The Winston Dishes Out Welcoming, Fun Environment Along With American Cuisine, Whiskey and Amazing Cocktails
They may not always know your name here (at least on your first visit), but the management and staff of The Winston, a restaurant specializing in American cuisine that opened its doors in April 2018, wants its patrons to feel welcome from their first step inside.
“We strive for a relaxed and fun environment because we want our guests to feel welcomed the minute they walk through the front door,” says general manager Rick Patino. “We do offer a large selection of whiskey, and proteins that aren’t quite as common, such as duck and trout, but we don’t want these things to intimidate our guests. Our goal is to welcome all of our guests with open arms, and to walk them through their experience here at The Winston.”
Although American Cuisine is The Winston’s calling card, their menu is diverse. “As America continues to be a melting pot of cultures, our cuisine is evolving as well. We have a great classic cheeseburger, an Asian-inspired dish in our Duck Wings, as well as a Hispanic-inspired dish in our Migas Brunch Tacos,” he says.
The Winston is a part of the Hal Smith Restaurant Group, and Rick credits teamwork with creating their tasty food and beverage menus. The team is still working to determine what the restaurant’s signature items will be, though Rick says he would choose one sandwich and one cocktail above others.
“The Prime Minister is a hand-pressed Chicken Fried Filet Mignon that’s lightly battered and very tender,” he says, noting that it’s served on a classic bun with mayo, tomato and lettuce. “We wanted to keep it simple and let the Chicken Fried Filet Mignon shine, because it literally melts like butter when you bit into it.
“The Frozen Watermelon Fresca,” he adds, “is a super-refreshing drink, which makes it the perfect cocktail to drink out on our patio.” This cocktail is made with fresh watermelon, lemon, ginger, champagne and vodka.
The Winston also offers classic cocktails at a great price. For example, their Old Fashioned, on draft, is only $5. Feeling adventurous? “A new favorite is our My Hands Are Thai’d cocktail, made with a spiced rum, ginger liqueur, lemongrass syrup, fresh lime and fresh basil,” he says. “It’s really refreshing and has a lot of flavor. And during our happy hour, it can be as cheap as $3!”
In the nonalcoholic beverage category, The Winston offers two “softtails” for both and adults: Blueberry Sage Lemonade and Pippi Longstocking—the latter a carrot, ginger and mint drink.
For lunch, The Winston serves a mix of downtown business people and students, faculty and staff from the University of Oklahoma. “We strive to make it effortless to get in and out for those who are on a specific time schedule for lunch,” Rick says. “However, if you’re looking for a casual lunch, we have individual outlets at the bar top to allow guests to make themselves comfortable and leisurely work on their laptop.”
The Winston’s dinner crowd is as diverse as the community itself. “We love seeing the families every day! Even in this short year, it’s been amazing to watch the kids grow up right in front of you. Also, we have the older students who recently graduated from OU.”
The Winston runs a special “Two Dolla’ Tuesday” menu that includes a variety of single plate items, as well as Chambongs and Mimosas. Weekends, The Winston serves brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to such savory brunch items as their Brunch Burrito and sweeter items like Blueberry Waffles, patrons can enjoy Brunch Mimosas for only $3.
Asked about their long-range plans, Rick responds: “We love Norman, and especially being part of the Downtown Norman community. Our goal is to continue to build new relationships in this community, and to build the ones we’ve already developed. This has been an amazing journey for us. We want to continue offering great service, great food and great drinks to our guests, and to watch our concept continue to grow.”
110 W. Main St., Norman