Things are hopping in the Fort Worth restaurant world. Hopping is a good word to use the week before Easter. Speaking of, we have a great list of places to go for Easter brunch. Meanwhile, there's news about pizza, tacos, and brunch. Here's the dish:
Mr. Gatti's Pizza is celebrating the grand opening of its Museum Place location at 3268 W. 7th St. on April 8 from 1-3 pm. The location actually opened in December, but fanfare must be made because this is a flagship and the first in many years to go by the original Mr. Gatti's name. It features the nostalgic throwback ambience of Mr. Gatti's from the 70s and 80s, with a rotary copper-tiled, fire-deck oven and new menu. It also offers table-side service where guests can build their own pizza or pasta creations, outdoor seating, and a game room featuring the world’s largest Pac-Man game.
Chop House Burger has opened a branch in City Place Center at 300 Throckmoton St. in downtown Fort Worth. The original opened in downtown Dallas as part of the DRG Concepts group and the burger sibling of fancier restaurants Dallas Chophouse and Dallas Fish Market. It's part of the "better burger" trend, along with chains such as Hopdoddy and Liberty Burger, with a variety of burgers served on buns from Empire Baking Co. This is the third location; a branch opened in Euless in 2016.
M Bistro is the latest restaurant to open in the Montgomery Plaza space at 2600 W. 7th St., which has been home to so many restaurants before it including King Crab Tap House, Bite City Grill, Monty’s Corner, Deluxe Bar & Grille, and Mac’s Steaks & Seafood. The brave fellow taking another chance is chef Steve Mitchell, a former chef at Lucile's who plans to do an American bar and grill with steak, seafood, and pasta.
All of the restaurants are opening at the Shops at Clearfork, the development on the Edwards Ranch property where Neiman Marcus opened a store in February. The lineup includes not only the recently announced Fixe restaurant from Austin, but also a third branch of Dallas-based souffle chain Rise No. 3 and a third branch of upscale Vietnamese-fusion restaurant Malai Kitchen.
R Taco continues its Tarrant County expansion with a branch in Hurst, at 775 Grapevine Hwy. Formerly known as Rusty Taco, the chain does good, inexpensive tacos in a fast-casual service style. Its No. 1 taco is the picadillo, with a nicely seasoned ground beef, potatoes, onions, and cilantro on soft corn tortillas. The first branch opened on Greenville Avenue in 2010; there are now 15 locations in four states. In addition to Hurst, two other branches will open at Ridglea Village and on Bluebonnet Circle in the former Pegaso Diner space.
Piattello Italian Kitchen now has weekend brunch with seasonal dishes such as spinach frittatta; scampi and grits with shrimp, mushrooms, speck, and polenta; carbonara pizza with onion, guancial, potato, and egg; and the breakfast board with prosciutto, almonds, berries, and pecorino cheese. Isn't breakfast a little early for boards? Oh, but there are also cocktails such as bloody Marys, mimosas, bellinis, and sangria. Brunch hours are 10 am-3 pm, both Saturday and Sunday.
Piattello also has new spring lunch and dinner menus, featuring such dishes as squash blossoms with mozzarella and ricotta, cucumber and shrimp with avocado, quail cacciatore, and saffron linguine with blue crab.
At Globe Life Park, the Texas Rangers are trying to beat the State Fair of Texas with outraaaageous concessions that may or may not be edible. They include the crunchy nacho cheese barbecue burger with pulled pork and nacho cheese tortilla chips, in section 48; a black-bean tamale and Mediterranean nachos, at the vegan cart in section 16; funnel-cake balls with brisket, at the State Fair stand in section 41; and a 2-foot-long tamale filled with a hot dog, in section 27. Gross.