With COVID-19 cases now starting to creep back up in Fort Worth, outdoor dining may be the safest way to eat out these days.
We're talking patios.
Before 2020, the idea of dining on a patio in July or August would have been unthinkable. But post-pandemic, it's a welcome alternative to a closed-in dining room or your own four walls.
Besides, patios these days are increasingly weatherized, with fans and misters to cool things down.
For this month’s Where to Eat, we offer five of our fave patios:
Top-notch American restaurant in Burleson has one of the area's largest and nicest patios, with comfortable furniture, misters, a stage for live music, and its own bar. Another reason to visit: chef Denise Shavandy, best known for her tenured run at The Modern, who recently signed on as executive chef. She's already introduced several new menu items, including Chilean sea bass rubbed in Caribbean-inspired seasonings; a prime rib bánh mì; sweet chile-glazed half-chicken with garlic-soy green beans and Japanese-inspired potato salad; and Ruby Red trout with salmon stuffing and smoked tomato hollandaise.
Carp's at The Magnolia
Carpenter's Café and The Magnolia Wine Bar, both staples of the Near Southside, recently began a cool collaboration: Thursday through Saturday evenings, the Carpenter's Café food truck offers light bites on The Magnolia's attractive and spacious patio. Selections include Asian-inspired nachos, made with wonton chips, sweet chili sauce, queso blanco, and Asian slaw; fried green beans with jalapeno ranch dressing; a trio of sliders; and French fries seasoned with black truffle salt, freshly grated pecorino cheese, and crispy prosciutto. You can wash it all down with a glass or bottle from The Magnolia's extensive wine list.
Chef Marcus Paslay's ode to American cuisine in the Mule Alley development of the Fort Worth Stockyards recently celebrated its one-year anniversary by unveiling a brand-new patio, just in time for this Where to Eat. Wrapped around the front and west side of the restaurant, it gives diners a front-and-center view of all the Stockyards and Mule Alley action. Since opening last summer, the restaurant has been drawing crowds for its plate-engulfing chicken-fried steaks, smoked trout dip, and pork rinds seasoned with chile-lime salt. There’s an impressive wine list, too, plus craft cocktails and an array of whiskeys.
Excellent Thai restaurant recently refreshed and expanded its patio – a good reason to revisit this Near Southside gem, from the same local family that owns Thai Rice 'n' Noodle, Thai Select, and Thailicious. Chef Pakawalee "Jang" Comvieng’s menu is made up of a mix of Thai standards, such as pad woon sen and various fried rice plates, and less common dishes like gai yang, barbecue chicken with tomatoes and cucumbers, and goong ob woonsen, a clay pot dish with jumbo shrimp, glass noodles, and peppercorns. It’s a good place to take kids, too, thanks to a decent kid’s menu and fun desserts include fried bananas and coconut ice cream.
White Rhino Coffee + Kitchen
Dallas-based coffeehouse and café recently opened a location in the Near Southside, next door to the Hotel Revel, with a small patio shaded by oversized umbrellas. For a coffeehouse, it has a huge food menu, with breakfast items such sweet potato hash with poached eggs, avocado and sausage; build-your-own scrambles; biscuits and gravy; and sweeter items like monkey bread and muffins. For lunch, there’s an assortment of sandwiches, including a veggie option with roasted seasonal vegetables and crumbled goat cheese. The coffee menu includes pour overs, specialty lattes, and café au lait.