Pizza After Dark
Sometimes the most ravenous pizza cravings come well after dark. That’s why The American Pub, new near West Seventh Street, is open until 4 a.m. most days, or mornings, that is. From the owners of nearby Varsity Tavern, the bar and restaurant serves thick-crusted pies, including specialty varieties like Green Peace, topped with basil mascarpone pesto and roasted Brussels leaves, and the New York white pie, covered in house-made ricotta cheese, garlic and crushed red pepper. Patrons can also build their own pizza or order by the slice from a street-side window designed for easy access. Dessert fans can satisfy their sweet tooth with the restaurant’s cinnamon knot pastries, drizzled with caramel sauce and Nutella and stuffed with mascarpone made from scratch. 2800 Bledsoe St., Fort Worth, 817-439-9443, www.tapftw.com.
Fast-casual Mexican Fare
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Grilled pound cake, anyone? Drizzled with a spicy-sweet strawberry-serrano sauce and served with whipped cream, the dessert might be the most intriguing menu item at Richardson-based Chiloso Mexican Bistro, which opens a Southlake location this month. A close second are the charred avocados, which can come stuffed with grilled chicken, steak, or even scrambled eggs and chorizo for breakfast. The mini-chain is fast-casual, meaning customers order at the counter and can customize tacos, burritos and salads to their liking. But daily specials, like the “Boom-Boom enchiladas” with jalapeño green chile queso sauce and the stacked avocado enchiladas topped with grilled chicken, take the guesswork out of building a meal. Chiloso will be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 2251 W. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, www.chilosomexicanbistro.com.
Grilling Goes Gaucho
As a native gaucho, or South American cowboy, Evandro Caregnato grew up in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul before eventually becoming the culinary director of Dallas-based Texas de Brazil in 1998. Now Caregnato has released his first cookbook, Churrasco: Grilling the Brazilian Way ($30, Gibbs Smith), which not only shares recipes for traditional gaucho dishes and Texas de Brazil favorites, but offers an extensive look at the gaucho culture and cuisine. Readers will feel as if they’re sitting around an open fire next to Caregnato as he shares stories of his culinary journey as well as a history of the churrascaria, or Brazilian steakhouse. The book also provides detailed instructions for preparing a fire, along with step-by-step techniques for cutting, marinating and cooking meats and building your own gaucho grill. Try Caregnato’s recipe for Texas de Brazil Lamb Chops, a dish with simple preparation that results in a satisfying meal.
A Bistro Grows in Aledo
After taking over ownership of a former coffee shop in Aledo last month, Steven Zimmerman and Henry Stewart have big plans for the cute, off-the-beaten-path space now known as Bankhead Bistro and Coffee Bar. Zimmerman, whose food and beverage experience includes time in Italy, and Stewart, a longtime Fort Worth-based caterer, will launch a bistro menu this month to include artisan sandwiches, gourmet salads and house-baked kolaches. Look for menu items like Asian glazed chicken salad with ginger-sesame dressing, house-made ricotta with tomato jam and herb pesto served with crostini and crudités, and a coffee-crusted sirloin French dip sandwich made with melted Vermont white cheddar. While the eatery does have a drive-through window that stays busy in the morning, Zimmerman hopes customers will sit and stay awhile. Pastries, cookies and coffee beverages made with Lavazza, a brand of Italian coffee, are on the menu now. 600 E. West Oak Drive, Aledo, 817-629-1743.
Visit LAW, and Order
Here’s a tasty reason to head east: LAW — an acronym for land, air and water — is now open in the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. The Texas-chic concept boasts meat, poultry and fish sourced directly from Texas ranches, farms and fisheries. Rustic yet refined dishes include a bone-in tomahawk rib-eye steak, stuffed quail with chorizo-cornbread waffles, redfish and grits, and Shiner Bock beer can chicken. The restaurant’s wine program also pays homage to the Lone Star State with a long list of Texas standouts, including Brennan Vineyards’ viognier and Pedernales Cellars’ tempranillo. Dark hardwood floors, rich leathers, custom lighting and Texas artwork create an atmosphere that’s cozy and sophisticated. Visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner seven days a week. 4150 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, 972-717-2420, www.fourseasons.com/dallas/dining/restaurants/law.
