Montgomery Plaza tries two-for-one
At least a half dozen restaurants have come and gone from the cursed corner spot in the Montgomery Plaza development. Now not one but two will give the space another shot. Barrel & Bones Craft Bar and Smokehouse, set to open by late August or early September, and sister restaurant Bourbon Street Oyster Bar & Grill, which will serve New Orleans-inspired chargrilled oysters, will split the space. The latter expects a fall opening. Barrel & Bones has a location in the Colony and owner Mark Kelcher says the West Seventh district was appealing for its vibrancy and excitement. “It was lacking a true barbecue and whiskey-bourbon bar, which, in our minds, significantly epitomizes Fort Worth,” he says. The barbecue will be smoked on-site using post oak wood. Meats will include barbecue fundamentals like brisket, sausage, turkey and chicken. While the restaurant touts Texas barbecue, it will offer a variety of styles in the form of St. Louis pork ribs, Carolina pulled pork and Alabama chicken. When it opens, Kelcher recommends trying the Kobe beef spare rib or the No Bones About It sandwich, which is piled with brisket, sausage and chicken. Wash it down with a craft cocktail or whiskey, not found in most local barbecue joints (aside from Heim BBQ). Thanks to bourbon on the menu, dessert options include bourbon-soaked banana pudding.
2600 West Seventh Street, Fort Worth, www.barrelandbones.com
Cowboy coffee comes downtown
It can be safely assumed that the cowboys of Fort Worth’s past started their morning with a punch of potent coffee. That was the inspiration for Jonathan Heath, founder and co-owner of Vaquero Coffee Co., which opened last week on the north side of downtown in the Joe Daiches Jewelers building. Vaquero means “cowboy” in Spanish, and Heath is aiming to provide good coffee and great service to the “modern day cowboys in cubicles working to earn a living,” he says. The former investment banker partnered with friend and barista Christopher Rushing to open the coffee shop in late July. “The most difficult process was updating the infrastructure,” Heath says. “Nothing had really been updated since the ‘30s.” Inside patrons will find a glimpse into the past through the 19th century building’s original tile floors, tin ceiling and brick walls. Heath hopes to eventually expand to the second floor and maybe even the rooftop. The duo is partnering locally as much as possible, sourcing beans from Grapevine-based Buon Giorno and espresso from Craftwork Coffee Co. There’s also a case of both sweet and savory kolaches from Pearl Snap Kolaches. Look for a new beverage that pays homage to Texas oilman and philanthropist Sid Richardson to debut next week. It’ll be comprised of a shot of espresso infused with mesquite smoke. “I love Starbucks and I love everything Starbucks has done for the coffee culture in the U.S.,” Heath says. “But I thought there was opportunity, especially in Fort Worth, to have something that was more unique and more affordable.”
109 Houston Street, Fort Worth, 817-845-7884, www.vaquerocoffeeco.com
Central Market brings the heat with Hatch
As if this summer couldn’t get any hotter, Central Market is cranking up the heat with its 23rd annual Hatch Chile Festival. The fiery festivities begin August 8 and run through August 21. That’s when all locations of the gourmet grocer will celebrate the world-famous New Mexican chile with in-store events, cooking classes, limited edition products and more than 330,000 pounds of the pepper itself. For Hatch newbies, the green chile is named for its origin of Hatch, New Mexico, where it’s harvested only a few weeks of the year. Food connoisseurs consider them some of the finest peppers, especially when fire-roasted. New products this year include locally-made Hatch queso blanco, Hatch chile mango Greek yogurt from Long Island, Hatch chile-infused coffee, and even Hatch chile ale from Mississippi. Cooking classes range from cast iron Hatch chicken fried steak and Hatch tamales to cooking seafood with Hatch and Hatch brunch.
Central Market-Fort Worth, 4651 West Freeway, Fort Worth, 817-989-4700
Central Market-Southlake, 1425 East Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817-310-5600
Reserve now for Restaurant Week
There are 20 Fort Worth restaurants participating in this year’s DFW Restaurant Week, which supports the North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope Home. And while “week” is in the title, the annual dine-out fundraiser can run as long as three weeks for some area restaurants. How it works: patrons make reservations at participating restaurants to indulge in a multi-course meal for either $39 or $49 per person. That’s a downright steal when pricy establishments like Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Grace and The Capital Grille are on the list. In addition to Fort Worth’s white tablecloth steakhouses, upscale dining at The Shops are Clearfork are well-represented. Standout menus include B&B Butchers & Restaurant, where the $49 three-course dinner can include a Roquefort-crusted 10-ounce filet. On the Waters $49 menu, diners can choose between seafood gumbo or salad, and shrimp and grits, scallops, salmon or filet mignon. The $39 per person menu at Fixe Southern House starts with those buttery biscuits you’ve heard about – which might be worth the price alone.
