Posted Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2013
Behind the Red Door
Independently owned eateries are few and far between around the South Hulen Street area of Fort Worth, but Donna Albanese is out to change that. The wife of Piola Italian Restaurant & Garden owner Bobby Albanese has opened Red Door Bistro in a strip shopping center near Hulen Mall. The sleek, sunshine-filled restaurant offers new American cuisine with European and Mediterranean influences. Patrons can expect unique starters like savory beignets served with feta, olives and honey, along with tasty entrees like black bean and chicken-stuffed crepes and tequila-infused quail over risotto. An extensive wine list creates an upscale setting, while the menu's Angus burger and catfish sandwich keep things semi-casual. Donna says the couple lives in the area and wanted more local venues in their neck of the woods: "We thought Red Door Bistro would be a good place to start." 4938 Overton Ridge Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-292-0000.
Chicken Musakhan Sandwich
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
10 1/2 ounces chicken thighs, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons baharat spice blend or garam masala
2 pieces flat bread, such as naan
3 tablespoons pickled cucumber
2 tomato slices
2 lettuce leaves
1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until golden.
2. Add chopped chicken thighs and season with salt, pepper and spice blend.
3. Remove from heat when chicken is cooked through. Assemble sandwich.
Fill flat bread with pickled cucumber, sliced tomato, lettuce and chicken. Roll to seal and grill roll until slightly brown. Serve with ketchup, mustard and/or garlic mayo.
-- Omni Hotels
Saint-Emilion has been home to an impressive lineup of chefs, each adding his influence to the French restaurant's venerable status. Now Summer Jones, who follows Mark Hitri after his departure to Billy Bob's Texas, has a chance to do the same. The new executive chef is well-traveled, classically trained and passionate about getting back to basics when it comes to the intricate details required in preparing classic French cuisine. "We've become so enamored with what food could and should be," he says of the culinary industry overall. "But we've lost track of our roots." Jones' kitchen experience includes time at Nick & Sam's, restaurants inside the Worthington Renaissance Hotel and Sapristi, where he first met Saint-Emilion owner Bernard Tronche. "I've been around," Jones says. 3617 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-737-2781, www.saint-emilionrestaurant.com.
At Lanny's Alta Cocina Mexicana, Valentine's Day festivities span three days, as chef Lanny Lancarte will offer a multicourse meal Feb. 14-16. Main course selections include a choice of prime rib-eye or Tasmanian steelhead trout. $95, 3405 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-850-9996, www.lannyskitchen.com.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House will cater to lovebirds Feb. 14 and 15, offering a filet and lobster feature for $79. 812 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3999, www.delfriscos.com.
The new Flying Carpet Turkish Cafe offers a BYOB, multicourse meal that includes choices of flatiron steak or redfish, plus entertainment and flowers, for $60 per person; two seatings Feb. 14. 1223 Washington Ave., Fort Worth, 817-877-1223, www.flyingcarpetcafe.com.
Billy Bob's Texas will host a Valentine's Day dinner buffet at the honky-tonk's new 81 Club. Executive chef Mark Hitri, formerly of Saint-Emilion, will showcase his skills with a carving station of prime rib and side of salmon, hot side dishes, soups, salad and desserts. Country music star Sonny Burgess will provide live music. $95, seatings at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., 2520 Rodeo Plaza, 817-624-7117, www.billybobstexas.com.
Historic Fort Worth Inc. will host a three-course Valentine's Day dinner with wine inside the beautiful Thistle Hill mansion. Private dining areas around the historic house will be available to reserve for groups of 10. $100, 7 p.m. Feb. 14, 817-336-2344, www.historicfortworth.org.
In Dallas, the buzzy new FT33 will offer an early seating four-course menu for $75 per person ($40 wine pairings) or a late-seating five-course menu for $90 per person ($50 wine pairings), Feb. 14. 1617 Hi Line Drive, 214-741-2629. Nearby Fearing's celebrates V-Day Feb. 14-17, offering a multicourse meal that includes Georges Bank lemon sole and Texas Wagyu strip loin, for $95; In the Ritz-Carlton, 2121 McKinney Ave., 214-922-4848, www.opentable.com.
Café on the Green, inside the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas, extends its special -- a four-course meal that includes braised Maine lobster, Akaushi strip loin and Kona kampachi -- Feb. 14-16. $95, 4150 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, 972-717-2420, www.fourseasons.com/dallas.
