Let me explain DFW Restaurant Week:
▪ Diners try 130 of the region’s nicest restaurants for a $39 or $49 dinner special throughout August, or a $20 lunch.
▪ The restaurant donates 20 percent of that ticket — $4 to nearly $10 per person — to either the Lena Pope children’s services agency in Fort Worth, or to a food bank in Dallas.
See? We get to try nice restaurants such as The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas for a little as $20. And some of the money goes to charity.
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For restaurants, it’s a way to meet new customers in what is usually a slow month. For diners, it’s a reason to go out and try someplace different.
“It’s a great way to bring folks out here, and a lot of them come back,” said Curtis Wells of the Classic Cafe at Roanoke, a Restaurant Week regular for more than 10 years.
Ten years ago, diners in north Tarrant County pleaded for a white-tablecloth restaurant with fresh garden vegetables and herbs. They found the Classic just across the county line.
Now, new restaurants and a coming Peabody Hotel have put Roanoke on the dining map.
(Foster’s Sushi Seafood Bar & Grill and Craft & Vine Taproom & Eatery will open by summer’s end on Oak Street. Wise Guys Pizzeria is open at 311 S. Oak St., with The Wharf Steak & Seafood coming later.)
“We know people try new places, but they always come back,” Wells said.
The Classic is one of four restaurants serving the $20 weekday lunch special, and offers the broadest menu: a choice of 11 entrees including a stuffed chicken breast, rainbow trout or pan-seared salmon, with either an appetizer, salad or dessert.
That’s a $20 special any weekday, but the charity special is Aug. 7-25, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
More $20 lunch deals
Five other Tarrant County restaurants also will offer the $20 lunch special:
▪ Capital Grille will serve a generous three-course weekday $20 lunch Aug. 7-25 featuring a peppered sirloin, citrus-almond salmon, a chicken Caesar or a burger. Best of all, Capital Grille serves the lunch menu till 4 p.m. (dinner is $49); 800 Main St., 817-348-9200, thecapitalgrille.com.
▪ Both Del Frisco’s Grille locations in Fort Worth and Southlake will serve a two-course $20 lunch weekdays Aug. 7-20 until 4 p.m., Sundays until 3 p.m., featuring salmon, seared “brick” chicken, a steak sandwich or burger. Dinner is $39; delfriscosgrille.com.
▪ Il Calabrese Ristorante & Bar in Southlake will serve a two-course lunch daily Aug. 7-13 until 3 p.m. featuring salmon, pastas, salads or pizza. Dinner is $39; 1281 Texas 114 E., 817-251-8798, ilcalabrese.com.
▪ Winewood Grill in Grapevine will serve a two-course $20 lunch weekdays Aug. 7-11 until 4 p.m. featuring grilled or blackened salmon, a bourbon-glazed pork chop or chicken cordon bleu; 1265 S. Main St., 817-421-0200.
For more details and a list of all the Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants serving dinner, see dfwrestaurantweek.com. (The Star-Telegram is a sponsor of Restaurant Week.)
But which Youngblood?
I wrote last week about the new J.T. Youngblood’s fried chicken restaurant in Austin, and Nancy Counts Youngblood called.
The children of Youngblood’s Fried Chicken founders Harper and Weldon Youngblood are not connected to the new restaurant, she said. (A chef told Austin reporters he was working with an unidentified family member.)
Just to settle another discussion, she said Babe’s Chicken Dinner House doesn’t use the exact Youngblood’s recipe, “but it’s the closest you can find.”