TOMMY’S NEW HAMBURGER HOME
Tommy Smith and wife Glenda started serving burgers out of their Lake Worth convenience store in 1983, eventually establishing a namesake restaurant chain that has seen locations come and go. Now daughter Kelly Smith takes the helm as Tommy’s Hamburger Grill shows off its highly anticipated Forest Park Boulevard location, which took over the former Ruffino’s space. There’s patio seating, TVs for game watching and the same beloved burger menu offered at the eatery’s Camp Bowie Boulevard outlet. While the green chile cheeseburger remains a longtime fan favorite, Kelly prefers the blue cheese, she says. And for those simply bored with burgers, note that Tommy’s is also known for its crispy catfish and chicken finger baskets. 2455 Forest Park Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-920-1776, www.tommyshamburgergrill.com
MESA MOVES INTO SOUTHLAKE
Southlake diners will get a taste of the Mexican Gulf Coast when Dallas’ lauded Mesa Veracruz Coastal Cuisine opens a second location in the former Buffalo Cantina space in the coming weeks. Owned by Olga and Raul Reyes, both natives of Veracruz, Mesa will bring high-end, seaside-inspired Latin dishes to landlocked Tarrant County in the way of snook ceviche, camarones enchipotlados (chipotle Gulf shrimp) and guiso del rey, a combination of mussels, clams, octopus and shrimp cooked with brandy and chardonnay. But the Oak Cliff-based eatery’s signature dish is the mole Mama Cata, showcasing a chicken or duck leg sauced in a mole made of more than 20 ingredients, using a recipe that was passed down to Olga from her mother, Catalina. (How good is the food? Celebrity couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z booked a dinner reservation at the Dallas restaurant, reportedly on the recommendation of a friend, and ate chicken mole and sipped margaritas for several hours while in town one night in July.) The Reyes family hopes for a late October or early November opening. 2801 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, www.mesadallas.com
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MORE WINING AND DINING AT LIGHTCATCHER
LightCatcher Winery & Bistro owner and chef Caris Turpen is fresh off a big win at last month’s GrapeFest in Grapevine, taking first place in the dry white wine category for her 2012 blanc de blanc called Sunflower. Now she’s celebrating Texas Wine Month with three-course, prix fixe weekend wine dinners taking place throughout October, showcasing just how elaborate the Lakeside winery and restaurant can get in the kitchen. Heath Rowe, formerly of Vee Lounge in downtown Fort Worth, is Turpen’s new sous-chef, and together they are prepping wine dinner pairings like spiced cowboy bone marrow with house-made onion jam, served with LightCatcher’s award-wining cabernet, as well as grilled flank steak served with Remuda Red, a cab-merlot blend, and Southwestern crab cakes partnered with Roadrunner viognier. Wine dinners range from $38 to $48 per person. Also not be missed are LightCatcher’s fresh oyster Thursdays, featuring Gulf and Blue Point oysters on the half shell, along with blanc de bois and Texas Kiss merlot rosé. 6925 Confederate Park Road/Farm Road 1886, Fort Worth, 817-237-2626, www.lightcatcher.com
COOKIE MONSTER WOULD LOVE THESE
One bite and we were addicted to these surprisingly soft gluten-free cookies from local bakers, business partners and best friends Melissa Blue and Melissa Mehall — two stay-at-home moms who own Melissa’s Monster Cookies. The duo launched the business last year, selling their pre-baked rolled-oat and peanut butter-based cookies at Roy Pope Grocery and the Sunflower Shoppe. Now the tender treats are available at all Central Market stores. Find them in the freezer section, which allows the cookies to be preservative-free. Simply thaw the desired number of cookies for a few minutes and save the rest for another time ... like a few minutes later. $6.49-$7.99 per box, depending on store; http://melissasmonstercookies.com.
