Eats Beat

A $30 dinner for two? Here’s a dining special to save money—and it’s BYOB

The name isn’t all that’s new at Riverbend Bistro.

Chef Sage Sakiri’s popular 4-star restaurant in east Fort Worth has expanded its menu and improved the dinner atmosphere as it changes from River Bend Cafe.

And Riverbend is serving a two-for-$30 dinner special in September to celebrate.

I’m not kidding. Remember how it was such a big deal last month when restaurants offered $39 dinners?

Riverbend serves two three-course dinners for less than half that.

For example, the special one recent evening started with a choice of leek-spinach arancini, salad or chicken-sun-dried tomato soup; fpr an entree, penne pasta, 5-spice turmeric seared chicken or steamed clams and mussels; and a dessert.

Sakiri, a former fine-dining chef in Southlake and Colleyville (and before that at a Balkan restaurant in midtown Manhattan), brought new prices to fine dining last year when he took over a lunch cafe and served classic dishes as gourmet takeout.

Before long, it gained a reputation in Fort Worth and north Arlington as a dining find. It’s also BYOB.

Sometime this week, Sakiri will put up the new signs: The name is now Riverbend Bistro. There’s real silver now, and plates.

Riverbend is also switching to lunch-and-dinner service daily, keeping brunch on weekends.

The regular dinners are still a bargain, too. They include $17 steaks, $14 coconut shrimp $13 glazed salmon or seared ahi tuna and $9 roast chicken or grilled chicken with artichoke in a garlic-wine glaze.

Next month, Sakiri will open two food stands in the Oak St. Food & Brew food hall. Sakiri will operate Famous Fatso’s Burgers and Churchill’s Fish & Chips.

Riverbend Bistro will be open for lunch and dinner weekdays, brunch weekends; 7251 Stoneway Drive North, on Handley-Ederville Road south of Texas 121 and east of Loop 820; 817-595-7470,

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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.