Things we Love for October

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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LITTLE RED WASP LIVES UP TO BUZZ

Downtown Fort Worth’s Main Street has been swarming with culinary commotion since last month’s opening of Little Red Wasp, named for the childhood epithet of owner Adam Jones’ wife, Caroline Grace. This makes two dining establishments named in her honor, with Grace, LRW’s sophisticated older sister, located across the street. Consider LRW the playful one, both in menu selections and atmosphere. Open for weekend brunch, lunch, dinner and late night dining until midnight daily, the laid-back eatery gets fancy with a $36 New York Strip, featuring 44 Farms Texas-raised beef, but has fun with its “knife + fork sandwiches,” including a monstrous chili dog ($11), doused in dill relish, cheddar and mustard. The Reuben ($13), is piled high with house-made corned beef, and the color-blocked Cobb salad ($18) features rows of avocado chunks, tomato quarters, Point Reyes farmstead blue cheese and chicken from North Texas’ Windy Meadows Family Farm. Brunch offerings (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) include chilaquiles ($11), featuring Fort Worth-made Mrs. Renfro’s salsa, as well as Short Rib Benedict ($26), made with cheddar biscuits. Peruse the beer list for a lengthy selection of lagers, large formats, pilsners and stouts. And for a drink with some good sting, try the $9 signature Little Red Wasp: Sauza Hornitos reposado tequila, red pepper puree, mint, lemon juice and jalapeño honey. We admit — the first time we ordered one, we didn’t know if it would go down so easily. Halfway through dinner, we ordered another. 808 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3111, www.littleredwasp.com.

FALL BEAUTY FOR THE TABLE

Since Texans don’t get many opportunities for local leaf-peeping, we turn instead to our home interiors for a chance to surround ourselves with the beauty of the season. Autumn decor, however, can quickly careen into kitsch and chintz — you know, synthetic orange leaves, ghosts with googly eyes, stuffed turkeys that talk — none of which come to mind when we envision an elegant autumn tablescape. These cloisonné napkin rings from Williams-Sonoma, however, add a subtle “pop of fall” that you won’t have to put away when you bring out the good china. Cloisonné, a practice dating back to ancient times and popular during the Byzantine Empire, combines metal wire and finessed enamel and glasswork to create beautifully intricate designs. New this season, they come in sets of four fiery-orange pumpkins, golden leaves and colorful turkeys. (And, try to stop yourself from looking ahead to the menorahs, holly leaves, Christmas trees and nutcrackers already available for the December holidays.) $52 per set, Williams-Sonoma, 1620 S. University Dr., Suite 203, Fort Worth, 817-334-0009, and 172 State St., Southlake, 817-416-5932; www.williams-sonoma.com.

INNOVATIVE JEWELRY DESIGN

Fort Worth jeweler Megan Thorne is among the trendsetting independent fine jewelers profiled in the new coffee table book Jewelry’s Shining Stars. Written by longtime accessories editor Beth Bernstein (with a foreword by designer Stephen Webster), the book shares the stories of 38 talented and diverse artisans — with lavish photos, of course — who bend and set precious metals and stones to create pieces that blend art and wearability, including Thorne’s creations. “What is most special for me is that a lot of the artists featured are metalsmiths themselves with similar starts in the business, spending years fine-tuning their designs and then slowly building their one-person companies into larger studios,” Thorne says. “The format of the book allows for a very personal glimpse into the thoughts of the designers, and Beth asked fun questions that encouraged honest and very human responses.” The book, published by Fine Points Publishing, is $65 and available through major bookstores and at Megan Thorne Fine Jewelry, 1517 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-920-7623, http://meganthorne.com.

WORN FOR WEE ONES

WORN’s hand-knit infinity scarves have been the must-have accessory for several seasons, and those in the know appreciate that these soft, thick and richly-hued pieces don’t just look good, they also do good. That’s because the company is owned by Catholic Charities Fort Worth, and all scarves and head wraps are created by refugee women who have resettled in the United States, allowing them to earn supplemental income to improve their lives. This season, the brand broadens its reach to the bassinet set with Wee WORN, a capsule collection of three petite pieces — two styles of beanie, stretch headbands and button-accented booties, $18-$30 — knit from an ultra-soft nylon-acrylic blend and sized for newborns up to 3 months old. Find them online at www.wornforpeace.com and at Fort Worth stores Zoe + Jack (5137 Birchman Dr., 817-989-2200) and Polka Dot Presents (6124 Bryant Irvin Road, 817-294-5573).