Bee’s Dive Surfaces as Full-Service
When Bridgette Escamilla opened her breakfast and lunch cafe in a Shell gas station in Aledo last year, the town flocked to it for her daily quiche specials, healthy wraps, sandwiches, soups and salads. Now Bee’s Dive is “busting at the seams,” Escamilla says, so she’s moving into the nearby space formerly occupied by Slice The Pizza Spot. With the extra room will come full service and a larger menu, including brioche French toast with coconut milk whipped cream and berry sauce, house-made pretzels, nachos, charcuterie boards, beer and wine. “The dream has always been to have a full-service restaurant where we can provide healthier options than most eateries in the area,” says Escamilla, who’ll open for dinner Friday and Saturday nights this summer and has plans for live music. “This is not a burn-and-turn restaurant,” she says. “I want people to come and hang out.” 9650 E. Bankhead Highway, Aledo, www.beesdive.com.
A Lil’ Bit o’ Louisiana
A corner spot in Montgomery Plaza notorious as a revolving door for restaurants has reopened as King Crab Tap House, and this time, the concept may work. Options for casual Cajun- and Creole-inspired seafood are slim in Fort Worth, and King Crab offers it all, from crab legs and whole shrimp sold by the pound with choice of boil seasoning to shrimp and grits, po-boys, lobster rolls and oysters on the half shell. Add a craft beer wall that runs 50 taps deep, plenty of flat-screen TVs and spacious seating, and there’s a lot to like at the laid-back restaurant. Non-seafood eaters will appreciate landlubber fare like Louisiana chicken pasta, cheeseburgers and Cajun chicken wings. Be forewarned that all seafood boils come piping hot and heavily coated in seasonings, making for a messy meal. Thankfully, gloves, bibs and plenty of hand wipes are provided. 2600 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-332-0033.
Bonnell Boils Up Crawfish
Crayfish, mudbugs and mudpuppies are just a few of the most common aliases for the freshwater crustacean best known in these parts as crawfish, which is now approaching peak season. Warm weather and plenty of rain, which typically occur together from March until June, allow the clawed creatures to grow to a size worth the effort of boiling, peeling and eating. But crawfish fans can save time (and a lot of napkins) with a trip to Waters, where Jon Bonnell has added a crawfish roll to the menu for a limited time. The appetizer ($14) is made with lightly dressed crawfish meat sourced from Louisiana and served on a toasted bun. Bonnell interned in New Orleans before planting his culinary roots in Fort Worth, so he knows crawfish. His tips for the perfect boil: Soak the crawfish in cold water for two hours first, changing the water at least twice, season with plenty of Creole spices and Crystal hot sauce, use a turkey fryer for easy boiling and removal, and dump onto a table covered with newspapers in true crawfish boil fashion. 2901 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 817-984-1110, www.waterstexas.com.
From chocolates, craft beers and coffees to baked goods, honey and wine, a diverse assortment of Mexican products and dishes will be showcased during Pasaporte Mexico, Central Market’s seventh annual passport destination culinary event. Set to take place April 20 through May 3 at all stores, the food festival will highlight tastes from Mexico’s wide-ranging geographical landscapes, from the Sea of Cortez to the Yucatán Peninsula. Prepared dishes will include pozole — a traditional soup made with hominy — Oaxacan-style mole, cactus salads and more. Cooking classes and wine dinners will feature renowned Mexican chefs, including Pati Jinich of the PBS series Pati’s Mexican Table and longtime Mexican chef and cookbook author Margarita Carrillo Arronte. 4651 West Freeway, Fort Worth, 817-989-4700 and 1425 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817-310-5600, www.centralmarket.com.
Black Market Bakery & Cafe goes for the hospital-district crowd and night owls of the Near Southside with an evolving weekly menu of breakfast-inspired dishes, hot sandwiches, burgers and more by chef Evan Williams and a variety of cakes and desserts from baker Giovanna White. The twist? The hours are 11:59 p.m.-8 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Black Market shares space with Nonna Tata’s restaurant at 1400 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-223-6909.