For more Valentine's dining news, visit facebook.com/indulgedfw.
A Slice of Portofino in Ridglea
Ridglea residents craving hearty, homestyle Italian dishes have a new option in Portofino Italian Grill, open in the former Ridglea Jazz Cafe space, inside the Village at Camp Bowie. The restaurant comes from the Metouski family, which owns and manages multiple Joe's Pasta & Pizza outlets. Portofino offers pasta, chicken, veal, fish and beef dishes, including one bountiful mixed seafood pasta entree tossed with shrimp, scallops, clams and mussels. Last we checked, the casual eatery was waiting on its liquor license, so call ahead before bringing your own vino. 6115 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth.
Salt Lick on the Fly
We love the original Salt Lick location for its open fire pit, rustic atmosphere and laid-back locale hidden deep within the Texas Hill Country, so we're happy to get a taste of the Driftwood-based barbecue joint closer to home, even if it is via a walk-up counter at DFW Airport. Located inside Terminal A, Gate 15 to be exact, North Texas' first Salt Lick offers oak-wood-smoked brisket, turkey, chicken and sausage all slow-cooked in Driftwood before being shipped to DFW. The nationally recognized eatery started simply as a screened-in pit, where Thurman Roberts, father of current owner Scott Roberts, would sleep on a cot to cook meat for days at a time while folks followed their noses and lined up to order. When we can't make the back-roads drive to Driftwood and the storied spot where it all began, we'll be sure to snag a Salt Lick sliced brisket sandwich during our airline travels and pretend we're there. 3200 E. Airfield Drive, DFW Airport, www.saltlickbbq.com.
Blue Mesa Spices Up Arlington
We've always enjoyed Blue Mesa Grill for its sweet potato chips, blue corn enchiladas and dependable brunch buffet, where items like grilled fish, stuffed adobe pies and roasted brisket are refreshed quickly and the mimosas flow freely. Now Arlington residents will be able to enjoy the Dallas-based chain's Zagat-rated Southwestern cuisine when an outlet opens in Lincoln Square later this month. The festive eatery has long been popular for its crowd-pleasing happy hour, which features potent blue margaritas and complimentary made-to-order quesadillas. The spa menu offers healthier options, like the sweet potato, black bean and goat cheese chile relleno paired with a low-fat spinach and mushroom enchilada. The Arlington location opens its door Feb. 24 with Sunday brunch. 550 Lincoln Square, Arlington, www.bluemesagrill.com.
Omni Takes It to the Streets
Well-traveled culinarians know that authentic street food goes beyond tacos and chicken on a stick. The Omni Fort Worth Hotel is showcasing such with its new street food menu, a compilation of globally inspired small plates submitted by chefs from Omni Hotels and Global Hotel Alliance properties around the world. The diverse menu spotlights standout street foods from Boston to Brazil, including duck empanadas with smoked tomato mayo (submitted by Omni La Mansion in San Antonio) to char kway teow, or stir-fried rice cake strips, from Singapore. We're partial to the avocado-topped, citrus ancho-braised lamb tostada and the spicy, garlic-heavy chicken musakhan sandwich from Abu Dhabi (recipe shared here). Omni guests can travel the world in just one bite in the hotel's bars and lounges through March. 1300 Houston St., 817-535-6664, www.omnihotels.com.
Southlake's dining options will expand this month with the opening of Snappy Salads, the man-friendly, Dallas-based casual chain featuring macho offerings like barbecue ranch chicken salad and the "Brutus" salad, a play on the traditional Caesar. Also new is Torchy's Tacos, the Austin-based taco joint known for its spicy selections. Both are expected to open this month inside the Kimball Crossing center at 2175 E. Southlake Blvd. www.snappysalads.com; www.torchystacos.com.
One of TV's first celebrity chefs, Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook, will dazzle with his dizzying knife work as he prepares Asian dishes during his upcoming Fort Worth Central Market cooking class, on Feb. 17. The menu includes golden New Year's pot stickers, Singaporean fish salad, mochi and more. 6:30 p.m., $75, 4651 West Freeway, 817-989-4700, www.centralmarket.com.
Chop House Burgers, chef Kenny Mills' meaty venture that has earned rave reviews in Arlington, has recently opened a Mansfield location at 2860 Farm Road 157 (South Cooper Street). Look for Mills' Chop House Steak & Seafood restaurant to open at 2230 W. Park Row in Pantego this month.
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