THIS ROBOT DOES WINDOWS

First came the Roomba, which got every gadget-loving guy we know out of doing his own vacuuming. Then, the Looj, the remote-controlled machine that made cleaning their own gutters a chore of the past. With the new Winbot 7, whomever in your family is responsible for washing windows can kick back with an extra bloody Mary on Saturday morning. This robot will make them sparkle, inside and out. Simply place the cleaning pads on the device, mist it with solution and stick it to the window. The smart little thing will measure how it will clean the glass, and then zigzag around every inch — even on Thermopane windows. Power it with a remote control, if you’d like, or just wait until it’s done; you’ll know because it’ll return itself to its original position, and an air-release trigger will free it from the glass. (It will not, sadly, hop down and make breakfast.) Use it on glass railings, doors and shower stalls, too. For more information, visit www.ecovacs.com. $400, Gracious Home, 800-338-7809 or www.gracioushome.com.

MODERN CINEMA RETURNS TO THE MODERN

We popped for joy (like buttered movie popcorn!) when we heard one of our favorite local film festivals was coming back. After a hiatus last year, the ninth edition of “Chris Kelly’s Modern Cinema: Great Movies You Haven’t Heard of ... Yet” will take place Oct. 3-6 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Film critic Christopher Kelly has reeled in a blockbuster lineup of flicks that are sure to nab all sorts of awards statues next spring. “I think what I’m most excited about with this year’s lineup is the balance we’ve struck,” Kelly says. “There is the charming comedy A.C.O.D., starring Adam Scott, Amy Poehler and the great Jane Lynch, but there are also tough, challenging movies like Blood Brother, the prize-winning Sundance documentary about kids battling AIDS in India, and Dormant Beauty, an entrancing Italian film about the global debate surrounding assisted suicide. And there’s a movie like Le Week-End, starring Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, which thrillingly splits the difference. It’s about a couple trying to save their 30-year marriage, and whether you think it’s a comedy or a tragedy probably depends on where you are in your own relationship.” Special events include an opening-night reception and a “surprise screening” Saturday night. Festival passes are $65; single tickets, $10, will go on sale two hours before showtime; member discounts are available. For a complete schedule and more information, call 817-738-9215 or visit www.themodern.org.

HIGH IN

THE SKY

Most people who came of age in Dallas-Fort Worth probably have at least one fun memory of reveling while revolving in Reunion Tower — a graduation celebration, a pre-prom dinner, a marriage proposal as close to cloud nine as you can get. And while diners inside “The Ball” have enjoyed fine cuisine at Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty restaurant for a few years now, they’ve been unable to take in the views from the observation deck since its closure five years ago. The deck is back, and it’s come of age, too. Now called the GeO-Deck and re-opening Oct. 5, the deck features slick technology that lets guests view and learn about the world around and below them. Highlights include interactive maps that tell the stories of neighborhoods, buildings and landmarks; A Reunion Tower lights experience that promises a show even before it gets dark; and powerful HD telescopes and cameras that let you zoom in closer than ever (we want to know if they’ll zoom in on Fort Worth on a clear day). And in true 21st century fashion, you can have your picture taken at the base of the tower, and by the time you arrive at the top, you’ll be able to view it, change the background, personalize it and blast it to the world via social media. Cloud Nine, a new Puck-operated eatery, is open for casual lunches and can convert to a private event spot. 300 Reunion Blvd. E., Dallas; 214-571-5744. Buy tickets, $16 (discounts for children and seniors), view hours, parking, train options and more information at www.reuniontower.com.

WELCOMING A PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY

Fifty years ago, the late Ruth Carter Stevenson, then-board president of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and a small group of Fort Worth art collectors decorated a suite in Fort Worth’s Hotel Texas to welcome Jacqueline Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy to the city. They wanted to extend some Southern hospitality toward the young couple and loaned several significant pieces of artwork to decorate their two-bedroom suite, where the Kennedys would spend the night before their fateful trip to Dallas. In the parlor they placed Monet, Picasso and Feininger paintings; in the master bedroom — Jackie’s room — they put impressionist works, and in the second bedroom, American art such as Thomas Eakins’ Swimming and Charles M. Russell’s Lost in a Snowstorm. The story of this band of intrepid art installers and the pieces they chose to illustrate Texas sophistication will be on display at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Oct. 12-Jan. 12 in “Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy,” 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth. There is no admission charge to the Carter, 817-738-1933, www.cartermuseum.org.

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