Emily’s is right on Main Street in Gore. It looks like an antique shop from the outside and it is, but inside is a beautiful world created by Kim Barnes. It glitters and sparkles with silk scarves and rhinestones, feathers, lamps, chandeliers and candelabras. Your senses come alive and your heart quickens. There is so much to take in, it’s like falling down a rabbit hole and ending up in a place you’ve never been; it’s a wonderland. The restaurant is off to the left beyond the cashier and hostess station. It, too, is a marvel. It fact, though it seemed impossible to me at the time, the restaurant is even more stunning than the antique emporium outside its doors.
The tearoom was once a bank and the wall that connects it to the antique store is two feet or so thick, so it took a while to make the door way in, like three days! There’s a huge steel bar inserted into the entryway to hold up the remaining bricks, yet once you step in, it’s another world.
The walls are 15 or 20 feet high and perhaps 60 feet long. They are painted burgundy with turquoise accents. A hotel- sized hutch full of Willow Plates faces the entry on the opposite wall as you enter and to its right is a silk willow tree that climbs up the wall. Beyond that is the tiny kitchen that creates the most delicious fare, and then to the right of that is an intimate salon, perfect for a quiet conversation or romantic liaison. On the opposite end of the room, there is a beautiful, ornate, wooden mantle decorated with peacock feathers and greens, tiny lights and gold lamé ribbon with a beautiful mirror hanging above it. The more I looked the more peacocks I saw. A large, gold Chinese fan graced one of the walls, with a peacock on it. Peacock figurines and metal cut outs peeked out of their hiding places and everywhere the colors were vibrant and bold, just like the peacock’s feathers.
The owner, Kim, is petite. You might even call her dainty, but she is an amazing powerhouse. Imagine, she hand painted all of the floors in the antique shop (which is huge) some are brick, some cobblestone and some wooden planks. The ones in the restaurant look like hardwood and they are so good, you have to get on your hands and knees to make sure they aren’t really wood. She even tore out the faux ceiling to expose the original, after a contractor said it couldn’t be done. All she needed was a scissor lift and voila! Now , the ceiling, covered up for three quarters of a century, is exposed in all its glory, perfect tin plate, adorned with dazzling glassy chandeliers hanging from them..
We went for a late lunch on Saturday. The drive up fromTahlequah to Gore was absolutely fabulous. All of the trees and wild flowers were in bloom. The countryside screamed with green, having just rained, all was clean and glorious. Needless to say we were hungry, so we sat down to eat but couldn’t stay put. Our teenagers ran off to look at the antiques, my husband did too and I just soaked up every detail I could in the dining room. All of the tables were dressed with tablecloths, silver salt and pepper shakers, silver pitchers filled with peacock feathers or greens and porcelain cream and sugar containers; a real tearoom. Kim’ sister, Debra was our waitress and though the dining room was full, she was pleasant and took time to chat with me. That’s when she told me that Kim had always painted, even as a child. She painted animals on their walls at home when she was just a kid (like giraffes). When everyone returned from investigating the collectibles next door, we ordered.
Tom ordered the special which was beef with carrots, potatoes, green beans and Yorkshire pudding. When it was served, it met Tom’s every expectation. He said it reminded him of the way they prepare beef in Britain. The gravy was superb, made with rich beef stock, the flavor was deep and every bite was heady. The beef, itself, was so tender it melted in your mouth and the carrots were perfect. Now I know whatTom’s talking about when he says he wants roast beef. What he’s been getting all of these years is a far cry from what I tasted on Saturday! Oh, and the Yorkshire pudding, to sop up all of that marvelous gravy was the best. My mother used to make it and I’ve tried, but this Yorkshire pudding was excellent. Brian ordered the soup de jour which was spicy chicken tortilla, chock full of chicken, and corn, zestily spiced and dotted with grape tomatoes, delicious! I ordered one of the quiche choices; herb and bacon which came with my choice of homemade bread (I chose the Yorkshire) and a green salad. The quiche was made with cheddar cheese, dill and garlic (I think) with smoked bacon which added a whole new dimension to the mixture of flavors. Brian got the mushroom Swiss burger on a Kaiser roll that was big and juicy with plenty of cheese and sautéed mushrooms. The salads were made with baby greens, my favorite, and all of the dressings were homemade; poppy seed, honey mustard, ranch, bleu cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. The bleu cheese was creamy and tart, the best I’ve had in ages. The breads and desserts are alsoall homemade. Bridget’s sandwich, chicken breast with bacon, was big in size and flavor, though she had no trouble getting through it!
The menu offers lots of sandwiches and salads. They also serve High Tea with a sandwich, Devon scone topped with jam and whipped cream, served with a pot of piping hot tea. Other interesting entrées are the wine burger and the turkey sandwich on tomato basil bread. You can choose raspberry or peach iced tea, coffee or soft drinks. If you have room for dessert, they’re all homemade and look delicious. Bridget was able to manage a slice of lemon cake which was moist and lemony with a vanilla crème frosting!
As we were leaving, a great big cowboy sauntered in and said he was hungry. Who wouldn’t be with such marvelous aromas wafting through the air? I recommended the beef. After lunch we went on a treasure hunt. It was so much fun. We bought some candlesticks and poured over the old books and paintings, rolling pins and other kitchen utensils, so old their purpose is now forgotten.
Lunch is served Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. They close from 3p.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and then they reopen for dinner. Dinner is served on Saturdays only, seasonally, from May through August. Kim said we should come back for her prime rib, which is offered along with the regular menu. She does all of the cooking on Saturday night and I’ll bet its blue ribbon quality. You can call Emily’s for your catering needs as well. Located at 103 Main Street in Gore, the phone number is (918) 489-2680.