Ice Pops Go Epicurean
Beat the heat with Steel City Pops’ gourmet paletas, frozen treats made in small batches with fresh ingredients and sweetened with raw, organic cane sugar. The family-owned business based in Alabama opened its new Fort Worth outpost recently near the West 7th development. The pops come in two varieties, fruity or creamy, and flavors include blood orange, hibiscus, sweet tea and cherry sour cream. Customer favorites so far are buttermilk, which tastes like cheesecake, and a surprisingly spicy chocolate chile. Use Steel City’s easy recipe for strawberry pops (top) to make your own at home, or visit the shop noon-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. 908 Currie St., Fort Worth, 817-744-8544, www.steelcitypops.com.
Pie, oh My!Tenured Reata bartender and avid baker Lindsey Lawing has launched Sweet Lucy’s Pies, named for her 1-year-old daughter, offering both sweet and savory thick-crusted pies that are some of the most interesting and beautiful around. Varieties will change with the seasons, and recent offerings have included blackberry balsamic, pear raspberry and even tomato. Lawing says her current favorites are summer squash, which bursts with shreds of the sweet yellow vegetable, and black bottom oatmeal, which features a chocolate base. Expect pumpkin and sweet potato pies this fall. Find Sweet Lucy’s Pies in Fort Worth at the BRIT Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month, and at the Crestline Neighborhood Market at All Saints, 8 a.m.-noon on the third Saturday of the month at All Saints Episcopal Church. Place a custom order by calling Lawing at 817-727-6009; and keep up with the business on the Sweet Lucy’s Pies page on Facebook.
Tapas y Tapas
After a nearly six-month delay, 24 Plates, touted as a “global tapas bar and restaurant,” opened last month, following in the footsteps of other newish small plate-focused eateries like Bird Café and Bite City Grill. Located in the former historic W.F. Laurence Fine Flowers shop in Near Southside, 24 Plates boasts appealing interiors with bold pops of purple and chartreuse amid distressed brick walls, banquette seating dotted with throw pillows and a contemporary patio design. Owned by former chiropractor and self-proclaimed foodie Joel Kleven, who’s recruited Beau Johnson (formerly of Waldron Lodge in Bishop Arts) as his executive chef, the dinner menu indeed consists of 24 items. On our visit, we enjoyed the feta and pine nut-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, slow-braised short rib tacos and a super sweet dessert of Parker County peaches infused with TX Whiskey served in a martini glass. Other enticing seasonal selections: “G-Ma’s” Southern-style popcorn is a seasonal dish of lightly fried zucchini, okra, squash and potatoes, and the smoked salmon crostini and chorizo-tinged queso flameado. Smaller menus are offered for lunch Monday through Friday and for brunch Saturday and Sunday. 407 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 682-730-5749, www.24platesfw.com.
Prime Time for Hatch Chiles
At Prime, Mansfield’s restaurant for contemporary American West cuisine, longtime ClubCorp chef Ricky Phillips (who has worked at Shady Valley Country Club and Walnut Creek Country Club), has taken the reins in the kitchen and is popping seasonal Hatch chiles into the Southwestern eggs Benedict, a popular brunch item that features cornbread muffins and chipotle hollandaise. If you’d like to make the dish at home, follow this recipe and Phillips’ method for pepper roasting, which means using the barbecue grill to get a smoky flavor. “Roast each side until they’re really black and charred,” says Phillips. “They’re going to look burnt, but that’s what you want. Then put them in a Ziploc bag or in a pan with plastic wrap over it and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Run them under cold water and that will knock off the black skin. The seeds will come out, too, and just discard the stem. If you want to save them, just keep them in the Ziploc bag and freeze them.”
Sandwiches so Chic
East Hampton Sandwich Co., an upscale sandwich shop with an East Coast beach town vibe, is slated to open a Fort Worth outlet late this month in the new West Bend development on University Drive. Founder Hunter Pond, a Dallasite and former law school student, opened the first shop in the Park Cities’ Snider Plaza, taking the name from his childhood vacation destination (there’s also a location in Plano). Sandwiches include chef-y choices like hot white cheddar and sliced short rib, roast chicken with Meyer lemon vinaigrette and watermelon radish, and a knuckle and claw meat-stuffed lobster roll with microgreens and butter drizzle. Grain-free diners should note that ingredients from any sandwich can come chopped and served on a bed of greens. Also on the menu: top-quality craft beer and wine options. Hours will be 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. 1605 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, www.ehsandwich.com.
‘Arrivederci,’ Patrizio. ‘Ciao,’ il Calabrese.
Southlake’s Italian favorite Patrizio morphs into il Calabrese Restaurant and Bar late this month with a shift in ownership and changes to the menu. Restaurant partner and prominent Southlake builder Oscar Renda, a native of southern Italy, has bought out Dallas restaurateur Ed Bailey’s share, and now Renda and executive chef Luciano Salvadore have the reins to themselves. While the beautiful interiors and menu items won’t change much early on, there are already a few new offerings exclusive to the Southlake restaurant (there are still four Patrizio locations in Dallas, Denton and Collin counties). One is a pork shank osso buco and another is the signature orecchiette alla Calabrese — small, circular rounds of pasta tossed with spicy Calabria peppers, crumbled Italian sausage, broccolini, slivered garlic and marinara sauce — which is featured on the DFW Restaurant Week menu this month. 1281 E. Texas 114, Southlake, 817-251-8798.
Adding Sip to The Cup
After building a loyal clientele of west-side regulars, Nancy Williams is expanding her European-inspired coffee shop, The Cup, to launch Sip, a new evening service featuring wine and light bites. “Customers told me they wanted later hours and quite a few of them said they wanted wine, both retail and by the glass,” says Williams. Wine selections will be focused on French varietals, but Italy and California will also be represented. Menu choices will include cheese plates, serrano ham-wrapped dates, thin crust white pizza, lollipop lamb chops and traditional French picnic items. 3909 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-735-5226.
Rent Some Hens for Farm-Fresh Eggs
While the idea of fresh eggs from your own happy backyard chickens is appealing, getting started can be daunting. That’s why Cold Springs Farm, one of Fort Worth’s leading community supported agriculture farms, is offering a new chicken coop rental service, geared toward those who’d like to try before they buy. Owner Beverly Thomas will provide customers a high-quality coop made of sustainably harvested fir along with a three-month supply of non-GMO feed, a bale of bedding, watering and feeding equipment, and two laying hens for a rental fee that starts at $360 for three months. The fees progressively drop thereafter, and customers can adopt the chickens officially after six months. The hens are free of antibiotics and hormones and should produce eight to 14 nutrient-dense eggs per week — meaning omelets, frittatas, custards and quiches for all. Order online through www.coldspringsfarmcsa.com.
NotebookMansfield’s new tea room, Kupa Tea, is a charming eatery with a curated selection of exotic loose tea by the pot or cup, plus unique and flavorful iced teas. It also sells a selection of bulk loose tea and has a dainty menu of salads, sandwiches, quiche and dessert. Many items are house-made by the chef. In July, owners Jana Baker and Judy Ray added a Sunday brunch, an all-you-can-eat buffet of muffins, garden and fruit salads, soup and quiche, stuffed French toast and eggs Benedict along with lunch and breakfast entrees and a ham carving station ($43.95; $13.95 for kids). Open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Afternoon tea and special events available by reservation. 222 N. Walnut Creek Drive, Mansfield, 817-453-8955, www.kupateatexas.com.