Eats Beat

$16 for a strip in port wine sauce? Here’s fine dining at a casual price

Chef Sage Sakiri is doing the same market-fresh fine dining that took him from Midtown New York to high-end restaurants in Southlake and Colleyville.

Only now, the same dishes are served in a casual cafe, packed in a small, folding box for dine-in or take-out. And instead of $35, they sell for $12.

“This is where the market is now — it’s good food, but it’s casual, it’s easy, it’s not expensive, it’s BYOB,” said Sakiri, showing off his new River Bend Cafe on Handley-Ederville Road off East Loop 820.

He’s almost running a one-man show, cooking while a counter clerk takes orders. He bought the east Fort Worth cafe a couple of months ago, keeping full breakfast-lunch-dinner hours and serving brunch weekends.

It’s incongruous to sit in the simple cafe decor as you spoon up Sakiri’s rich lobster bisque, the same he used to serve at Red Sage Bistro in Southlake or TriBeCa in Colleyville.

One night this week, his little cafe was serving oysters Rockefeller ($8), seafood penne with shrimp, mussels and littleneck clams ($15), a New York strip in a port wine sauce ($16) and desserts such as a banana-chocolate ganahce ($4).

The lunches that day topped out at $10 for grilled chicken and shrimp in a lemon-white wine garlic sauce.

“Everybody is going through tough times,” he said: “I want to help people save money and get good food, not get gouged.”

The tiny cafe does not have a walk-in cooler, so Sakiri buys everything fresh daily.

He added a sofa and music, but otherwise River Bend looks the same as before he bought it, when a previous chef was known for breakfast biscuits.

The new morning menu includes two-for-$4 biscuit sandwiches and $5 pancake platters.

Sakiri hopes to add outside dining.

River Bend is BYOB, but only at dinner because it’s next door to a school, he said.

It’s open for breakfast through dinner weekdays and Saturday, breakfast and lunch Sundays at 7251 Stoneway Drive North, on the corner at Handley-Ederville Road between Trinity Boulevard and Randol Mill Road; 817-595-7470,

‘The most delicious podcast in the Metroplex’

Eats Beat Ep. 147

DFW Restaurant Week

The 100th edition of the Eats Beat podcast is online now, and thanks to reporter Robert Philpot and producer Steve Wilson for both their time and appetite.

Over the years, we’ve talked about burgers (almost every episode), barbecue, chicken-fried steak and ice cream, and lots of fancier restaurants and wine dinners that don’t always make this space.

If you’d like to catch up, find us in the iTunes store at or at

More choices for DFW Restaurant Week

More menus are online now for DFW Restaurant Week, the annual restaurant promotion offering $39-$49 fine-dining dinners and $20 lunches with part of the money going to the Lena Pope children’s agency.

Some menus were linked in the midweek Eats Beat. They are posted on

New: B&B Butchers & Restaurant in the Shops at Clearfork will offer a very generous $49 menu, including a 10-ounce filet, pan-seared salmon and a chicken-fried pork chop among seven entree choices.

The dinners come with a salad or appetizer — yes, including the thick-cut bacon — and dessert.

For $74, there’s a special entree choice: bone-in dry-aged prime New York strip or ribeye.

The $20 lunch special offers even more choices — 11 — including soup and salad and a burger or sandwich.

B&B is extending the specials three weeks, from Aug. 10 through Sept. 3; 5212 Marathon Ave., 817-737-5212,

The full list includes 20 Fort Worth restaurants led by Del Frisco’s Double Eagle and Grace, and 15 restaurants in Arlington or Northeast Tarrant County led by the new Mercury Chophouse in Arlington and Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille in Grapevine.

Bud Kennedy, 817-390-7538 @EatsBeat
Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram