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‘Scratch’ perfect for big city food, amiance

While the most gourmet meal I can often afford consists of boiling noodles over a hot stove and adding Ragu spaghetti sauce, papa always goes big when he’s got play money.

Recently, I donned a collared shirt and my sport coat and made my way to Main Street in Norman, where we sought out a red-bricked restaurant called Scratch.

Upon entering the restaurant’s black glass doors, one might think they’d stepped out of honky-tonk Oklahoma and ascended into hipster heaven.

Scratch, whose website insists it is “fanatical about flavor,” looks like the kind of big-city lofts seen in independent films, with wood floors and wide spacing surrounding small tables littered all about.

Professional photographs of various people decorate the walls while soft rock plays in the background. The hostess, clad in a cocktail dress, led us to a small two-top right next to a pair of business women exchanging gossip over glasses of wine.

While I generally prefer tables away from other people, the women’s banter and work-related woes made Scratch’s inner-city ambiance much more authentic.

The server approached our table and informed us that Scratch lives up to its name — she said since the food is freshly prepared, some orders might take longer than expected.

We ordered spinach dip and pita bread at the server’s suggestion and were pleased with its speedy preparation and splendid taste.

I also ordered a Mulled Wine, a hot alcoholic beverage consisting of red wine, rum, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.

It was the perfect drink to pair with my dinner entree, the pancetta-wrapped chicken breast, which was stuffed with sundried tomatoes and wrapped with what our server described as “organic” bacon.

At the suggestion of our server, we also split a hearty side of Scratch’s signature mac and cheese.

I don’t think I’ll ever eat Easy Mac again after seeing what Scratch can do with pasta and cheese.

Though the order time wasn’t as speedy as some dine-in eateries, Scratch made up for it with phenomenal food, helpful service and an exquisite atmosphere.It’s the perfect place for a first date or dinner party. I suggest anyone seeking to expand his or her food options make their way to Scratch at 132 W Main St. Main Street in Norman for an experience they’re sure to enjoy.

Rating: A+