Downtown Arlington gets “tipsy”
From the folks who brought us Pouring Glory in south Fort Worth comes The Tipsy Oak in downtown Arlington – a district that’s quickly becoming a hot dining destination thanks to the pedestrian-friendly Urban Union development. Kevin von Ehrenfried says he and his wife Julia sold their majority ownership of Pouring Glory back in September to focus on building the contemporary gastropub from the ground up. They opened last weekend to big crowds, he says. “We have a full bar, a huge beer garden and a stage for periodic entertainment. It’s a fun, relaxed environment with an ice house-type feel.” While Pouring Glory is known for its focus on craft beer, especially small batch offerings from around the country, The Tipsy Oak is not limiting its beer menu to craft only. “We do have domestics and the corporate stuff with the stadium being nearby,” says von Ehrenfried. “We don’t want to give somebody a reason not to come.” There are hints of influence from Pouring Glory in the dining menu, with items like beer-battered fish and chips and a Korean barbecue burger with gigantic slabs of fried bacon, but von Ehrenfried says more gluten-free and vegetarian options are on the way due to demand. Items range from sandwiches, burgers and tacos to soups, salads, and snacks like jumbo pretzels, fried pickle chips and brisket nachos. Expect the bar and restaurant to be busy around Dallas Cowboys games this fall.
301 East Front Street, Arlington, 817-962-0304, www.thetipsyoak.com
A taste of Texas at Cowtown Unplugged
With dinner for two and a breakfast buffet included, the Omni Fort Worth Hotel’s live music experience, Cowtown Unplugged: A Songwriter’s Showcase (which takes place just twice a year) is one of the best tastes of Texas in town. On Saturday, August 18 patrons can listen to the music of North Texas native Rodney Parker, Grammy award nominee Will Hoge, and headliner and Nashville songwriter Sean McConnell in one of the hotel’s private ballrooms after indulging in a Texas-themed hors d’oeuvre reception. The menu will include charred corn and smoked chicken salad in a waffle basket, bacon-wrapped dates, horseradish deviled eggs, and Texas pimento cheese cones with spiced walnuts. Some package options include a full pre-show dinner, with dishes like coffee-rubbed smoked beef brisket with TX Whiskey au jus, green chili pulled pork, and smoked gouda mac and cheese with serrano pepper chimichurri. Sweet treats include lemon cheesecake with lavender crème and upside down Texas pecan mini pies with marshmallow cream. All ticket packages, which start at $199, include overnight accommodations for two, two tickets to the show, and a breakfast buffet for two at Cast Iron restaurant.
1300 Houston Street, Fort Worth, 817-535-6664, www.omnihotels.com/CowtownUnplugged
Rosé all day for the rest of summer
Cooler weather calls for big, bold reds – but any glimmer of fall-like temperatures is still weeks, if not months, away. Drink pink a little longer this summer with brand new, big name rosés now available locally. The sippers best-served chilled might have us wishing summer would stay.
Inspiration Rosé ($19.99)
Château de Berne estate’s flagship rosé, Inspiration is primarily made from Grenache and offers bright red fruits, a hint of spice and a mineral finish. The style is served with nearly every meal in Provence. Look for it at Spec’s Wine & Spirits and Total Wine & More.
UP Rosé ($22.99)
From the Ultimate Provence estate, which features a brand new winery, hotel, amphitheater and restaurant, this dry and spicy rosé comes bottled in elegant etched glass. Look for it at Spec’s Wine & Spirits and Total Wine & More.
Clos du Bois Lightly Bubbled Rosé ($12.99)
With just a hint of bubbles, this Sonoma wine marks Clos du Bois’ first foray into rosé. Expect a flavorful pop of strawberry, apricot and cranberry that can still hold up to comfort food favorites come fall. Find it select Tom Thumb and Albertson’s locations and Sam’s Club.
Moet & Chandon Rosés
Moet & Chandon has launched three rosés to suit every champagne lover’s palate. The Imperial Brut ($39.99) is fruit-forward with floral notes. The Grand Vintage 2009 ($69.99) was aged seven years in Moet’s historic cellars and offers a light texture and finish. The Nectar Imperial ($49.99) is for sweet wine lovers and is a current favorite of celebs like Kendrick Lamar and Jennifer Lopez. Find them at Total Wine & More.