for a meal you won’t soon forget.

Where is it? Buy a ticket first. But it’s in Oklahoma City and I’ve been there before and it’s nice. Don’t worry about that. Contact Simcoe at (918) 408-9626 to reserve your seats.

About the Author

Founder and Eater-in-Chief of I Ate Oklahoma, Greg Elwell has been reviewing restaurants and writing about Oklahoma’s food culture for more than a decade. Where a normal person orders one meal, this guy gets three. He is almost certainly going to die young and those who love him most are fairly ambivalent about it. You can email Greg at greg@iateoklahoma.com.

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