Eats Beat

Saint-Emilion, a country French restaurant, is adding a city cousin: Paris 7th

Caviar at Saint-Emilion.
Caviar at Saint-Emilion. Handout photo

Yes, Saint-Emilion is still opening a French fine-dining restaurant three blocks away.

But not yet. Paris 7th won’t open till February.

After that and a few weeks of updating, Saint-Emilion will return as the same familiar French country bistro.

Owner Bernard Tronche has been keeping plans for Paris 7th a secret, stirring more than a little confusion among Saint-Emilion diners who don’t want changes at the No. 1-rated restaurant in all-Fort Worth by Zagat Survey.

Paris 7th replaces the former Le Cep fine-dining restaurant. It’ll be a more metropolitan French dinner restaurant with wines, cocktails and many items from the Saint-Emilion menu.

But Saint-Emilion isn’t changing after 33 years, Tronche says.

It gets new equipment and restrooms. Saint-Emilion will start work when Paris 7th opens, then return in a few weeks.

Paris 7th will have a warmer dining room appeal than Le Cep, which served haute cuisine in a sleek contemporary European decor.

The windows will return in the space, 3324 W. Seventh St., and the restaurant will gain an entryway and lounge area (not a bar).

It’ll serve some Saint-Emilion favorites. When Saint-Emilion reopens at 3617 W. Seventh St., it will serve some old and new items.

“The idea of a bigger kitchen [at Paris 7th] is a thrill to me and to our chef and staff,” Tronche wrote in an email to customers.

“It’s a dream come true and still on West 7th Street,” he wrote.

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.

Saint-Emilion is open for dinner weeknights and Saturdays. It has space available for dinner Friday or Saturday, but call about New Year’s Eve; 817-737-2781, saint-emilionrestaurant.com.

Fine-dining Southern to open at Clearfork

Fixe Southern House is on its way to the Shops at Clearfork, and partners James Robert and Keith House know Fort Worth.

They helped open Eddie V’s here before it was sold to a Florida steakhouse chain.

“We fell in love with the community,” House said recently during a tour of Fixe, a “progressive Southern” restaurant opening soon.

Think of a fine-dining restaurant with honey fried chicken, lobster-crawfish potpie, pork shoulder with potlikker pintos or a pork roast with apple mole and chimichurri.

Fixe’s star is the biscuit, served with whipped Steen’s butter. Of course, there’s a Sunday brunch menu with eggs Benedict, burgers and chicken sandwiches served with Anson Mills grits.

Fixe will open at 5282 Marathon Ave., across the street from Twigs Bistro; fixesouthernhouse.com.

Smoked meatloaf? Arlington says yes

Damian’s Cajun Soul Cafe in Arlington is taking a holiday weekend, which means we’ll have to look elsewhere for black-eyed peas.

But Damian’s will reopen Tuesday and gear up for its popular “first Sunday” brunch next weekend.

On the first Sunday of every month, owner Damian Placide unreels a giant menu of his New Iberia, La.-style cooking.

Entrees include smothered or fried pork chops, barbecued pork ribs or chicken and a new Placide favorite: smoked meatloaf.

There’s smothered okra, smothered oxtails and smothered cabbage. For dessert, there’s peach-pecan cobbler.

Get the idea?

Damian’s weekday menu varies but usually includes fried chicken, etouffee or gumbo, and Damian’s distinctive peach-pecan cobbler.

It’s open for lunch only weekdays, and the first Sunday brunch each month; 185 S. Watson Road, 817-649-7770.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, @EatsBeat.

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