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Eats Beat: In Fort Worth, Lonesome Dove spreads its wings with new outdoor deck

Posted 7:54am on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro won’t be as lonesome anymore.

When chef Tim Love’s signature restaurant reopens Thursday, it adds outdoor dining, an improved banquet room and a subtle new look.

Starting its 14th year, the Dove becomes a destination creekside restaurant with a rear balcony overlooking the Marine Creek waterway.

“My biggest goal is to bring it back exactly the way it was, where you walk in the door and see Lonesome Dove, but freshen it,” Love said last week.

An August fire at the rear spread to the kitchen and smoked up the original dining room. It’s been re-outfitted with a new antique tin ceiling from a South Texas shop and new, gentler lighting.

Also new: the fall menu.

Love has added more salads and appetizers such as grilled shrimp with a Thai green-curry aioli, or a lamb posole stew.

The choice of 10 entrees now adds black bass with a tomato-white bean stew, quail with a Thai vinaigrette, lamb with smoked cauliflower and fideos negros (squid-ink black pasta) with chorizo.

The menu still leads with Love’s bell-cow entree, the garlic-stuffed tenderloin steak ($41).

At 41, Love is starting over, but not really.

When the Dove opened, he and the original employees wrote notes on $1 bills and dropped them inside a column along the front wall, like a time capsule to be removed someday.

When workers repaired the floor, notes and memories came spilling out.

Love has said: “If I ever open this up, I’ll be out of the business.”

He didn’t figure on a future remodeling.

“I thought the only way I’d ever see this again is if we closed,” he said with a grin, “but apparently that’s not the case.”

Lonesome Dove reopens Thursday for lunch (and a daily $9 special), resuming its regular schedule with dinner Mondays through Saturdays, lunch Tuesdays through Saturdays; 2406 N. Main St., 817-740-8810, lonesomedovebistro.com.

Ready Fred’s

At the other end of the cowboy-gourmet scale, the new Fred’s Texas Cafe-TCU is open.

This time, Fred’s moves into the Blue Bonnet Circle, replacing the legendary Oui Lounge and a Tex-Mex restaurant but keeping souvenirs of both.

As usual, the primary dish remains the Fred Burger, but the new location also features a wide choice of salads, soups and chili plus lunch platters.

It’s all served with the familiar Fred’s spirit of the original Currie Street location.

(When it opened last week, the chalkboard listed the “soup of the day” as “WHISKEY.”)

It’s open daily for lunch and dinner at 3509 Bluebonnet Circle; 817-916-4650, fredstexascafe.com.

Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @EatsBeat Facebook: Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/eats.

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