Things are cooking in Fort Worth. So many new restaurants have opened in the past few months, we need a list to keep track. But which are the hottest? So glad you asked. For our April edition of Where to Eat, we offer our guide to the 10 hottest restaurants to open in and around Fort Worth.
At this new mercado-inspired spot at 2000 W. Berry St., you line up at different stations to order tacos, chicken, fish, and booze. Standing in different lines takes some getting used to, but the food is worth the hassle — especially the queso, spiked with fried oaxaca cheese, and the al pastor tacos, whose pork fillings are pulled straight off a trompo. Freshly made agua frescas include flavors such as tamarindo and coconut horchata. The space itself is exquisite, outfitted with rustic-industrial tables, chairs, and barstools, along with an attractive patio.
Chop House Burgers
Nearly three years after the "coming soon" sign went up, this Dallas burger-and-shake mini-chain finally opens in downtown, next to two other Dallas imports, Wild Salsa and Avanti, in the City Place complex at 300 Throckmorton St. Not to be confused with nearby Mercury Chop House or Chop House Burgers in Arlington, CHB offers carefully constructed burgers in the vein of Hopdoddy, with "better burger" toppings such as arugula and truffle sauce. Other options include a turkey burger, a tuna burger, and a veggie burger, whose patty is made of falafel and tzatziki. Shakes come in flavors such as Cookies and Cream and Malt Balls.
Good Food Co.
A nice change of pace from expensive gourmet burgers are the old-school ones you'll find at this new breakfast-and-burger dive at 2929 Race St., in the city's burgeoning Riverside area. Chef Evan Williams, last seen at the all-night Black Market Bakery & Cafe that operated out of Nonna Tata, does simple but good burgers made with hand-formed patties, secret seasonings, and Mrs. Baird's buns. Salads are worth getting, too, just so you can sample the housemade dressings.
Great Harvest Bread Co. Bakery & Cafe
Bakery and cafe chain from Montana makes its Fort Worth debut in a small, cozy spot at 1305 W. Magnolia Ave. Great pride is taken in the many varieties of the housemade whole-grain bread, sold by the loaf or via a sandwich. Samples of it are given at a tasting station, where you can also try out the bakery's pastries. A small lunch menu includes a roast beef sandwich topped with chimichurri sauce and a ham and brie sandwich with Dijon honey spread.
Downtown's Mediterranean-food prayers have been answered, courtesy of the second location of this North Texas fave. The downtown location at 401 Throckmorton St. mirrors the Arlington original, with lunch specials that feature an appetizer, entrée, and drink for $10.95. Among the selections: zucchini-feta pancakes, fried borek cheese pastries, gyros, hummus, and baba ghanoush. There's also a full bar.
Attractive new Italian restaurant at 5615 Colleyville Blvd. from husband-wife duo Andrea and Stefania Mattieucci specializes in dishes native to Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, from where the Matteuccis hail. Chef Michele Ragazzini's small menu features taglierino antipasti, made up of meats and cheeses from Emilia-Romagna; housemade pastas such as lasagna alla Bolognese; and soups and salads. A separate lounge area, outfitted with snug couches, is good for sipping and lingering.
Another restaurant opens in the seemingly doomed Montgomery Plaza spot at 2600 W. 7th St., where five others have come and gone. But this one will break the curse, right? Named after owner Steve Mitchell, who spent time at Lucile's Stateside Bistro and The Harbor restaurant on Possum Kingdom Lake, M Bistro focuses on American comfort-food classics with gourmet flourishes. Shrimp cocktail is given a twist with poke tuna and deep-fried green olives, while a grilled cheese comes with brie, provolone, Texas goat cheese, and bacon. Entrées range from $20-$40 and include tempura-fried prawns, chicken-fried rib-eye, lobster in a garlic broth, and bacon-wrapped scallops. Craft cocktails and healthy wine selection, too.
Mughlai Fine Indian Cuisine
Tarrant County scores big with a second location of this Dallas Indian restaurant from husband-wife team Javeed and Sonia Khan. Located at 3311 E. State Hwy. 114, this Southlake branch has everything Dallas has, including an outstanding lunch buffet jammed with biryani, paneer jalfrezi, freshly made naan, and a dozen more items. The regular menu is huge and includes some hard-to-find dishes, such as lentil donuts and stir-fried goat.
Red Sea Fish
New York transplants Nihal Hashem and Sam Gouda had NY in mind when they recently opened this tiny spot at 200 W. Pipeline Rd. in Hurst. It's a combination restaurant/fish market that pays homage to like-minded places in New York. You buy the fish, which is laid out on ice in display cases à la Central Market; they grill, fry, or bake it on the spot. Take it to-go or eat it then and there, at a small bistro table. Salmon, shrimp, and tilapia are among the choices, but so are less common octopus, milk fish, and mullet. Sides include a Greek salad and white rice seasoned with cumin and coriander.
Downtown's new restaurant activity climaxes with the reopening of Jon Bonnell's ode to the sea, which moved from W. 7th to the space at 301 Main St., most recently occupied by Mercury Chop House (now located in the Tower, a few blocks away). Here chef Anthony Felli serves seafood, seafood, and seafood, from flights of Eastern Seaboard oysters to a crawfish roll to Alaskan halibut with sweet potato gnocchi.