Restaurant Review: Dining With The Cowboys

Twisted Fork, a saloon in The Old Market, is the perfect place to enjoy the night - just like the cowboys used to.

Taken from the Twisted Fork website.

Taken from the Twisted Fork website.

Julia Harker, PLPulse Design Editor

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The bat-wing doors opened with a crash and all turned to look. The upbeat piano music played by the beautiful saloon girl with hair piled up high came to an abrupt stop. Everyone held their breath as a rugged cowboy walked in, the clack of his boots interrupting the silence with each direct step. He reached the bar, sat down and held up a finger. “One beer.” The whole establishment breathed a sigh of relief as the music started up again and the whole ordeal was forgotten.

Cowboys were a common sight in the 1800s during Western Expansion. Although cowboys may not be as common as they were 150 years ago, their influence is still romanticized across the country. One local restaurant, “Twisted Fork,” combines American comfort food with a “cowboy twist.” Located in the Old Market, it is quickly becoming an Omaha favorite.

Opened in 2008 and featuring menu creations from three different chefs, including Omaha’s own Executive Chef John Ursick, Twisted Fork has understandably worked its way into Omaha’s heart.

The first thing diners may notice as they walk into the restaurant is the décor. Twisted Fork is small, yet serves hundreds of people each day. A huge bar with hundreds of bottles of top shelf liquor sits to the side, complete with a bartender who does fancy tricks as he makes the drinks. Each table is adorned with a centerpiece in the middle of the sturdy oak tables. Looking up, one can not miss the dazzling chandeliers. Even across the restaurant, the chandeliers sparkle and gleam, lighting up the room with bright lights.

Not only is the décor gorgeous, the food is astounding. The easy-to-navigate menu features American favorites including the smokehouse BBQ burger, pitchfork ranch meatloaf and mac, and a hot roast beef plate served with mashed potatoes and gravy. Every delectable dish is plated high with lots of food to stuff your stomach, just like the cowboys used to require.

If you are thinking of getting an appetizer, I would recommend the chicken fried bacon. The bacon is cooked to perfection, with subtle crunchiness paired with the softness of the chicken breading. The plating of the food is so beautiful and elegant, you will forget that you are eating fried bacon.

If classic American comfort food isn’t your forte, Twisted Fork has many other options. They serve many fish-based dishes including grilled salmon salad and grilled salmon filet. They even have vegetarian options for those that don’t eat meat, including the grilled portobello mushroom burger.

Not only are the appetizers and entrees cooked to perfection, the desserts come highly recommended. The molten lava cake is moist and sweet, with oozing of the chocolate lava. If chocolate doesn’t sound like a delicious treat, they serve an apple pear crisp, which adds a delightful sweetness to your meal.

For those of you who are thinking of joining the hundreds of other Omaha natives frantically snatching seats, make sure you call ahead to make a reservation. Even though they take walk-ins, if you don’t have a reservation you may have to wait a while to get a table. The bar has open seating if you forget to call ahead, so don’t worry too much if you were looking forward to eating here.

The food is a bit expensive, but is certainly worth the higher price. Spending $20 is reasonable for a fancy dinner in a beautiful location and restaurant.

With beautiful décor, delightful food, and friendly staff, Twisted Fork is the perfect place to spend the evening. Although a cowboy may not walk into this saloon anymore, with the Western atmosphere and American comfort food, you may just become a cowboy for the night.

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Restaurant Review: Dining With The Cowboys