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Restaurant News for June

Posted Wednesday, Jun. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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MONTGOMERY PLAZA GETS DELUXE

It’s Round 3 for the Montgomery Plaza corner location that once housed Mac’s on Seventh and Monty’s Corner. Now former Dallas chef Aaron Nelson (The Screen Door, The Commissary) will have his shot at the space when Deluxe Bar & Grille opens this month. Expect American regional cuisine like Creole shrimp and jalapeño cheddar grits along with herb-roasted chicken and chipotle sweet potato mash. This is the first executive chef gig for Nelson, a Fort Worth native and French-trained chef, who promises in-house ground beef for burgers and whole fish filleted and portioned in-house. If you frequent the city of Katy, there’s an Otto’s Deluxe Grill there that comes from the same restaurant ownership group, but the Fort Worth location, with its spacious lounge and booth seating, 17 flat-panel TVs and 24 craft beer taps, will be the flagship location with a chef-driven menu. Visit in the morning, too, for breakfast cocktails and Nelson’s five-egg white omelet with brie. 2600 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-877-0087.

WHAT’S BREWING IN BURLESON

Craft beer, barbecue and rooftop dining are among the many draws of Old Texas Brewing Co., Burleson’s new brewery and restaurant now open in Old Town, the city’s growing, walkable hub for shops and casual eateries. Old Texas Brewing owner and home brewer Rick Hazen says he now offers Burleson’s largest selection of beer and wine, which includes a few of his own microbrew concoctions. He’s also smoking brisket, ribs, pork and sausage on-site, as well as beer-battering fish and shrimp and grilling rib-eye steaks. Housed in an early 20th-century building that was once home to a pharmacy and ice cream shop, the brewery boasts a rooftop “sky bar,” where locals are likely to perch for weekend live music. Inside, a long block of ice — called a frost rail — is built into the bar top and it’s where we can’t wait to keep our pint glass cool this summer. 112 W. Ellison St., Burleson, 817-447-2337, www.old-town-brew.com.

ELOTE GOES FOR FRESH-MEX

We know Tex-Mex staples like refried beans, chili sauces and queso are often thickened with flour — an enemy to those who are gluten-intolerant. Not so at Elote Mexican Kitchen, the new fresh-Mex concept from the owners of Oliva Italian Eatery in north Fort Worth. Owner Cynthia Wilson Loeb is offering nongreasy, gluten-free tacos with pan-seared fish, braised beef and pulled pork along with ground beef nachos and tortilla-free “bare-itos,” all prepped without fillers or binding agents. Loeb promises, “There really isn’t a difference in taste. You just sense that it’s natural.” Flour tortillas are offered for those who prefer them, but gluten-free corn tortillas are warmed in their own designated pans. The restaurant’s namesake elote — roasted corn on the cob — comes lightly dusted with house-made chili powder and Cotija cheese. The casual diner offers quick counter service, frozen and rocks margaritas, 10 draft beers and a kids menu of taquitos, quesadillas, grilled cheese and fried PB&J. 12584 N. Beach St., Fort Worth, 817-741-3600, www.elotemex.com.

PERFECT FOR PICNIC PLANNING

For food lovers, picnic planning for a Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Concerts in the Garden performance is almost as fun as the show itself. We can’t help but peek at tables around us to see what delectable dishes patrons pull from their coolers each year. This year, Central Market is once again the official picnic partner for the summertime concert series, which starts June 7. Concert-goers can order pretty platters in advance to be picked up at the show, including cheese and antipasti plates ($20) and dinners for two ($40), which come in a Central Market insulated tote. We like the Symphony Sampler for its beef satay with spicy dipping sauce, brie cheese plate and spring salad mix. The Central Market wine gurus recommend a bottle of Santa Barbara pinot noir ($19.99), as the event is BYOB. Now that dinner and drinks are taken care of, sit back and enjoy the show. View menu items at www.fwsymphony.org and call 817-377-9307 to order by noon the day before.

BACK FORTY’S FAMILY BUSINESS

Mark Payne was brought up in the barbecue business as a member of the family that established Cousin’s. Now he’s taking his pit master skills solo, having opened Back Forty Smokehouse recently in North Richland Hills. Payne has taken over a former feed store he’d been eyeing for years that already has hosted its fair share of failed barbecue joints, but he hopes his experience and attention to quality will sustain his new venture for the long haul. “This place has been barbecue three times before us,” he says. “I hope my shot ends up better.” Payne claims brisket is king in Texas and is using green hickory wood to smoke his, just as he did at Cousin’s. Regarding leaving the family empire, Payne admits, “It’s been nerve-wracking but exciting at the same time. I’m having a blast, and I hope everybody loves my food.” 8021 Main St., North Richland Hills, 817-428-2225.

