For my final adventure before flying out of Oklahoma City, I ate at Vast, a restaurant on the 49th and 50th floors of the Devon Energy Center in downtown Oklahoma City. The premise of this restaurant is similar to the Top of the World at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas where you sit atop the city with a vast view while you eat your food (though the main difference is that Vast does not rotate).
With construction starting in 2009 and completing in 2012, the Devon Energy Center stands 844 feet (257 meters) as the tallest building in Oklahoma. It towers over the second-tallest building in Oklahoma City, which is the BancFirst Tower at 500 feet (152 meters). Vast is on the highest two floors of the Devon Energy Center, rising to 726 feet (221 meters) in elevation.
We intentionally went on a weekday so we could avoid all the people going on dates over the weekend. Downtown was fairly peaceful around dinnertime, and parking was easy—there was a structure next door to the tower with spaces large enough to easily fit my full-size pickup truck, and the fee was only $5.
After a quick walk into the building (which had very modern aesthetics with lots of glass and marble), we took a dedicated elevator straight up to the 49th floor. We went at 7:30 PM as to time it such that we would get about an hour of daytime view, then the sun would set and we would have a nighttime view for the second half of our meal. We didn’t see much of the inside of the restaurant because we were seated somewhat close to the entrance, but the bar area nearby looked nice without going too overboard.
The first dish was on the chef, and was something with crab inside. We also got some rolls with butter to munch on while we were deciding on what to order for our main courses. The fried crab dish was great; it was greasy enough that it oiled my fingers when I picked it up, but it didn’t leave any unpleasant or greasy aftertastes.
For her main course, my dinner companion got some herb marinated chicken with root vegetable hash, roasted mushroom puree, fennel, pistachios, and bacon lardons. I tried a portion of her chicken and it was actually impressively tasty with great texture—the outside skin was very crispy, while the meat was juicy and moist.
Her drink (which I did not get a photograph of) was the 726 Cosmo, an alcoholic drink off the Vast Classics beverage menu containing Charbay blood orange vodka, triple sec, Greenbar hibiscus liqueur, cranberry, and lime.
For my main course, I decided to go with a feature dish (which wasn’t on the main menu, so I can’t reference back to the online menu to see precisely what was in it). It was called the Surf and Turf, and was basically a medley of small servings of various different dishes they offer. It included 6 ounces of Creekstone filet, shrimp, scallop, asparagus, potato, and something a bit stringy and slightly crunchy that I couldn’t identify.
For dessert, we had a warm chocolate lava cake with peanut butter caramel, candied peanuts, and mascarpone ice cream. At first it was a little bit overwhelmingly sweet, but once my mouth adjusted to all the sugar, it was actually really good. I’m also a big fan of caramel and nuts, so the sauce that came with the cake was extra tasty.
I was slightly concerned about this restaurant because, for some reason, people kept leaving reviews saying that this restaurant wasn’t worth the money, and that you were basically just paying for the view. But, after I finished my meal, I thought all the food was great, and I thought the price was also very reasonable, considering we were eating at a restaurant over 700 feet in the air in the tallest building in the entire state.
|Herb Marinated Chicken||$ 32.00|
|Surf and Turf||$ 70.00|
|726 Cosmo||$ 13.00|
|Chocolate Lava Cake||$ 9.00|
|Self Parking||$ 5.00|
The tip that I left was a bit aggressive, but the main reason I tipped over 30% was because I left a note in our reservation stating that I would “pay/tip more for a window seat.”
In case you’re not familiar with how these kinds of restaurants work, there are a lot of tables set up across the entire restaurant floor, but only a few of them are window-side. I don’t know what the rest of the restaurant was like, but the table we got seemed to be the only one left in that area of the restaurant, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt, assumed that they had actually saved the window-side table for us as per our request in the reservation, and gave them a generous tip.
This is a restaurant that I think is absolutely worth it for the money… but not necessarily for dinner. Vast has a lunch option that, today, is a flat fee of $22.50 per person for what appears to be a buffet-style meal that also includes unlimited dessert. Considering the quality of food for dinner, if lunch is anything close to that, I think $22.50 is absolutely worth it. That might be a bit pricey for Oklahoman standards, but if such a place existed in Las Vegas where I would have a nearly never-ending view while having an all-you-can-eat meal, I would be going there very frequently.