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North Texas chefs to pop way up during ‘Twenty at the Tower’

Posted 1:45pm on Monday, May. 06, 2013

Those of us who have lived in Fort Worth for a while remember when what was then the Bank One Tower was home to Reata, which was high-profile in more ways than one -- not only was in one of Fort Worth’s best-known restaurants, it was on the building’s 35th floor.

Then came the 2000 tornado that ripped up the building (the Reata staff was praised for the way they guided diners to safety), leading Reata to relocate (it’s now a couple of blocks away on Houston Street). The building went vacant for a few years, till it was resurrected as The Tower, a luxury condo building. The building also houses a few chain restaurants, but chef-driven dining has been gone from it for more than a decade.

During June and July, though, it will return -- on Sunday and Monday nights as part of an event called Twenty at the Tower, benefiting the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival. During each night of Twenty at the Tower, a chef will prepare a pop-up dinner for 50 diners. The dinners are $75 a seat -- but that price includes tax, valet and other fees (but not tips!).

Among the chefs scheduled to participate are Fort Worth’s Blaine Staniford (Grace) , Kevin Martinez (Tokyo Cafe), Juan Rodriguez (Reata) and Michael Thomson (Michael’s); Weatherford’s Eric Hunter (Fire Oak Grill); and Dallas’ John Tesar (Spoon) and Scott Gottlich (Bijoux). We can’t tell you who’s cooking on what night – it’s supposed to be a surprise. Pop-up dinners can be tricky for vegetarians, but a vegetarian night is under consideration.

Guests will be seated at 6:30 p.m., with a pre-dinner reception with hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m.; drinks are BYOB. The dinners will take place on the northwestern corner of the ground floor, in the space formerly occupied by the Tower Restaurant and Speakeasy.

Tickets are expected to go on sale May 20. For updates -- and your best shot at getting a seat -- sign up for the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival’s newsletter at the website linked above, or follow the festival on Facebook or Twitter.

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