Eats Beat: Twenty at the Tower still has Fort Worth diners asking ‘whodunnit?’

Posted 10:06am on Tuesday, Jul. 09, 2013

Seven mystery-chef dinners remain in the “Twenty at the Tower” benefit series.

But the success of the first Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival event is no mystery, to hear co-chairman Mike Micallef.

“The food’s been excellent — half the crowd comes back over and over,” said Micallef, owner of Reata and co-host of 20 famous Dallas and Fort Worth chefs for the pop-up dinners Sundays and Mondays in the Tower restaurant space on Taylor Street.

Tickets remain for five nights: Monday, Tuesday, July 22 and July 28-29. Menus — but not chefs — are announced the morning of each dinner.

The $75 price is a gift to the foundation for the inaugural festival March 27-30.

Most of the chefs will be back in March, Micallef said, although he still isn’t sure about out-of-town chefs like Jason Dady of San Antonio.

FT33 Dallas chef Matt McAllister filled the dining room Monday for a veg-centric dinner. That was after Café Modern chef Dena Peterson’s fun Sunday dinner.

“It’s really cool that people have so much faith, that they will come to a dinner where the chef is a surprise,” Peterson said.

Her menu included “peanut butter and jelly” chicken with Thai peanut sauce and pepper jelly, plus a coffee-ancho-rubbed steak and “peach-o” de gallo, plus a German chocolate tart.

Coming from Café Modern and its grand windows, Peterson couldn’t help but notice the picture windows in the Tower dining space, the former Vault restaurant.

“That’s such a great space, with the high windows and strange angles,” she said.

Tickets for the five available dinners are sold at A Dallas chef is the “mystery” guest Monday, Micallef said.

New in Northeast Tarrant

Plenty of new openings:

Howard Wang’s China Grill, the newest effort from the family behind Dallas’ Empress of China restaurants, is open for lunch and dinner daily in the Shops of Southlake; 1471 E. Southlake Blvd., 817-488-6667,

Citrus Bistro, a seafood restaurant moving from Dallas, is now open for lunch and dinner daily and Sunday brunch: 5005 Colleyville Blvd., 817-281-6282,

The Londoner Pub, a Dallas chain serving fish-and-chips and pub grub, is scheduled to open later in July at 5150 Colleyville Blvd.,

Nearby, the From Across the Pond English restaurant and pub is scheduled to move Wednesday, July 10, to 8447 Boulevard 26 in North Richland Hills; 817-428-2332,

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Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538 Facebook: Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat Twitter: @EatsBeat Get alerts at

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