Former Pakpao chef Eddy T. to open Bite in Fort Worth

Posted 5:11pm on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014

We learned last week that James Beard-featured Chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin, formerly head of the critically adored Pakpao in Dallas, will be bringing his skills to Fort Worth.

After a chat with the chef, we know a little more, including the name of his new venture: Bite. The new restaurant will be located in Montgomery Plaza in the West 7th district, in the spot that formerly housed two short-lived eateries: Deluxe Bar & Grille, and Monty’s Corner before that.

If you were anticipating a Cowtown spin on the Thai cuisine he was lauded for at Pakpao, think again. The concept, he says, is “modern American with a global influence.”

Bite will be open for lunch (think lamb and veggie burgers) and dinner, where you can try small bites ($8-$14) — such as lamb meatballs with foie gras creme sherry sauce and wild mushroom artichoke flatbread with manchego cheese; and big bites ($16-30), or entrees like seared duck breast with black cherry demi glace, braised short ribs with a balsamic glaze, and house-made lobster ravioli.

So, yep, not much straight-up Thai food. “But obviously we will have the use of some of those ingredients,” Thretipthuangsin says, “like lemongrass and kaffir.”

Still, those yearning for more great Thai in Fort Worth may be wondering: why not Thai?

“After I left Pakpao, I guess I was looking for a location and some opportunity, and found that Fort Worth market — especially on West 7th, there’s a lot of great restaurants coming up,” the chef said. “I guess the more urban culinary scene is catching on right now. We know the Fort Worth market is both sophisticated and practical. The bottom line, I want to bring in the great food to Fort Worth.

“I look at it like this: If I want to go out to lunch or dinner, do I want to have Italian food five times a week, or any other cuisine five times a week? Usually when you narrow down to one specific cuisine, it’s kind of limited to your craving. But the bottom line, we like to have great food any day, any meal. We want to bring in great meals, great value, but also approachable,” he says.

Thretipthuangsin is the owner of Bite, but has a partner/co-investor who preferred not to be identified.

Chef Eddy says Bite will also feature an extensive wine list, craft cocktails, and craft beers (including some local and regional labels). The bar will be helmed by his brother, Chris Thretipthuangsin, who will also serve as the restaurant’s general manager.

Chef Eddy says he’s aware that Bite’s location hasn’t fared well in the past.

“But to me, I’m that type of person … I’m always looking forward,” he says. “I can only do and control what I do.”

For those die-hard Thai fans still holding onto a sliver hope, here’s a little something: “I talked to a lot of people,” Thretipthuangsin said. “It’s stunning; I guess everybody anticipated that I would do a Thai restaurant in Fort Worth. It might not be at this time, but it doesn’t mean it’s never gonna happen.”

The targeted opening date for Bite (2600 W. Seventh St.) is late February or early March.

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