Often ranked Dallas-Fort Worth’s No. 1 restaurant in Zagat survey, Saint-Emilion is moving.
But it’s not that simple.
Owner Bernard Tronche is moving his French fine-dining menu and wines three blocks east on West Seventh Street, but may give that location a new name.
After 33 years, his original cozy French country bistro in the Cultural District needs remodeling and repairs. So after New Year’s, he’ll move that menu and wine list into the redecorated space that formerly held Le Cep Restaurant.
Then, after repairs, he also plans to reopen the original space as a more casual bistro.
But right now, he’s thinking the casual restaurant will keep the name Saint-Emilion.
So the new restaurant in the Le Cep space would have a new name, but with Saint-Emilion’s food, wine and price range.
See? I told you this wasn’t simple.
“The idea of a bigger kitchen is a thrill to me and to our chef and staff,” Tronche wrote in his weekly email to diners, adding that the new restaurant will have room for a bar and lounge.
“It’s a dream come true and still on West 7th Street,” he wrote.
He said by phone this week that he has wanted to repair and remodel the old building, but didn’t want to close for six weeks. The Le Cep space offers more space and amenities.
He will redecorate the sleek contemporary space to look like “a fine Paris restaurant,” he said.
Then, once that’s up and running, he said he will “take Saint-Emilion back to what it was intended to be — “a small country French restaurant.”
He’s not locked into either plan yet.
“I think about it constantly,” he said.
“I’m not changing. I’m not raising prices in the new restaurant. I just want to deliver more of what we don’t have room to deliver in Saint-Emilion.”
Saint-Emilion celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015 with a three-day tent party at the current small bistro at 3617 W. Seventh St. near the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
It’s known for its honey-roasted duck and traditional French favorites served in a cozy French country atmosphere.
Le Cep aimed for a higher level of haute cuisine at higher prices, but closed Sept. 8 after a three-year run.
In 2014, it was listed by “Texas Monthly” as one of the state’s 10 best new restaurants. The writer expressed shock at finding such an artful restaurant in the middle of “barbecue, beefsteaks and country club fare.”
Tuesday and Wednesday, Saint-Emilion offers a special $30 three-course dinner before 7:30 p.m., with a $15 wine selection. This week’s menu offers caviar, beef stroganoff and strawberries Romanoff.
For now, Saint-Emilion remains open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday through New Year’s; 817-737-2781, saint-emilionrestaurant.com.
Room at the top: Mercury Chophouse
Arlington, your prime steakhouse is ready.
Mercury Chophouse is serving lunch and dinner now, working up to a grand opening Wednesday in north Arlington on the ninth floor of the Brookhollow Two office tower, the former home of Cacharel.
Ths dining room is completely redecorated in wood paneling and hunter-green trim. The former lobby has been replaced wth a piano bar.
The view is more striking than ever: Six Flags, but also the stadiums and all the growth along Interstate 30 between Texas 360 and Ballpark Way.
The menu is similar to owner Zack Moutaouakil’s reliable Mercury in the ground floor of the Tower in downtown Fort Worth. Lunches range from $12 burgers or salads to meatloaf, steaks, chicken and a $21 three-course express lunch.
Dinner features chicken, pastas or specials such as a pork chop or lamb shank for $20-$30, and steaks or seafood for $30-$40 and up.
More soon on Mercury, but it’s open now: 2221 E. Lamar Blvd. (park in back), 817-381-1157, mercurychophouse.com.
Plenty of Tex-Mex at Taste of Northeast
The Taste of Northeast (Tarrant County) is a week away, but the menus are ready.
Anna’s Mexican Grill in Colleyville will serve nachos, flan and churros. Hurst local favorite Miguelito’s will serve brisket tacos, and the Abuelo’s chain will serve fried chicken breast stuffed with chorizo, poblanos and cheese.
Black Walnut Cafe in Colleyville is serving lemon chicken pasta. The Rockfish seafood chain will be on hand with shrimp cocktail and spinach dip.
More than 20 restaurants, caterers and food shops in all will serve tastings 5:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Hurst Comvention Center.
(Don’t miss Buttermilk Sky Pie’s coconut-chocolate-pecan “I-40” pie.)
Tickets cost $25 at artscouncilnortheast.org; 817-283-3406.