SHIPPING & RECEIVING TO THE
Breathing life into a desolate district of the Near Southside, Shipping & Receiving opened last month in the historic Supreme Golf Warehouse located just off South Main Street. Owned by developers Eddie Vanston and Gina Hudson, along with local musician Tom Reynolds, the bar and live music venue features a beer garden and outdoor stage situated atop a closed-off section of vintage-red-brick street. “We thought, ‘We can have some fun with this,’” says Reynolds, who plays the venue with his namesake jazz quartet. There’s no food on the menu, but expect local beer and expertly crafted cocktails like the Lust for Life, a fall-inspired, bourbon-cider concoction from S&R bartender Cara Cassaday. She shares the recipe here. Word is chef Lou Lambert owns property nearby and the bar, named after the building’s pre-existing loading dock sign, is just the beginning of more south Fort Worth revitalization. 201 S. Calhoun St., Fort Worth, 817-887-9313, http://shippingandreceivingbar.com
DEL FRISCO’S, PART DEUX
Many Del Frisco’s fans might not realize the upscale steakhouse has a sporty, laid-back little cousin named Del Frisco’s Grille. It’s here where patrons will find casual creations like cheesesteak egg rolls, Ahi tuna tacos, garlic shrimp flatbreads, “two-fisted” prime burgers and short-rib stroganoff, as well as the prime steaks that make Del Frisco’s famous. Now the two restaurants will be located within steps of each other when Del Frisco’s Grille opens a 9,000-square-foot location inside the new Sundance Square Plaza this month, which is earlier than the anticipated Nov. 1 opening of the plaza itself. Expect an expansive patio, lunch and weekend brunch service, an extensive wine list and handcrafted cocktails. Look for the two-story Del Frisco’s Grille in the new Commerce building, located across from the Flying Saucer. 154 E. Third St., Fort Worth, www.delfriscosgrille.com
GEM OF A JUICE BAR
The juicing craze is on the rise, and one of our favorite fitness facilities is the latest to jump on the juice-bar bandwagon. Abundio’s Studio is an official supplier of fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, healthy to-go meals and juice-based cleanses from the Gem, a Dallas-based juice and smoothie bar. The vibrant, pre-packaged products are offered in Abundio’s new retail shop, which is connected to his Cullen Street kickboxing studio. What sets the Gem’s selections apart? All ingredients are organic and vegan and feature energizing flavor combinations with gem-themed names, like Moonstone — with cashew, maple syrup, cinnamon, celery, spinach, carrot, cucumber and cilantro, and Super Sapphire, with blueberries, raspberries, pomegranate, hemp milk and chia seeds. Visit to see what’s on hand (the juices have a limited shelf life) or place orders in advance by contacting the studio. 2908 Cullen St., Fort Worth, 817-885-8900, www.abundiotkc.com, www.insidethegem.com
SERA WILL BE WHAT IT WILL BE
Since the closing of Sapristi!, we’ve eagerly awaited the opening of Sera in its place, and this month “it will be,” which is the meaning of the neighborhood tapas and wine restaurant’s Latin title. Featuring a coastal French-Spanish influence, Sera brings familiar Sapristi! faces back to the Forest Park Boulevard space, including general manager John Marsh and former Sapristi! sous-chef Brandon Hudson, who served as sous at the celebrated Dallas barbecue institution Smoke and studied under Michelin-rated chefs in Spain. The menu focuses on small, shareable plates, from lamb sweetbreads and littleneck clams to rabbit confit and tortilla Española. And Sapristi! regulars might not recognize the revamped restaurant, as a major renovation has resulted in a brighter, more modern, Mediterranean-inspired space with ample bar seating and a private dining area. Sera will be open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner and for monthly “Sunday suppers.” 2418 Forest Park Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-927-7372
SOME FLY SISTERS
Celebrating sisterhood in campfire fashion, members of Sisters on the Fly, an organization committed to empowering women through outdoor adventures, will camp in nearly 80 vintage trailers outside the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame on Oct. 10-13. The colorful caravan has become a trademark of the nearly 4,000-member group, which hosts excursions across the nation and as far as Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Non-sisters can join the fun, tour the trailers and try cast-iron cuisine during an evening reception 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11. Copies of the group’s recent cookbook, Cast-Iron Cooking With Sisters on the Fly, will be for sale ($19.95) and author Irene Rawlings will be on hand to autograph copies. Reata will cater the event with dishes straight from the book, including buffalo chicken dip, salsa and scratch-made chips, sausage-stuffed jalapeños, chili, macaroni and cheese and Dutch oven chocolate chip cookies. 3409 Harley Ave. (Will Rogers-Harley Lot). Tickets are $35, $40 for the reception. 817-509-8663, www.cowgirl.net.
