A few weeks ago, Pinstripes Bistro-Bowling-Bocce announced an April 7 opening date for its new location in The Shops at Clearfork in Fort Worth. Target dates are notoriously hard to hit, but Pinstripes is right on the money with this one, with its official opening occurring Saturday. (There is an RSVP-only grand opening on Friday night).
Pinstripes appears to be one of those big bowling-alley/restaurant entertainment centers, but it's no accident that "Bistro" comes first in its subtitle. As you enter, you'll be greeted by a couple of hostesses, and you'll quickly notice the bar and the dining room to your right.
Look to the back of the front room and you'll see a wine display case — with a few bowling pins and bocce balls mixed in, the most obvious sign of the two sports also mentioned in the subtitle. There are 12 bowling lanes, divided among separate rooms in the two-story complex, and six bocce courts in various indoor and outdoor locations.
The Shops at Clearfork has made patios a priority at its restaurants, and Pinstripes has one — or more, depending on how you look at it — of the best. Pinstripes is proud of its wine selection, and vineyard-style wrought-iron work decorates the gate of a patio that is festooned with a large corkscrew sculpture. There is a fire pit surrounded by tables made out of wine barrels. Given the weather forecast for this weekend, that fire pit will likely come to good use on Saturday. A separate section of patio has cushioned seating, and there is outdoor seating upstairs as well.
The bar will have a special TCU-centric drink, the "TCU Prince Charmin" — champagne with Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur floating on top, garnished with a blackberry, and, most important, it's purple.
Pinstripes boasts that it menu consists of "made from scratch Italian-American cuisine." The menu is actually broader than that, but there is a selection of pastas, standards such as chicken marsala and chicken Parmesan, and slightly more adventurous offerings such as Italian "Jambalaya" (the quotation marks are theirs, not ours, for this spicy chicken, grilled shrimp, risotto, sausage and roasted pepper dish) and gnocchi and ahi tuna (we did say "slightly" more adventurous).
The Fort Worth location missed National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day, which was Monday (remember all the celebrations?), but it will still honor it with a five-course five-course “PB&J Sharing for Two” menu that's indicative of its playfulness: The menu goes way beyond sticky sandwiches to feature these items: Tenderloin PB&J (espresso-crusted filet mignon, nut butter and raspberry preserves, artisan brioche); crustless PB&J pistachio salad (strawberries, blackberries, mint, burrata); Not Your Mom’s Flatbread (chunky peanut butter, raspberry preserves, fontinella & mozzarella cheese, Fresno peppers); nutty chicken pasta (house-made pappardelle pasta, cage-free chicken, peanut sauce, cherry-blueberry-bourbon preserves) and, for dessert, "PB&J with a Spoon" (house-made peanut butter gelato, Concord grape sorbet and pound cake). The sharing menu is $100 but it covers all those items.
Elsewhere, there are baby-back ribs, filet mignon, short ribs, a sandwich menu including a cheeseburger, and pizzas and flatbreads, including a prosciutto and fig flatbread and a yellowfin tuna flatbread along with some more standard choices (margherita, pepperoni, etc.).
Desserts include tiramisu, housemade s'mores, a Frangelico chocolate cake and gelato (although the place is only a short walk from the game-changing Amorino Gelato). Along with the wine, there'll be a rotating menu of craft beers. There will also be a Sunday brunch buffet, a gluten-free menu, cocktails and more.
Pinstripes is available for events for groups ranging from 20 to .... 600. The Fort Worth one is the first in Texas (a Houston one will open in a few months, and a Frisco one is scheduled to open next year, with additional Dallas-Fort Worth ones possible). Pinstripes is based in Chicago, and Fort Worth will be the ninth location nationwide.
Pinstripes joins an already crowded restaurant lineup at the Shops at Clearfork, including B&B Butchers, City Works, Cru Food & Wine Bar,Fixe Southern House, Malai Kitchen, NM Cafe, Rise nº3, Twigs Bistro and more, with more to come. But do any of those have a bocce court?
Pinstripes is at 5001 Trailhead Bend Way in the Shops at Clearfork; http://pinstripes.com