Fort Worth’s fancy dining scene is about to get a Southern spin.
Fixe, an Austin restaurant billed as a Southern dinner house, will open later this year in the Shops at Clearfork. An Austin reviewer described it as feeling like a steakhouse but dedicated to foods of the American South.
Fixe’s dinner entrées are familiar: pork roast, sea bass, blackened snapper, a duck breast, steaks or a lobster-crawfish pot pie (mostly $24-$26).
The signature dishes are fried chicken and biscuits. The chicken platter ($21) includes two boneless thighs that were brined, smoked and then fried, giving them a distinctive smoky flavor.
Fixe’s biscuits (three for $9) are a thing of joy with or without the whipped butter and homemade jam or andouille sausage spread.
(Yes, $9 is a lot for three biscuits. But this is a fine-dining Southern restaurant.)
Other small plates include very popular deviled eggs, a smoked trout dip, fried catfish with smoked tartar sauce, sweet-tea pickles, an ahi tuna muffuletta or a pear-pistachio salad with jalapeño-green goddess dressing.
Side dishes include “antebellum” grits with garlicky kale and salsa verde or quail and pickled peaches. Another side dish is charred broccoli with a smoked blue cheese fondue.
(No, it’s not exactly a Babe’s.)
The current Fixe Sunday brunch menu offers egg dishes, a burger or French toast with honey-foie gras butter and blackberries.
The only miss in a visit this week was a fried-chicken sandwich special, a flavorless pounded fillet breaded beyond recognition. But the salt-and-pepper fries rescued the plate.
Fixe will open later this year in the Shops at Clearfork, on Edwards Ranch Road off the Chisholm Trail Parkway.
More Austin chicken
Also new in Austin: J.T. Youngblood’s, the reborn contemporary version of the family’s old Youngblood’s chicken chain that inspired Babe’s.
J.T. Youngblood’s retro menu features fried or rotisserie chicken ($8-$11) with sides such as honey carrots, smoky butter beans or hopping John.
J.T. Youngblood’s is open for lunch daily except Mondays, for dinner daily except Sundays-Mondays; 1905 Aldrich St. (off Airport Boulevard 1 mile east of Interstate 35), 512-649-8333, jtyoungbloods.com.
When you can’t wait
Esperanza’s Restaurant and Bakery, the Lancarte family’s breakfast-and-lunch counterpart to busy neighbor Joe T. Garcia’s, is getting a flashy patio of its own at the original North Main Street location.
Regulars first noticed new flowers and plantings in front along the wall of the cafe-bakery, built in 1951 for a used-car lot.
The small side patio will double in size with a roof and fans added, making it a pleasant stop for weekend brunch or as an alternative to Joe T.’s for parties or group events.
(If you’ve seen the weekend brunch lines at Joe T.’s lately, you understand why Esperanza’s needs more space.)
Esperanza’s north side location is open daily for breakfast and lunch; 2122 N. Main St., 817-626-5770, esperanzasfw.com. The south side location is also open nightly except Sundays and also serves Joe T.’s family-style platter; 1601 Park Place Ave., 817-923-1992.
M bistro: r gone
OK, who had “two months” in the pool for how long M bistro would last?
The Montgomery Plaza restaurant was shuttered this week after chef Steve Mitchell and owners had a falling-out.
A sign on the door calls the closing temporary. But Plaza restaurants have grown accustomed to frequent changeover in the space, originally built for a steakhouse.
Mitchell brought good dishes and top-flight desserts, but a DFW.com review harked back to some of M bistro’s less competent predecessors.
M bistro seems ready to reorganize. Mitchell promises another venture.