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Restaurant News for September

Posted Wednesday, Sep. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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DEL FRISCO'S AL FRESCO

Fort Worth’s newest be-seen patio belongs to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. The downtown restaurant’s two-story outdoor dining and imbibing space is now open, just in time for the coolish evenings of early fall. The expansion adds to its capacity more than 50 seats, made up of two- and four-top tables. It features an upper-level wraparound terrace reminiscent of a Bourbon Street balcony. Both patio levels are covered and offer breezes from ceiling fans and, later, piped-in heat. Access to the second story, where we’ll be found sipping cocktails al fresco, is available from the bar area upstairs, and as summer’s scorching heat dwindles, we’re betting reservations will be hard to come by. 812 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3999; www.delfriscos.com.

‘FIT FAST FOOD’

“It’s fit fast food,” says Chris Sanchez, former marketing director of Whole Foods and founder of Simply Fit Meals, which is now open in Fort Worth. The Plano-based company sells healthy meals, prepackaged in BPA-free containers and made with all-natural ingredients like grass-fed, free-range, locally sourced beef and bison, organic produce and grains and house-blended seasonings, so there’s no extra salt or components we can’t pronounce. The microwavable dishes are ready in a minute-and-a-half and include selections like the Paleo-fit Filet, with beef tenderloin and nitrate-free, uncured turkey bacon served with broccolini and blue cheese crumbles; and the gluten-free and vegan Chile Real, a black bean and brown rice-stuffed roasted bell pepper with chipotle sauce. Sanchez promises us even the mac and cheese is healthy. “It’s Greek yogurt whipped with fat-free cottage cheese that’s seasoned and mixed with ground turkey breast and organic whole-wheat pasta, then topped with low-fat mozzarella cheese to get that gooeyness we’re used to,” he says. Also find fresh-pressed juices, teas, kombucha, organic coffee, healthy snacks and breakfast dishes. A grand opening party 7-10 p.m. Oct. 5 will include plenty of free samples, and a free meal will be given to the first 500 guests. 3020 W. Seventh St., Suite 220, Fort Worth, 817-349-9250; www.simplyfitmeals.com.

SCREAM FOR BEER ICE CREAM

The folks at Chadra Mezza and Grill have long been known to create exotic, scratch-made ice creams in their kitchen, including favorites like Rose Water, Turkish Coffee, Spice Cream and Tamarind. Now our ice cream dreams have been fulfilled with their newest debut: Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug Ice Cream. The beer-based dessert infuses the award-winning dark black lager from nearby Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. into a spicy-sweet treat that offers hints of coffee and bitter chocolate. It’s our new favorite, but if you can’t decide, you can sample all varieties by ordering the Mediterranean restaurant’s ice cream flight. 1622 Park Place Ave., Fort Worth, 817-924-2372; www.chadramezza.com.

SWEETS AND SALTIES

We feel like kids in a candy store at Montgomery Plaza’s new ice cream, candy and popcorn shop, Pop N Cream, where more than 250 colorful candies, including chocolates, taffies and sweet and sour gummies, are presented in glass jars and available in bulk. There also are 70 flavors of gourmet popcorn (so far we’ve tried bacon cheddar and coconut) as well as two dozen varieties of Blue Bell ice cream. And to satisfy the ultimate sweet tooth, visit for Pop N Cream’s two-step sundae — two scoops of ice cream covered with a milkshake, whipped cream and sundae toppings. 2600 W. Seventh St., Suite 135, Fort Worth, 817-870-5005.

BREWS NEWS

After the success of two recent local craft brew launches at Central Market Fort Worth, including Martin House Brewing’s canning of its Day Break and Imperial Texan beers and Revolver Brewing’s bottling of its Blood & Honey (which has already broken store records for beer cases sold after its debut last month), the gourmet grocer has unveiled a new 14-foot bar that offers 19 microbrews on tap. Customers can also purchase 32- or 64-ounce growlers — resealable jugs made of glass or stainless steel intended for filling (and refilling) with the new brews. Beers on tap so far include Revolver’s Mother’s Little Fracker Stout, High Brass and Bock, as well as Martin House Brewing’s River Saison and There Will Be Stout pretzel-infused brew. Central Market stores will also host a “Brewniversity” festival Sept. 11-24, featuring beer-themed events that include a sip-and-stroll through the store (5 p.m. Sept. 12; $10, Southlake and Fort Worth) and beer pairing cooking classes, including Rahr & Sons beer paired with cuisine from Eric Hunter of Fire Oak Grill (6:30 p.m. Sept. 14, Fort Worth; $50). Blood & Honey fans can also find the sweet wheat ale at HEB stores, Whole Foods and Total Wine & More in Fort Worth. More outlets will be added as fast as the Revolver team can bottle the brew. www.revolverbrewing.com; www.centralmarket.com.

THE MAIN EVENT

There’ll be plenty of elbow room at The Main Table, a street-long outdoor steak dinner planned for 500 on Sunday, Sept. 8, along Main Street in downtown Fort Worth. The best of the “beef block,” including Del Frisco’s, Grace, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Capital Grille and nearby Reata, will each serve a multicourse meal paired with wines. We got a sneak peek at Reata’s Main Table menu, which will include deviled eggs made with smoked salmon, short ribs and bacon and jalapeño; the Reata Wedge Salad; Buffalo Tenderloin with Grits and Green Beans; and a Mixed Berry Creme Brulee. The event is being hosted by Downtown Fort Worth Inc. and seats for the dinner, 5:30-8 p.m., are $125 each. Guests can indicate their restaurant preference upon registration. And if it rains, dinners will be honored at the participating restaurants. www.dfwi.org.