The eighth annual “BeerFeast” at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth is 1-7 p.m. Oct. 12. The event includes live entertainment and 60 craft beers from 40 breweries, including a few limited-release beers. General admission is $30; VIP tickets, which include early admission, food voucher and festival apparel, are $65. 817-336-7470; www.beerfeast2013.com.
The Fort Worth Opera and Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival will present a dinner called “Perfect Pairings,” featuring the food, wine and operas of Italy. A four-course meal, prepared by City Club chef Gilbert Rivera, will be paired with Italian wines provided by a local sommelier. Experts will explain the connection between art and music, and members of the Fort Worth Opera Studio will provide entertainment. 7-9 p.m. Oct. 15 at City Club, 301 Commerce St., Fort Worth; $75. To reserve, call 817-288-1215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Classic Cafe will host a cooking class featuring fall harvest soups and stews from executive chef Charles Youts. The Roanoke restaurant is celebrating 20 years this year and still serves diners in the same cozy cottage where it first opened its doors in 1993. 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15; $55. 504 N. Oak St., Roanoke, 817-430-8185, www.theclassiccafe.com.
Magnolia Cheese Co. will host cheesemaker Laura Vanderbilt of Haute Goat Creamery in Longview for a cheese and wine pairing class at 6 p.m. Oct. 16. Monthly cheese classes at the Near Southside cheese shop and restaurant have sold out quickly, so make reservations early. $35. 1251 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-945-2221, www.magnoliacheese.com
Louise Lamensdorf, formerly of the longtime French-Medi favorite Bistro Louise, is keeping busy catering and hosting cooking classes out of her Fort Worth home, including one this month that will feature Italian trattoria-inspired cuisine. Menu items include jumbo scallops, veal osso buco, grilled polenta and plum cake. 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17; $90. 5125 Turtle Creek Court, Fort Worth, 817-291-2734, www.bistrolouisecatering.com.
The Omni Fort Worth Hotel is hosting Cooking & Cocktails, a monthly cooking class featuring dishes from the hotel’s Cast Iron restaurant paired with libations. This month, Oktoberfest is the theme and the class will feature German-inspired recipes along with potent German brews. 4-9 p.m. Oct. 19; $38. 1300 Houston St., Fort Worth. To register, call 817-350-4019 or email tcates@omni
Pickles BBQ & Icehouse, a sleek new smokehouse offering chic cocktails, hickory-smoked brisket, burgers, sandwiches and specialty pickles, including mango con chile and sour apple, will open this month in Northeast Tarrant County. Expect live music and a contemporary atmosphere for a barbecue joint. 8247 Rufe Snow Drive, Watauga, 817-581-2009, www.picklesbbq.com.
The Pour House is undergoing a major facelift that will
add 70 new beer taps, revamping the longtime bar and restaurant as a craft brew destination. The Garage, the Pour House’s neighboring dance club and lounge, will transform into a game room, featuring pool tables, shuffleboard and darts. A scaled-back menu of bar food favorites will be offered upon completion this month. 2725 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-335-2575, www.pour-house.com.
“Down and Dirty on the Boulevard,” the second annual Chefs for Farmers outdoor culinary extravaganza, will bring together more than 40 chefs, local farmers, purveyors and local wine and spirit producers at Lee Park in Dallas. The event features tastings, drinks and live music and is produced by farm-to-table advocate Matt McCallister, owner and executive chef of Dallas’ FT33. Fort Worth will be represented by Grace executive chef Blaine Staniford. The event is 1-5 p.m. Nov. 3; $65 per person or $120 for two. Lee Park is at 3333 Turtle Creek Blvd., Dallas. www.chefsforfarmers.com.
Copeland’s Southlake has reopened after a four-week renovation with even more New Orleans panache. Now there’s more room for large parties, a wall mural of Jackson Square, a fiber optically-lit bar, wrought-iron details and wall-mounted gas lamps. New menu items include muffuletta sandwiches, grilled chicken Creole and fried oysters. Located inside the Southlake Town Square Hilton, Copeland’s Southlake is an outlet of Copeland’s of New Orleans, which originated in the Crescent City in 1983. 1400 Plaza Place, Southlake, 817-305-2199, www.southlakecopelands.com.