Food & Drink

New Piattello by Marcus Paslay serves ’round-the-clock Italian

Chef Marcus Paslay at Piattello Italian Kitchen.
Chef Marcus Paslay at Piattello Italian Kitchen. bud@star-telegram.com

The new Piattello Italian Kitchen is a morning coffee bar, and a casual pizza or salad cafe, and also a modern Italian restaurant.

Yes, all three. Clay Pigeon chef Marcus Paslay’s new Italian restaurant in the Waterside shopping center Fort Worth showcases his chef team’s talent and style, but also has something for everybody.

Executive chef Scott Lewis, familiar from Dallas’ Sprezza, Carbone’s and Nonna, oversees the ever-changing menu offering about three entrees, five pastas, six pizzas and four salads, plus appetizers.

If your taste runs to salad and pizza, try a wedge with Gorgonzola piccante, a Caesar or chopped salad and one of the airy pizzas such as a broccolini with sausage or a mushroom with ricotta (about $15-$16).

If you’re more venturesome, try an appetizer of house-made meatballs in a light marinara, the fried risotto balls with fontina, mussels or calamari ($7-$12).

Then try a pasta such as the linguine with shrimp, or an entree such as eggplant Parmesan or a crispy whole snapper.

The kitchen all-star team also includes Jen Williams, formerly of Magnolia Cheese Co. and Sera, and pastry chef Bria Downey, previously with Winslow’s and Bird Cafe.

In the mornings, Piattello serves coffees from Avoca and Downey’s coffeecakes or muffins.

In a city where pizzerias such as Thirteen (soon to be Fireside again) Pies and Taverna are some of our best Italian restaurants, Piattello fits that niche but with an added menu of better pastas.

The large and comfortable dining room looks out over the shady central plaza at Waterside, called the Grove. A new Taco Diner and a Steel City Pops ice cream stand are next door, and Whole Foods Market is only a few steps away.

Piattello is open daily for morning coffee and snacks, lunch and dinner (but not in midafternoon); 5924 Convair Drive (facing Bryant Irvin Road near Arborlawn Drive, two blocks west of the Chisholm Trail Parkway), 817-349-0484; piattelloitaliankitchen.com.

A new Rooster

The artisan Black Rooster Bakery will add a west Fort Worth Black Rooster Cafe and also expand its current location in plans announced Friday by owner Immy Khan.

The cafe will open on Sunset Drive back-to-back with his current sandwich shop, The Lunch Box, 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd. in the Village at Camp Bowie shopping center.

After that, the current bakery, 2430 Forest Park Blvd., will be remodeled into a cafe with more seating.

Both cafes will serve both the Black Rooster’s popular croissants and also The Lunch Box’s prize-winning chicken salad. The new cafes also will offer artisan pastries and specialty drinks from Big Bend Coffee Roasters.

(The Lunch Box, open since 1974, isn’t changing, unless you count a new coat of paint and a nice new bakery-coffee cafe neighbor.)

Khan has been hinting that he might find a way to blend the two. The new Black Rooster in Ridglea will open onto the street and add some visibility for the Lunch Box, hidden in an interior courtyard.

In an announcement, Khan also said the new Ridglea bakery will offer culinary classes in an open kitchen, along with a dedicated carry-out counter.

The current bakery will be remodeled and reconfigured to add seating. The current Lunch Box food truck will become a Black Rooster truck, he said, calling the south-side bakery “Fort Worth’s best-kept secret.”

The Lunch Box opens at 8 a.m. daily for breakfast and lunch; 817-738-2181, eatthelunchbox.com.

The Black Rooster Bakery opens at 7 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 8 a.m. Saturday; 2430 Forest Park Blvd., 817-924-1600, roosterbakery.com.

Hungry again yet?

A new year brings new chefs to the annual Celebrity Chefs tasting, a benefit for children through SafeHaven.

Norman Grimm from Great Scott, the Grapevine restaurant offering charcuterie and craft beers, joins the lineup of 13 chefs serving their favorites Sunday in the Hurst Conference Center to raise money for victims of domestic violence.

Fort Worth chef Jon Bonnell of Bonnell’s and the forthcoming Waters leads the list, along with Donatella Trotti of Nonna Tata.

Several of the chefs are caterers. Also on hand are two Colleyville chefs: Todd Phillips of J.R.’s Steak & Grill, in his eighth year at Celebrity Chefs, and Jason Harper of Trio New American Cafe, in his sixth year.

Tickets are available, which is unusual. They’re $125 including the reception; mid-citiessos.org (the acronym stands for Mid-Cities Supporters of SafeHaven).

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @EatsBeat. His column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com.

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