SEAFOOD WITH ZEST

Dallas’ loss will be Colleyville’s gain when Citrus Bistro, the former Preston Hollow neighborhood French eatery that closed in March, opens this month on Colleyville Boulevard. French chef Didier Viriot, who’s cooked for a living for more than four decades from France to Belgium to Costa Rica, opened Citrus Bistro in 2009 and gained good reviews for his duck confit, beef tartare and crab cakes. Viriot cooked at Mignon in Plano and Pompano in Dallas previously and says his specialty is seafood, including seared scallops, Dover sole and shellfish. Expect each dish to impart a bit of citrus, keeping with the restaurant’s theme, be it through a squeeze of lemon or a topping of mandarin orange slices. Citrus Bistro will be open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and for brunch on Sunday. 5005 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville, 817-281-6282, www.citrusbistro.com.

THE USUAL FOR LUNCH

Magnolia Avenue craft cocktail hot spot The Usual is now serving lunch Monday through Friday starting at 11 a.m. Catered by Fort Worth’s Holy Frijole food truck, menu items include taco salads, enchiladas suizas with green sauce and mozzarella cheese, grilled sandwiches and vegetable lasagna. Bartenders serve as wait staff, so waiting in a food truck line isn’t required, leaving us more time to peruse owner Brad Hensarling’s lunchtime libation menu. (We love the Bee’s Knees — gin, honey and lemon juice — any time of day.) Watch for The Usual to add weekend brunch soon, also catered by Holy Frijole and sure to include an impressive list of brunch cocktails. 1408 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-810-0114, www.theusualbar.com.

NOTEBOOK

Whataburger Fancy Ketchup fanatics will be happy to know the condiment will be bottled by popular demand and sold exclusively at Central Market and H-E-B stores. Ketchup connoisseurs promise a tangy richness that compels many drive-through diners to request packets by the handful. Also hitting the shelves are 16-ounce squeezable bottles of Whataburger’s Original Mustard, first spread on the Texas-based chain’s burgers in the 1950s, and the jalapeño-infused Spicy Ketchup, which generated a cult following upon its unveiling in 2012. Both ketchups will come in 20-ounce bottles. Expect a summer launch for all three products, as well as a potato chip version of Whataburger french fries, just in time for backyard barbecue season.

Mariposa’s Latin Kitchen will begin weekly hands-on cooking classes this month to include dinner and servings to take home. Classes ($25 to $50 per person) take place at 7 p.m. Mondays and feature a new theme each week. The restaurant is also offering dance lessons, including salsa, rumba, samba and more, every Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. Lessons ($30 per person or $50 a couple) include off-the-menu dinner specials followed by 45 minutes of instruction. 5724 Locke Ave., Fort Worth, 817-570-9555, www.mariposaslatinkitchen.com.

Tokyo Cafe is now serving a late Saturday brunch from noon to 3 p.m., including a menu of Asian fusion breakfast sandwiches and egg dishes. The Benedict features house-made English muffins topped with smoked salmon or roasted pork belly along with Niman Ranch cage-free eggs and yuzu-infused hollandaise sauce. 5121 Pershing Ave., Fort Worth, 817-737-8568, www.tokyocafefw.com.

Jack & Grill, a bar and wing house from the owners of Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill, is now open in Roanoke, offering 37 beers on tap and six house-smoked, bone-in wings. Varieties include chipotle barbecue, tangy sesame and “Jack you up,” infused with flaming ghost peppers. Also find burgers, an ahi tuna mango salad, pasta dishes and umbrella-covered patio tables. 301 S. Oak St., Roanoke, 682-831-1177.

Martin House Brewing Co., the Trinity River-front brewery just east of downtown Fort Worth, is now open for weekly tours and tastings 2-5 p.m. Saturdays. For $10, guests get a guided tour and commemorative pint glass filled with complimentary craft beer, including Day Break, the brewery’s already popular four-grain “breakfast beer” brewed with milk and honey. Food is available for purchase from on-site caterers and food trucks, which will rotate week-to-week. 220 S. Sylvania Ave., Fort Worth, martinhousebrewing.com.

Celestina Blok is a freelance food news writer, Pilates instructor and graduate of the Culinary School of Fort Worth.

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