Eats Beat

Chef Tim Love on the don’t-miss dishes at his new Italian restaurant: pizza, roast chicken and a ‘showstopper’ steak

Scenes From An Italian Pop-up Restaurant (Tim Love’s Ufficio)

Fort Worth chef Tim Love launched Ufficio, a four-night Italian pop-up restaurant, at his Test Kitchen near downtown Fort Worth. We had a front-row seat to watch Love and his crew cooking. (Star-Telegram video by Robert Philpot)
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Fort Worth chef Tim Love launched Ufficio, a four-night Italian pop-up restaurant, at his Test Kitchen near downtown Fort Worth. We had a front-row seat to watch Love and his crew cooking. (Star-Telegram video by Robert Philpot)

Chef Tim Love’s new Italian restaurant is off to his best start ever, and there’s a reason.

For most of his 20 years as Fort Worth’s cowboy-chef-turned-celebrity, Love has thought about opening an Italian restaurant.

The result is Gemelle, Love’s tribute to daughters Ella and Anna and a place both families and foodies can love.

The menu’s signature is cacio e pepe, the classic pasta with pecorino and black pepper.

“It’s one of the best dishes around and one of the toughest to cook properly,” he said, calling it “a very fancy version of buttered noodles.”.

But there are all kinds of other surprises on the menu, from the most elaborate and flavorful baked chicken ever (with preserved lemons and garlic) to the Saturday night dinner special, a 40-ounce prime porterhouse Tuscan-style with herbs, lemon and garlic.

It’s all served in a patio-garden setting, with room for play on the lawn and a stage and private tables all around the edge.

That big steak is cut for the table to share. So unless you have a hungry Father’s Day weekend diner who wants his own 40-ounce porterhouse, share the steak and order a couple of pastas or a pizza.

“It’s a little bit of a showstopper,” he said.

Much of the buzz before Gemelle opened was about the Detroit-style pizza, browned and crisp on the bottom of the square pans and light on top.





It’s a distinctive pizza, lighter than it looks. But don’t overlook the rest of Gemelle’s pastas, salads and specials.

Aperol spritzers are the featured drinks in place of the usual margaritas.

“I had a goal — to make the Aperol spritzer the drink for summer,” Love said. The bar is built especially for Aperol, he said

A change is coming soon at his other top Fort Worth restaurant, the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, he said.

Gemelle is open for dinner nightly and lunch Friday through Sunday; 4400 White Settlement Road, 817-732-9535.

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Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.

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