Restaurant roundup: Bartaco in WestBend, Newk's up north and deals for Dad's day

A taco tray and cocktails at Bartaco.
A taco tray and cocktails at Bartaco. Bartaco

Bartaco brings beach vibe to WestBend

If the new Bartaco in WestBend seems reminiscent of a beach resort bar, that’s because it’s supposed to. The coastal-inspired restaurant is unexpectedly nautical in feel, from the navy and white color palate to the basket-weave chandeliers. And while the Trinity River it overlooks is certainly no beach retreat, one can almost pretend as such when sitting against lounge pillows on the outdoor patio, fresh-squeezed lime margarita in hand. The smallish menu is dominated by tacos, to be expected with “taco” in the restaurant title. But this is not Tex-Mex, so chile con carne enthusiasts should dine elsewhere. Think spicy tempura-battered cod tacos, Yucatan redfish tacos, crispy rock shrimp tacos and sesame rib-eye tacos. All range from $2.50 to $3.50 and are ordered like sushi rolls – use the pencil on the table to indicate the quantity on the order form. The “not tacos” menu section offers other small bites, like fried plantains, ceviche, and addicting duck quesadillas made with soft blue corn tortillas hand-pressed in-house. Fresh fruit cocktails and aguas frescas are squeezed to order. Bartaco is now open daily for lunch and dinner.

1701 River Run, Fort Worth, 817-663-8226,

Newk’s Eatery new to Fort Worth

There’s a hint of Southern influence in the menu of Newk’s Eatery, which opened its first Fort Worth location this week in north Fort Worth. There’s an iced tea bar, a menu section dedicated to mac and cheese (the six cheese pimento with bacon is a signature dish), and the grilled chicken sandwich features white barbecue sauce — a popular condiment in Alabama. Patrons will also find shrimp po’ boys, pulled pork and corn chowder and signature 12-layer cakes. Lighter items include an array of salads, like the ahi tuna, and soups, such as tomato basil. Customers are encouraged to stop by the “roundtable” for complimentary garnishes, like bread and butter pickles, premium breadsticks, pickled watermelon rinds and house-made Italian giardiniera — a mélange of pickled carrots, celery and cauliflower. Newk’s CEO Chris Newcomb started the Mississippi-based, “fine casual” concept in 2004 after he and his father founded — and later sold — McAllister’s Deli. Newk’s is open daily for lunch and dinner.

2217 North Tarrant Parkway, Fort Worth,

Hopdoddy hops into Southlake

Based on the long lines still present at Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Fort Worth’s Left Bank development, which opened late last summer, the upcoming Southlake location — set to open Monday, June 11 — is sure to be busy. (Burger options in the tony suburb are far less than Cowtown.) The restaurant and bar serves burgers made with house-ground meat, French fries cut from Kennebec potatoes, local craft beers, and milkshakes in flavors like strawberry shortcake and s’mores. (Word is Rodeo Goat was originally inspired by the Austin-based concept.) The Southlake location will open just in time for Hopdoddy’s new “brew series,” which will highlight a different craft beer each month, both on tap and as an ingredient in a specialty burger. June will feature local hefeweizens and the Kahuna burger — a chicken patty burger topped with cilantro-lime mayo, hefeweizen teriyaki sauce, avocado, and soy-glazed pineapple. Other recently updated menu items include new shareable selections like Buffalo fries topped with Buffalo sauce and blue cheese crumbles, and a new breakfast burger with sausage, ham, bacon and a fried egg. A Hopdoddy also opened in Euless’ Glade Parks in early May.

1230 Main Street, Southlake, 1200 Chisholm Trail, Euless, 817-354-2000,

Summer staycation at Blue Sushi Sake Grill

Taste the tropics without a plane ticket at Blue Sushi Sake Grill, which launched a limited time “summer vacationers” menu. New specialty menu items include beet-cured salmon sashimi with red radish and lime zest, a maki roll made with pineapple and mango salsa, spicy crab mix, salmon and shrimp tempura, and a vanilla bean ice cream sandwich with fortune cookie crumbles. There are new cocktails, too, including a tropical tonic of gin, passion fruit, pineapple juice and lime with mango-flavored chewy tapioca balls, otherwise known as boba. The strawberry boba-rita offers blueberries with fresh lime and strawberry boba. The menu will be available throughout summer.

3131 West Seventh Street, Fort Worth, 817-332-2583,

Mama’s Pizza celebrates 50 years

In 1968 a woman named Elizabeth Biggs managed a new East Coast-style pizza joint founded by a Texas Wesleyan student named Ed Stebbins on East Rosedale Avenue. She became known as “Mama,” and eventually, so did the restaurant. Fifty years and several locations later, Mama’s Pizza is celebrating its anniversary with a week-long itinerary of customer appreciation specials. On Monday, medium one-topping pizzas are $5 all day. Large one-topping pizzas will be $10 on Tuesday. All orders (except the lunch buffet) are 50 percent off on Wednesday. Breadsticks will be 50 cents on Thursday. On Friday the famed lunch buffet will be $5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mamas-sized two-topping pizzas will be $15 on Saturday, and two large one-topping pizzas will be $19.68 on Sunday. There are now six locations of Mama’s – three corporate and three franchise operations. All will offer the anniversary week specials.

B&B Butchers & Restaurant launches luxe shuttle service

Have your steak and eat it, too, then catch a savory ride in Rare Force One. That’s the name of the new luxury shuttle provided to diners at B&B Butchers & Restaurant. The custom-designed Mercedes-Benz van is available to cart guests to and from downtown venues and hotels, TCU events and other Fort Worth attractions. The van features white subway tile, just like that of B&B’s butcher shop, and tin ceiling tile just like the restaurant. There’s even a circular window that mimics a peek into the restaurant’s dry-aging room. The sleek shuttle service is complimentary for dine-in guests with reservations in advance. The steakhouse has also launched a new $55 three-course prix-fixe supper. Menu highlights include brisket ravioli, Chilean sea bass, chicken shank, pan seared salmon, an 8-ounce filet, and choice of New York cheesecake, chocolate cake or carrot cake for dessert. The menu is available daily from 4 to 6 p.m.

5212 Marathon Avenue, Fort Worth, 817-737-5212;

Luna Grill love in the Shops at Clearfork

In case you missed it: San Diego-based Luna Grill is now open in the Shops at Clearfork, providing a Mediterranean option to the restaurant-heavy development. Kabobs, falafel, salads, hummus, wraps and desserts are all there, along with bowls, like beet and yellow tomato and gyro over seasoned fries, and soups like lentil and lemon chicken. Touted as a pioneer in the “luxe casual” category of dining, the restaurant is a cross between fast-casual and full-service — meaning patrons order at the counter and a server delivers the meals (with real silverware). There’s also a kids’ menu (children 10 and under eat free on Tuesdays) and wine and beer, too.

5239 Marathon Avenue, Fort Worth, 682-350-9889,

Downtown deals for Dad

Mother’s Day brunches abound in May, but dining events for dear old Dad are harder to find. Here are three worth the drive downtown:

Bird Café

Three carnivorous Father’s Day features include grilled steak with fries, smoked brisket with cornbread, house-made pickles, and pimento mac and cheese, and the caloric “Dad-bod burger” slathered with bone marrow aioli, smoked pimento cheese and garnished with crispy chicken skin. Reservations are encouraged.

155 East 4th Street, Fort Worth, 817-332-2473,

Del Frisco’s Grille

A Father’s Day-only special steak cut includes a 16-ounce, 45-day dry-aged bone-out strip for $59. The restaurant recommends pairing with Catena Argentinian Malbec, as well as making reservations.

154 East 3rd Street, Fort Worth, 817-887-9900,

Cantina Laredo

Here’s a gift that keeps on giving. The Mexican restaurant’s fiesta grill platter, which features bacon-wrapped shrimp, steak, chicken and sides, is only $19.99 on Father’s Day and comes with a $15 gift card good for a future visit.

530 Throckmorton Street, Fort Worth, 817-810-0773,