If you like to try out new restaurants, Fort Worth is no doubt keeping you busy. The city's restaurant scene continues to flourish, with new spots opening at a breakneck pace.
The March edition of Where to Eat is devoted to eight of these new spots:
Billy's Oak Acres BBQ
What started out as a second location is now the only location of this popular BBQ joint, run by Billy Woodrich, a former bounty hunter. He closed his original, charmingly ramshackle spot in far west Fort Worth after bad weather caused significant damage to the building. That's the bad news. The good news: His new spot, at 7709 Camp Bowie West, has a bigger dining room and ample parking. The menu features all his 'cue staples: brisket, sausage, meaty pork ribs, pulled pork — still the best in the area — and housemade desserts and sides. Woodrich also does sublime chicken-fried steak and smoked pork chops.
Fairmount Music Hall Sky Bar & Kitchen
The old Live Oak restaurant and music venue on the Near Southside has reopened with a new name and new owners but the same concept: live music in one room, a restaurant in the other. It's a bit more posh than Live Oak, with comfy chairs and couches scattered throughout the rooms. The menu is classier, too, with dishes such as lobster flatbread, crab ravioli, and purple potato gnocchi. Outfitted with a video screen that streams whatever act is playing in the music room, the attractive rooftop patio offers picture-perfect 360-degree views of the neighborhood; also up top is a separate menu with sandwiches and apps.
Upscale Southern cooking comes to The Shops at Clearfork courtesy of this Austin transplant, located at 5282 Marathon Ave. Freshly prepared biscuits are the big deal here, but pay close attention to the massive fried-chicken sandwich, smeared with chicken-fat mayo, and lobster-crawfish pot pie. A Sunday brunch menu was recently introduced, featuring housemade grits with your choice of shrimp, quail, or kale; brioche French toast with honey-foie gras butter; and duck-fat potatoes.
Another newcomer to the The Shops at Clearfork is the first Fort Worth location of Mesero, at 4955 Gage Ave. This chic, Dallas-based Mexican mini-chain was founded by Mico Rodriguez, who also brought us Mi Cocina and Taco Diner. With its sleek design and modern twists on classic Tex Mex fare, Mesero is in the same vein but sometimes goes beyond it, offering more interesting dishes such as slow-roasted pork with chile cascabel and tacos stuffed with slow-simmered achiote chicken.
Newly opened in the space recently vacated by Le Cep, at 3324 West 7th St., Paris 7th comes from the owners of nearby Saint-Emilion, who closed their long-running restaurant to make repairs and revamp the concept. In the meantime, much of Saint-Emilion's menu is being served at Paris 7th, from the escargots and caviar to the duck foie gras and beef bourguignon. There's an impressive wine selection, too. The original Saint-Emilion space will open later this year with a new name and concept.
Perry's Steakhouse & Grille
Part of a Houston-based chain, this super high-end steakhouse in Grapevine, at 2400 W. SH 114, is a real showstopper. Spread out over 10,000 square feet, the restaurant's four dining rooms are outfitted with dazzling chandeliers, luxurious seating, and views of the open kitchen. The food is just as showy. Among the dishes is A5 Kobe beef, said to be the best cut of beef in the world, and a pork chop — sliced tableside — big enough for four people to split. Many desserts are flambéed while onlookers ooh and ah.
Piranha Killer Ramen
Local restaurateur Kenzo Tran converted the north Arlington location of his popular Piranha Killer Sushi into a ramen shop, at 859 NE Green Oaks Blvd. You can still get sushi, but ramen is the primary focus. There are a half-dozen kinds, from the common tonkotsu to more unusual flavors such as lobster.
This tiny, family-owned spot in far north Fort Worth, at 8605 North Beach St., specializes in its namesake dish: poke — salads or rice bowls filled with raw fish, vegetables, and other ingredients. Run by longtime chefs and friends Dat Bui (whose family runs popular Vietnamese restaurant My Lan) and Thai Nguyen, Poke Stop offers signature poke bowls or a build-your-own option, with ingredients such as mango, kimchi, avocado, and squid. The restaurant also serves sushi, sashimi, and a half-dozen varieties of ramen.