With the pandemic continuing to fade, new restaurants are opening in and around Fort Worth at a fast and furious rate. There's so many new options: pasta, Southern cuisine, seafood, tacos, and good old American food.
For this month's Where to Eat, these are five of the brightest new restaurants in Fort Worth:
Classy Southern and soul food spot in Arlington comes from North Texas couple Patricia and Patrick Whitfield. If Patrick's name rings a bell, it's because he's a former chef for the Dallas Cowboys. He and Patricia have also run a catering business for more than a decade. The restaurant's name is an homage to his grandmother, Ella B. Whitfield, who inspired his love for cooking. The small menu is comprised of chef-inspired takes on classic dishes: deviled eggs topped with shrimp; fried chicken glazed with honey and butter; pan-seared salmon topped with crawfish etouffee. There’s also Sunday brunch with dishes such as oxtails and shrimp and grits.
Modern Italian restaurant in the recently opened Kimpton Harper Hotel downtown forgoes traditional red sauce dishes for more elevated fare. Executive chef Matt Williams, a Chicago native who moved to Fort Worth to lead he kitchen, focuses on pastas, freshly made just a few feet away from diners inside a room with floor-to-ceiling glass, giving diners a perfect view of what they’re about to eat. The half-dozen pastas, from spaghetti to rigatoni, are accented lightly, usually with just two or three ingredients – a simple approach that works exceptionally well. The menu also includes clams and a 22-ounce grilled ribeye with bone marrow butter, made for two.
After a months-long delay, La Onda, husband-and-wife Victor and Misty Villarreal have opened their Latin-inspired seafood restaurant in an historic bungalow last occupied by Gypsy Scoops. Victor's menu zeroes in on raw and cooked seafood dishes, such as smoked clam & scallop ceviche; shrimp torta; and oysters on the half-shell. He does dry-aged fish, too, plus caviar. Misty handles the cocktail side of things, specializing in housemade sangria and agua frescas, along with specialty cocktails made with artisan mezcals.
Revolver Taco Lounge
Regino Rojas made good on his promise to return to Fort Worth, opening this stylish Mexican restaurant in the Sundance Square Plaza space most recently occupied by Taco Diner. (The original Revolver Taco was in Fort Worth, which he closed to focus on a Dallas location.) Refreshingly, his Michoacán-style food is more Mex-Mex than Tex-Mex. Made with fresh corn tortillas, tacos come filled with ingredients such as lobster, duck, and beef tongue. Other dishes include bluefin tuna tartare topped with caviar and rabbit meatball soup, all made from scratch. The restaurant also offers a reservations-only tasting menu, called Purepecha.
A month after opening Maria's Mexican Kitchen near TCU, prolific restaurateur Felipe Armenta turns his attention to north Fort Worth, where he just opened this American restaurant at Alliance Town Center. Towne Grill is similar to another one of his ventures, The Tavern; matter of fact, the two could be siblings. Both offer upscale bar food and heavier entrees in a lively atmosphere. The menu has a little of everything: house burger, fried chicken sandwich, seafood dishes such as miso-glazed salmon, and Mexican food like chicken enchiladas and brisket tacos. As is the case at most of Armenta's restaurants, there's a long, varied drinks menu, with an emphasis on cool craft cocktails, wine, beer, and whiskey.