First, Billy Bob's Texas hired a chef from Saint-Emilion.
Now, the "World's Biggest Honky-Tonk" has big dining plans in Rodeo Plaza.
Billy Bob's executive Concho Minick confirmed this week that the new Billy Bob's 81 Club across Rodeo Plaza will open for Valentine's Day dining and special events.
The 81 Club is one of two new Billy Bob's properties, joining the Lariat in a restaurant facing the club's front door and originally built for the Brown Derby chain.
Chef Mark Hitri joined the club from owner Bernard Tronche's staff at Saint-Emilion. His first change was to add quail sliders to the menu at Billy Bob's Texas Cafe, open for lunch and dinner daily inside the club.
Billy Bob's wants to build a reputation for food and catering, Minick said.
"We've added more party space and a great kitchen, and we want to put it to work," he said.
The club caters somewhere almost every day and will use 81 Club to promote special dinners, starting with an upscale Valentine's dinner, he said.
(The 81 name refers to the opening year of Billy Bob's, although the club also backs up to North Main Street, the route of the historic U.S. 81 highway.)
"We want to be known for more than just barbecue," he said.
"We want to get better at that, and do a whole lot more."
A new menu will start next month at Billy Bob's Texas Cafe, Minick said.
The cafe is inside the club at 2520 Rodeo Plaza, 817-624-7117. The menu hasn't been updated yet online, but watch for it at billybobstexas.com/restaurant/.
The M&O Station Grill will have a special guest Saturday.
Santa -- familiar from 1960s trips to Toyland and Leonards Department Store -- will be at the Leonards Museum next door on Carroll Street.
If you're not familiar, Leonards was an early-day supercenter that covered seven downtown blocks. It offered shuttle service from an outlying parking lot on its M&O light-rail "subway" line, similar to Dallas' McKinney Avenue trolley.
The M&O Station Grill and Leonards Museum include photos and memorabilia. It's open for lunch daily, lunch and dinner weekends at 200 Carroll St., 817-882-8020, fwculture.com/mo_station_grill.htm.
The classic Revolver Taco Lounge on West Seventh Street will cook tacos street-side Friday and Saturday nights, repeating a popular event that drew chefs and foodies from all over the west side.
Revolver, a contemporary taco bar and lounge true to the owners' Michoacan roots, will serve tacos al pastor and carne asada tacos outside the restaurant; 2822 W. Seventh St., 817-820-0122, revolvertacolounge.com.
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