Icon Bread is a new artisan bread company launched by Trent Shaskan, husband of former Café Modern chef Dena Peterson. Operating under Peterson’s Southlake-based Bravo Catering, Icon specializes in long-fermented, crusty, sourdough country-style bread. Loaves are available 4-7 p.m. Thursdays at West 7th Farmers Market, 2913 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 817-501-9495.
La Madeleine French Country Cafe has opened its newest location in far north Fort Worth. The restaurant, in Presidio Junction, features several cozy dining rooms and a patisserie window, where patrons can watch the pastry chefs at work. It’s open 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. 8825 North Tarrant Parkway, Fort Worth. 682-593-5605, http://lamadeleine.com.
Chuy’s has opened a location in Alliance Town Center in far north Fort Worth. The Austin-based restaurant chain serves fresh Tex-Mex food in a laid-back atmosphere with plenty of personality. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 9700 North Freeway, Fort Worth, www.chuys.com.
Granbury Wine Walk, April 29-30, features tastings from a dozen Texas wineries amid live music, artist booths and food vendors, all gathered around the town’s historic downtown square. Festivities will begin at 7 p.m. April 28, with VIP Sip & Savor, pairing wines with bites from local chefs at a private estate overlooking Lake Granbury. Two-day tickets purchased before April 15 are $25; $30 thereafter. Sip & Savor tickets ($125) are limited and include Wine Walk admission, www.granburywinewalk.com.
Brewfest on Crockett returns to the West 7th development, featuring live music and craft beer, 5-10 p.m. April 23. Microbrews starting at $5 a glass will be for sale, along with bites from West 7th restaurants and goods from sidewalk vendors. Admission is free and a portion of beer sales will benefit autism therapy in Fort Worth, www.west-7th.com.
The Fresh Market, with stores in Fort Worth and Southlake, has declared April 9 National Pimento Cheese Day. The specialty grocer will celebrate the spread with in-store sampling and chef demos from noon to 4 p.m. Purchase do-it-yourself pimento cheese-making kits or The Fresh Market’s own private-label pimento, www.thefreshmarket.com.
Globe Life Park has unveiled new items to its culinary lineup in time for the Texas Rangers’ new season. Ballpark Vegan, a portable cart in section 16, will offer black bean burgers, spinach wraps and vegan hot dogs, chili, nachos and jerky. Meat-eaters will love the Wicked Pig, a pulled pork sandwich on a Hawaiian roll topped with bacon, prosciutto, ham and barbecue sauce, new at the Smokehouse stand (section 49). Other wild items include a 12-inch skewer of fried chicken bites and doughnut holes (section 50), a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Dog (section 22 and 48), and the new Shake It Up Salad (section 16 and Centerfield Market), featuring dressing conveniently served in a shakeable cup. 1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington, 817-273-5222, www.texasrangers.com.
Texas de Brazil Lamb Chops
• 2 frenched racks of lamb (with
• 2-3 tablespoons kosher salt
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted
• 4 tablespoons good-quality
lemon pepper seasoning
1. Prepare the grill with lump charcoal, letting it burn completely until the embers are glowing.
2. Cut the racks between the bones to form single-bone chops — each rack will give you 8 to 9 chops. (See note.) Place the chops on a work surface and season them with kosher salt on both sides. Brush a small amount of butter on both sides of the meat, then season generously with the lemon pepper seasoning.
3. Place a clean, oiled grate over the fire and let it become very hot. Using a pair of tongs, place the chops over the grate. Watch them carefully as they cook — the fat will melt and the chops will form char marks very quickly, so remove promptly to achieve a perfect medium rare. (See note.) Transfer the chops to a serving plate and enjoy.
Chef’s note: To make the rack easier to cut into chops, chill the meat in the freezer beforehand. The best way to serve these chops is medium rare, but if the chops are thin and it takes too long for them to form a nice char, they will become well done. To avoid that, make sure the temperature of the grill is extremely hot.
— Churrasco: Grilling the Brazilian Way by Evandro Caregnato ($30, Gibbs Smith)