LE POPCORN'S FLAVORS DU JOUR

Since acquiring Southlake’s Le Popcorn and Candy this summer and moving the shop to Grapevine, Cassie Uptmore, already known for her namesake fro-yo spot, Cassie’s Frozen Yogurt, has expanded the gourmet popcorn selection with new flavors like white truffle, bacon bourbon caramel and candy-infused varieties that mix Jelly Belly beans, Pop Rocks and Nerds right in with the kernels. Now the creative entrepreneur has launched a line of popcorn marinades. The 12-ounce bottles go for $9 and come in some of her customers’ favorite flavors, including beer cheddar, buffalo ranch, dill pickle, pizza and jalapeño ranch. So how does one marinate popcorn? “It’s super simple,” Cassie says. “Take off the lid and microwave the marinade for 45 seconds. Put the lid back on and shake well, and then simply pour the marinade over the popcorn and shake or stir well.” Also take advantage of Cassie’s popcorn-of-the-month care packages for college students, which include a collegiate logo tin and refills delivered monthly. 603 S. Main St., Suite 302, Grapevine, 817-888-7440; www.cassieslepopcorn.com.

SUZUSHII SUSHI ROLLS INTO ARLINGTON

There are almost 90 rolls at Suzushii Sushi, which has opened a second Tarrant County location in Arlington in the former Sushi Zone space after success in Mansfield and Cedar Hill. The restaurant has extended-family ties to Fort Worth’s Tokyo Steak House and gets creative with rolls that offer everything from coconut-crusted shrimp and honey mustard sauce to pineapple chunks and cherries on top. But owner Jamie Pisesnakornkit says the Incredible Roll, a super-saucy shrimp tempura and crab concoction, is by far the most popular. Order yours topped with “crunch,” or crispy tempura flakes, like the regulars do. 915 Road to Six Flags E., Suite 103, Arlington, www.suzushiisushiandgrill.com.

CHOW DOWN AND CHILL OUT

New in the former Grill 1709 space is Chow N Chill, a beach town-themed bar and grill that gives Keller a new option for casual cuisine in a flip-flop-friendly atmosphere. Diners will find bar food, including meatball sliders, fried calamari and brisket tacos, but also unexpected selections like shrimp cocktail with pineapple-lime sauce, house-made hummus, fried plantains with black beans and specials like crab-topped tilapia. Owners tell us the most popular menu item ordered thus far is the hefty Waffle Burger, composed of a Nolan Ryan beef patty topped with a fried egg between two waffles and served with Crown Royal maple syrup. Visit for dinner and drinks and stay for live music. 1632 Keller Pkwy., Suite 100, Keller, 817-431-3203, www.chownchill.com.

GOOD NEWS FOR JUICE JUNKIES

Juicing is the new “smart,” says Hillary Biediger, owner of Fort Worth’s first organic juice bar, Juice Junkies, which is set to open this month on Foch Street. More than 20 organic, cold-pressed bottled juices will be ready to grab and go, along with super-food smoothies, cold brew coffee, raw and vegan snacks, and kombucha, the probiotic-packed elixir made from fermented tea and sugar cane, to be available on tap. Juicy concoctions will include varieties like Moondance, made with OJ, apple juice, ginger and turmeric (which is recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties), and Green River, which blends kale, spinach and romaine with cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger. And when our eating habits warrant a bit of detoxification, Juice Junkies will be ready with juice cleansing programs tailored to our specific dietary requirements. 925 Foch St., Fort Worth.

NOTEBOOK

Café Modern will host Juan Ramon Cardenas as a guest chef for a five-course dinner Thursday, Sept. 26, to coincide with The Modern’s upcoming exhibit, “Mexico Inside Out: Themes in Art Since 1990.” Cardenas is an award-winning chef who owns Don Artemio Restaurante and Villa Ferré, a catering company, both located in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. He’s recognized nationally as “Mr. Cabrito” for his traditional and modern techniques in preparing roasted goat. 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth, 817-738-9215; www.themodern.org/cafe.

F2T Fort Worth, an outdoor farm-to-table culinary celebration, is back for a second year. Chefs Molly McCook, Lanny Lancarte and Jon Bonnell will cook for the event, as they did for the last one. To be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at Heart of the Ranch at Clear Fork, a picturesque setting on Edwards Ranch, the dinner will include a four-course meal featuring locally sourced ingredients, wine pairings, and pre-dinner champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Also on the bill is live music from Whiskey Folk Ramblers. $175. www.f2tfortworth.com.

Pacific Table, the new seafood-focused restaurant from chef Felipe Armenta, has launched a weekend brunch. Stellar menu items include lobster Benedict topped with bearnaise sauce, lemon ricotta pancakes, trout scramble and corned beef hash. Brunch is served 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 1600 S. University Drive, Suite 601, Fort Worth, 817-887-9995; www.pacifictableftworth.com.

Duffey’s Kolache Bakery is giving us two more reasons to visit. The north Fort Worth kolache shop, which has found much success offering the Czech pastries via a drive-through window, is now selling cake balls, layered cake “dessert cups,” and specialty cakes from Remedy, a dessert line newly launched by Duffey’s pastry chef Will Brown. Duffey’s is also now brewing Volunteer Coffee, a Fort Worth-based micro-roaster that gives a portion of its sales to local charities. 8333 SoHi Drive, Suite 100, Fort Worth, 817-428-2777, www.duffeyskolachebakery.com.

Sol de Luna is the Venezuela-Mex taqueria that opened in time for the start of the new TCU school year in the old Red Cactus space, at 3005 S. University Drive, Fort Worth. Besides serving migas, tostones, slow-roasted pork pepitos, empanadas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas and other fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the eatery includes an espresso bar, selling Costa Rican coffee or espresso to bleary-eyed students. 817-996-9492.

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