The 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards is our annual event where we celebrate the best in local food and drink. As part of our festivities, we spotlight nominees in categories such as Fort Worth's best chefs, restaurants, and bars.
The winners of those categories are determined by our honorable panel of judges, consisting of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local F&B experts.
But we reserve one category, Best New Restaurants, for readers to decide, via our Tastemaker tournament, a bracket-style competition where eight new restaurants go head to head.
You can vote once a day for your favorite. It will go three rounds, at which time two finalists emerge.
The final winner will be announced at the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards party on April 25 at Fashion Industry Gallery. We’ll applaud the winners, sip cocktails, and dine on bites provided by the nominees. Tickets are on sale now.
To vote, click here. Don't delay: The first bracket ends on April 12.
Here are the nominees:
Branch & Bird
Restaurant on the 12th floor of Frost Tower opened in May 2018 under the name Perch, serving Southern dishes such as deviled eggs and chicken and biscuits, before changing its name and giving its food a do-over, as well. Menu currently has pasta, steak, burger, and tacos. One thing that hasn't changed: its gorgeous ringside-seat view of the downtown skyline.
Doc B's Fresh Kitchen
The Fort Worth location of this Chicago-based chain opened at The Shops at Clearfork in August with burgers, bowls, and more. It has a kind of Houston's polish and a menu with something for everyone: sandwiches, salads, pizza, and entrées such as filet mignon, hot chicken, and brick chicken — but also eight entree salads and a quinoa plate with a grilled artichoke.
Food Hall at Crockett Row
Food Hall at Crockett Row houses top-caliber fast-casual food vendors in mini-restaurants ranging from 100 to 1,000 square feet. The collection includes everything from barbecue to burgers, Mexican, sandwiches, coffee, cheesecake, waffles, and more.
Vietnamese restaurant in a hip, modern building at 1001 S. Main St. is from Tuan Pham, a former chef at Shinjuku Station and Tokyo Café. The menu ranges from shaken beef and lemongrass tofu, to trendy items like bao buns, pho, stir-fried lobster, and crab fried rice. The restaurant has a full liquor license, with craft cocktails served at a well-appointed bar.
New York-based pizza chain first debuted in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2007 and has taken its expansion in the area very deliberately. Their pizza is classic New York-style, with chewy sheath of mozzarella atop a distinctive thin crust, rendered crispy via the use of an oven partially fired by coal. They're also noted for their trademark red-and-white checkered tablecloths and vintage black-and-white photos of New York.
Hatsuyuki Handroll Bar
Small, quaint spot is the first sushi bar in Fort Worth to specialize in hand rolls, or temaki — cylindrical-shaped sushi rolls enclosing rice, fish, and vegetables. Rolls are made on the spot, while you watch, and are handed to you by the sushi chef who made them. Fillings include salmon, tuna, scallops, yellowtail, crab, eel, toro, and lobster.
Restaurant from chef Erin Miller, who worked at the nearby Classic Cafe for many years, does steak and seafood, with many recipes from family members. Menu is driven by seafood fare, from Maryland crab cakes to salmon roulade, and the steaks for which she became known for at Texas Bleu in Keller. Bar features several Irish beers and signature cocktails.
Izakaya-style modern Japanese restaurant debuted on Dallas' Lower Greenville from Fort Worth-reared chef Dien Nguyen, partnered with Kenzo Tran of Piranha Killer Sushi fame. Wabi House focuses on ramen and small plates, such as crispy pig ears and seared scallops, as well as a large selection of yakitori – grilled meats and veggies served on skewers.