Just in time to host the holiday shopping rush, Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar opened its first Texas location on Dec. 15, adding to the ever-expanding Shops at Clearfork tenant list.
Twigs opened its original restaurant at River Park Square in Spokane, Washington, in 2001, and soon began slowly branching out from there. The West Coast-based mini-chain has five locations in Washington state, as well as one each in Idaho, Utah, Oregon and Arizona. Its Fort Worth location marks the first big leap to the midsection of the country.
With a grand 7,083 square feet of space, the dining area alone can accommodate 240 guests, and the rectangular bar has seating all around. Twigs does double-duty. It is both a family-friendly bistro and a classy adult-focused martini bar, all shaken up together.
Here’s a first look at what the new Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar at Clearfork has to offer.
The vibe: Martinis are in! In fact, they never went out of style. From Roaring Twenties, tuxedo-clad revelers, to each and every James Bond who earned his double-0 status and ordered his martini “shaken, not stirred,” to the “Sex and the City” generation that learned to order a cosmopolitan as a rite of passage — martinis are as much about fashion as anything else. Twigs capitalizes on that fact and elevates the cocktail above all else, although it also serves wine and beer and has a full bar.
As you enter through the glass vestibule, flames from the see-through gas fireplace just beyond are sure to catch your eye.
The decor is warm and twig-centric. Round globe lights at the entry and larger drum shades in the dining area are wrapped in thin, brown twiglike fashion. Wood-toned beams, flooring and tabletops play up the theme. One end of the dining room has a feature wall with cut-outs evoking twigs and branches, glowing in its blue-backed hue and casting light throughout the space — bleeding into purples and pinks as it moves along.
The wraparound bar, with a few flat-screens thrown in for good measure, and Twigs’ “signature wall of liquor” are also front and center, but when you are seated in the dining area, you don’t feel like you are in a bar. There is plenty of space and balance to achieve separation.
A private meeting and dining space with seating for 35 and A/V hook-ups is also available, and when it thaws out a bit, the large patio will add room for an additional 74 guests. The patio is equipped with heaters and misters for nearly year-round outdoor dining enjoyment.
The food: Twigs serves up an eclectic menu with a twist. The cocktail menu features signature specialties along with seasonal offerings. A new creation for the Fort Worth restaurant is the Horned Frog ($8), featuring Bombay gin, lavender syrup and freshly snapped mint, served on the rocks.
The food options include a nice selection of hand-held sandwiches and salads under $15, with most entrees ringing in just under $25 (only the Twigs filet, topped with white truffle butter, reaches the $35 range). With a full assortment of shareable appetizers and happy hour specials (including all day Sundays), you could easily make a meal of appetizers alone.
The menu ranges from Mediterranean to Creole and from Japanese ahi tuna to Argentinian fish tacos.
The ample Twigs mezza ($9.99) is composed of four hearty scoops of garlic hummus, an unnecessarily garlicked olive tapenade, a delicious spiced tomato confit and a fluffy, marinated feta cheese. The dish was drizzled with olive oil and served with tender pita wedges. The olive tapenade could ruin date night or be used to ward off vampires, but we enjoyed the rest of the plate a lot, especially the spiced tomato confit, which should be served with everything.
A pear and roasted beet salad ($8.99) is a well-dressed field green mix with toothsome roasted beet cubes, Gorgonzola crumbles and candied walnuts, with Anjou pear slices arranged on top. The light pear vinaigrette was just right and toppings were evenly distributed, but our order was devoid of the promised candied walnuts, which would have put this salad over the top.
The pork osso bucco ($24.99) was a hearty dish, served with a choice of soup or salad. It could easily be shared. The slow-cooked pork shank was a lovely presentation, served over sour-cream mashed potatoes and draped in a rich and salty mushroom Marsala sauce, with a seasonal vegetable medley of red onion, asparagus and zucchini squash saute.
We didn’t have room for dessert on this trip, but we hear the drunken doughnuts ($6.99) are a standout. Fresh doughnut holes are served with three different sauces featuring after-dinner liqueurs such as apple pucker caramel, Irish Cream chocolate and amaretto crème anglaise for dipping.
The verdict: With a relaxing atmosphere, quality service and a vast range of options (including kids meals, pizzas, gluten free and vegetarian), there is a lot to explore at Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar. It will be the perfect stop to meet friends before bowling or a movie, and the bar and patio are a nice stop for an affordable martini (most are $10) along with a light snack.