By Traci Chapman
Emma Elle’s Italian Kitchen goes beyond a traditional eatery – it’s a concept built on community and partnerships, a place that strives to offer something for everyone, while promoting other small businesses both in the region and across the state.
Owner Cameron Wilson said he envisioned a place that would offer a quick, yet made-to-order lunch, while also becoming a favorite dinner spot catering to everything from date nights to big celebrations. He chose a spot just east of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike on Route 66 at 4401 Grant Blvd. that was surrounded by recent and new development – and easy to get to from across Canadian County and east and north into Oklahoma City.
“I just thought there was so much exciting growth in this part of town and saw how well (coffeehouse) Summer Moon was doing – it just seemed a natural for business people to be able to get a quick lunch but also for people wanting a family or date night, as well,” Wilson said.
The choice for cuisine was easy, he said. Italian-inspired dishes were among his favorite and something that seemed to have universal appeal, as well.
“We wanted to do something classic, yet also different – light, fresh and of course, delicious,” Wilson said.
In order to accomplish that goal, Wilson started with a special brick pizza oven – one made in Italy by Stefano Ferrar and built with Italian bricks. It was brought to Oklahoma from San Francisco and is a major feature in Emma Elle’s.
“It’s been great for our customers – they like watching the pizzas cooking and coming out of the oven,” Wilson said. “That was a reason for the open kitchen, as well – I like the theatricality of food preparation and wanted this to be an interactive experience, for people to see that what they ordered was being prepared fresh for them right then.”
Fresh ingredients – and locally sourced items – were especially important to Wilson in developing Emma Elle’s, he said. That led to several partnerships – with Dominca Farms in Arcadia for beef, Norman’s Sabatia Winery and Yukon’s 9oh6 Bakery, among others.
“We wanted to showcase our partnerships with area businesses – quality is our priority and we can find such outstanding quality here, at the same time promoting and supporting other local businesses,” he said.
Every item is prepared fresh to order in a menu that includes everything from traditional standards like lasagna, bruschetta, Caesar salad and spaghetti and meatballs to new takes on items – like Emma Elle’s fettucine alfredo, which comes with grilled or fried chicken and barbeque chicken pizza.
Even something that might seem simple – like pepperoni pizza – is anything but, with the addition of serrano-infused honey, to give a delicious twist on a classic.
Some items are also geared for those who want a vegetarian or gluten-friendly option, something Wilson said he believed was very important.
“The main thing was that I wanted to have a place where great food and community come together,” he said.
Wilson started developing the Emma Elle’s concept in July 2021, officially opening the restaurant’s doors in August. In addition to offering regular hours, Emma Elle’s also has a dedicated to-go area, and both online ordering and reservations are available.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
For more information, to make reservations or order online go to https://www.emmaelles.com/. Emma Elle’s is located at 4401 Grant Blvd., Suite 3 in Yukon.