Our Christmas gift will come in three packages.
By mid-January, three new chef-driven restaurants will open in Fort Worth.
Clay Pigeon Food and Drink appears to be first, arriving this weekend on White Settlement Road.
Chef Marcus Paslay grew up in Arlington and has cooked in several good restaurants across North Texas, most notably Neighborhood Services in Dallas and Rough Creek Lodge near Glen Rose.
He previewed the menu this week. It features a choice of small plates or full platters, including a braised pork shank ($20), a butter-poached lobster with gnocchi and sage ($35), hardwood-grilled steaks and an herb-crusted lamb chop with squash and Israeli couscous ($35).
Smaller plates include cream of sunchoke soup, scallops with caper-and-blue-cheese, roasted bone marrow or a roasted-beet salad with goat cheese and a pine-nut vinaigrette.
Paslay has rearranged the old Pedro’s/Lambert’s dining room, keeping Lambert’s cattle brands by the front door but making the dining room feel warmer and cozier.
Please wait a few days and let the kitchen and staff learn Paslay’s menu.
• Downtown, Bird Cafe is the newest concept taking flight from the same restaurateurs behind the Flying Saucer, Flying Fish and Dallas’ Meddlesome Moth and LARK on the Park.
It might open any day depending on city inspections.
The dining room is fully decorated with the works of the late Fort Worth artists, Scott and Stuart Gentling, from their Of Birds and Texas portfolio. (The Gentlings also painted the Great Dome inside the Bass Hall across the street .)
A new bar extends behind the dining room along the Sundance Square plaza patio. More coming on the decor and bar features, but note the bar is topped with 100 pounds of birdseed.
Chef David McMillan teams with the Meddlesome Moth craft beer crew for an extensive gastropub menu. Be watching at 155 E. Fourth St.; 817-332-2473, birdinthe.net .
• Right behind is A F+B Fort Worth, the new casual grill from the owners of Fireside Pies.
The opening date is tentatively set as Jan. 10, but just figure it’ll make a grand entry along with the annual Stock Show and rodeo.
A F+B’s big news is the arrival of pastry chef Laurel Wimberg, rejoining former Bolsa chef Jeff Harris to unite the team that originally opened the former Craft Dallas in the W Dallas hotel.
Watch the progress at 2869 Crockett St., not far from Fred’s Texas Cafe; 817-916-5300, afandbfortworth.com
• Two restaurants are already mostly booked for mid-evening New Year’s Eve: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Del Frisco’s Grille.
Christmas Day buffet business has dwindled, but you can still count on hotels and truck stops.
The Omni Fort Worth’s Cast Iron and the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine are the buffets now, along with the Four Seasons Resort and other DFW Airport-area hotels. (The Worthington canceled its buffet.)
In Fort Worth, Mercury Chophouse and Ruth’s Chris Steak House are open, along with hotel restaurants like the Ashton’s Six10 Grille. In Southlake, Copeland’s of New Orleans is open at the Southlake Hilton.
Vance Godbey’s in Lakeside has its buffet, and the Furr’s Fresh Buffets are open.
There’s always the annual turkey buffet at the Iron Skillet at Petro Truck Stop in Weatherford.