Summer's almost here, and with it comes the turning of the tide at many local restaurants. Gone are the gluttonous, heavy dishes of winter, nixed in favor of more lightweight fare, perfect for spring and summertime nibbling.
Here are eight Fort Worth restaurants with new offerings:
For many restaurants, breakfast is nonexistent or an afterthought. Not so at this Near Southside gastropub, which recently revamped its breakfast menu, now served all day. "Eat Your Veggies" is one of three offerings served in a sizzling skillet, comprised of scrambled egg whites, sautéed spinach, caramelized onions, and roasted tomatoes. Control freaks have two options: You can build your own breakfast, choosing from housemade granola, fresh fruit, and serrano grits, or your own biscuit, with toppings that include avocado, fried chicken, and IPA sausage gravy.
Top-rated contemporary French restaurant from husband and wife David and Sandra Avila recently unveiled a new eight-course discovery menu. Among the highlights: three-hour braised pork belly served with risotto and an artfully presented blackberry ice cream, made in-house. There's also a smaller four-course menu, featuring some of the same dishes, available every night except Saturday.
Chef Jesus Garcia ushered in spring at his West 7th ramen spot with his take on hiyashi chuka, a chilled ramen noodle salad featuring tempura shrimp, fishcake, cucumber, avocado, and toasted and shredded seaweed, all tossed in wildflower honey soy vinaigrette.
Opened three years ago by Piranha Killer Sushi founder Kenzo Tran, this homage to Vietnamese street food has introduced several new light bites for spring, including a shrimp bun with fried popcorn shrimp, Asian slaw, sautéed green onions, and housemade aioli, and a takoyaki — crispy balls of wheat flour studded with octopus.
Piattello Italian Kitchen
Marcus Paslay's newish Italian restaurant in the Waterside area may tout some of the best pastas in the city, but chef Scott Lewis knows the importance of a good salad, too. His new spring menu includes two: an octopus salad with fava beans and castelvetrano olives, and a terrific panzanella salad made with shrimp, avocado, and peperonata. Other new offerings include saffron linguine and pizza primavera, topped with ricotta, fontina, and asparagus.
Lanny Lancarte's 3-year-old ode to organic, healthy, and other forms of better-living food recently added several new items to morning, noon, and night menus. There's an avocado eggs Benedict, a kale and mung bean soup, and a quinoa porridge, topped with pickled golden raisins. He gave the BLT a makeover, too. It now consists of black beans, avocado, kumato, and an over-easy egg, of the organic persuasion, of course.
Long-running Japanese restaurant on Near Southside has rolled out several new menu items from chef Marcus Kopplin. Among them is elk tartare, consisting of elk tenderloin, natto, and pickled mustard seeds, topped with a quail egg yolk. There's also a new scallop salad, with koji-marinated scallops, togarashi-pickled shallots, candied walnuts, and roasted tomatoes, and a miso-cured salmon, bathed in a black garlic puree.
The reborn Tokyo Cafe on the city's west side has a handful of new spring dishes. Among them: shoshito peppers with lemon zest and tamari, a thicker, less salty soy sauce; sake-steamed mussels; and, for heartier appetites, koji-marinated steak with shiitake mushrooms. Chef Kevin Martinez also recently introduced a new Tan Tan ramen, made with spicy beef and pork, sautéed onions, furikake, and soy egg, in a rich miso-chicken broth.