Willow Park wonder
Named for pioneering oilman Edwin Drake, Drake’s Yoke Wood & Wine is new in Willow Park. The elevated barbecue joint opened quietly last month, serving a Southern-inspired menu ranging from grilled brisket chile relleno to blackened redfish with grilled corn salsa. Crowds from Aledo and surrounding areas flocked fast, and although the lunch-and-dinner eatery is still working to gain its footing, the rustic decor and a seat at the bar or patio alone are worth a visit. Go for cocktails and appetizers like fried oysters, smoked wings and fried shrimp with brisket burnt ends. 225 Shops Blvd. No. 101, Willow Park, 817-598-0844, www.drakesyoke.com.
Rare and well done
What started as a modest Houston-based meat market in 1979, Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille is now one of the country’s premier steakhouses with more than a dozen locations, the latest of is now open in Grapevine. The 10,000-square-foot dazzler, with its cushy high-back booths and statement chandeliers, will seat 400 for lunch and dinner. Perry’s patrons know the restaurant for its flavorful bone-in cuts like filet mignon, cowboy ribeye and prime New York strip, and its mile-high pork chop, which is cured, roasted, slow-smoked and caramelized, then carved tableside and served with applesauce. As spring weather approaches, plan to visit for live music and cocktails on the spacious patio of Bar 79, named for the restaurant’s founding year. 2400 W. State Highway 114, Grapevine, 682-477-2261, www.perryssteakhouse.com
Far from ordinary
The sandwich might sound familiar. Breaded and fried chicken served on a soft bun with two kosher pickles, the Super Chix signature entree is not unlike that of a certain, cow-loving fast-food chain. The difference? The Dallas-based, fast-casual chicken and custard chain — which opens its first Fort Worth location this month — uses never-frozen chicken that’s marinated in-store and breading without junk like MSG and high-fructose corn syrup. Super Chix’s renditions of the chicken sandwich are many. Think cheesy barbecue chicken with cheddar and chopped onions, cordon bleu with Swiss cheese, ham and honey mustard, and Nashville Hot with piquant dipping sauce. The fries are hand-cut from russet potatoes and special seasonings include rosemary black pepper. Then there’s the custard, which comes in vanilla, Dutch chocolate and a seasonal flavor of the week. For chicken sandwich lovers who might like one on a Sunday, Super Chix will be open seven days a week. 1217 Eighth Ave., Fort Worth, 682-312-6284, www.superchix.com.
Here’s to more independent coffee shops. Sons of Liberty Coffee opened late last month to a caffeine-deprived far south end of downtown Fort Worth. Located on the ground floor of the new 250 Lancaster building, the expansive, minimalist space is home to expected coffee beverages like lattes, cappuccinos and espresso along with a food menu ranging from prosciutto and Muenster paninis to fig and rosemary toast with ricotta. There’s Topo Chico mineral water, too. Opening-day lines were busy, but with plenty of seating and outlets for powering up, there’s lots of room to sit and stay awhile. 250 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, 214-881-8062, www.sonsoflibertycoffee.com.
Without gas or electricity, and certainly no power cord or start button, Austin-based Summer Moon wood-fired coffee is roasted by flame in a 19th-century hearth down in Dripping Springs. Now, a taste of the oak-wood-blazed beans will be available in Keller when the shop’s newest location opens this month. Located in Keller Town Center, Summer Moon Coffee will offer espresso, cappuccino and cortados, along with an array of beverages made with Moon Milk — a blend of seven secret ingredients that combine for a sweet cream. The concoction makes for new lingo in ordering coffee, like “Half Moon,” “Summermoon” and “Whispermoon” — the latter of which comes with just a hint of Moon Milk. Expect cold-brew coffee, whole coffee beans and cute Keller-themed merchandise to also be sold. 1004 Keller Parkway Suite 104, Keller, 817-431-2007, www.woodfiredcoffee.com.
85 degrees of delicious
Sea-salt coffee is the new black, at least at 85°C Bakery Cafe, opening this month in the Left Bank shopping center off West Seventh Street. The Taiwan-based coffee shop and bakery — dubbed the “Starbucks of Taiwan” — features a lengthy menu of European-inspired baked goods along with espressos, teas, slushes, smoothies and sea-salt beverages made with sweet creamy foam kissed with a touch of sea salt. Sweet treats include Danish, brioche, coconut pastries and breads like chocolate cream cheese and Asian-inspired taro bread and red bean bread. The name 85°C refers to founder Wu Cheng-Hsueh’s belief that 85 degrees Celsius, or 185 degrees Fahrenheit, is the best temperature for brewing coffee. Based on the long lines and deafening buzz that kicked off the chain’s debut on American soil in Irvine, California, nearly 10 years ago, we’ll take Cheng-Hsueh’s word for it. 628 Harrold St., Fort Worth, 817-882-8585, www.85cbakerycafe.com.
When it opens this month in the Left Bank development off West Seventh Street , MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company will elevate the fast-casual pizza chain. For starters, ingredient requirements are strict for authentic Neapolitan pizza,: finely ground “00” flour, Italian tomatoes, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, fresh mozzarella and aged Parmigiano-Reggiano are among the essentials, along with an oven that can reach upward of 1,000 degrees to fire the pies in about 60 to 90 seconds. Then there are the specialty pizzas like shrimp scampi, truffle and prosciutto, and chicken pesto. 629 Stayton St., Fort Worth, 817-349-0031, www.mymidici.com.
Beau knows Champagne
Here’s a reason to head east: Beau Nash, a swanky new Champagne and cocktail lounge, is now open in the Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas. More than 30 Champagnes and international sparkling wines (ranging from $12 to $45 per glass) are available at this waldrop + nichols-designed bar, which features a marble bar top imported from Spain, brass light fixtures and a sophisticated palette of slate and silver textiles. In addition to the bubbly, craft beers and wine, menu items include Texas-inspired dishes like braised short rib tagilatelle, local cheese and charcuterie boards, and truffled caviar eggs. Save room for Champagne sorbet. Beau would approve. 400 Crescent Court, Dallas, 214-871-3200, www.crescentcourt.com.
Celestina Blok is a Fort Worth-based food news writer, fitness instructor, and author of “Lost Restaurants of Fort Worth.” Follow her on Twitter at @CelestinaFW