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A heaping helping of news & reviews from DFWs dining scene.

Restaurant News for September

Posted 2:51pm on Thursday, Sep. 08, 2016

Coffee and More at Mudsmith

Tucked in the back of Fort Worth’s So7 development in the former Love Shack space is a new oasis for gourmet coffee beverages. Mudsmith, a Dallas-based coffee shop from the owners of Barcadia, is now open, offering not only craft coffee, house-made syrups, fresh juices and kombucha, but a menu of wraps and sandwiches, along with wine and beer.

The spacious, pet-friendly patio features long tables and miniature golf. Inside, rich dark woods create a cozy yet refined atmosphere, especially in the shop’s quiet library room, where floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and communal seating attract Wi-Fi users and studious customers.

“We like to create an atmosphere for people to get to know each other,” says general manager Jesse Carrasco. “If everything goes well, we’re looking to expand. There’s space we can break into to have more seating and possibly divide the room into rentable work space.”

Don’t miss Mudsmith’s coconut milk latte with lavender syrup, a Dallas favorite, or the Van Gogh spritzer — a refreshing concoction of espresso, sparkling water and syrup served over crunchy ice. Patrons can also order New Orleans-style shaved ice with cream, create their own six-pack of craft beer, and purchase bottles of wine to go. 817 Matisse Drive, Fort Worth, 817-878-4313. www.mudsmithcoffee.com.

Bonnell Feeds the Frogs

Hungry Horned Frog fans can thank Jon Bonnell for the scrumptious suite cuisine at Amon G. Carter Stadium again this fall. The star chef (who’s busy moving his temporarily closed Waters Fine Coastal Cuisine from West 7th to Sundance Square by early next year) is the chef consultant for Sodexo, the stadium’s concessionaire.

Champion’s Club guests will enjoy Bonnell’s new ultimate nacho bar, Texas Wagyu beef hot dogs and burgers sizzled to order, as well as Bonnell’s Buffalo Bros. wings and pizza. Fan food to vary each week will include smoked tenderloin, green chile cheese grits, Southern fried chicken, Mexican street tacos and more. “My goal every season is to keep fans happy with their favorites from the past seasons, while also bringing in new and fun items to keep it fresh and new every week,” says Bonnell. This year, he’ll again share the spotlight and bring in independent restaurateurs and pastry chefs to showcase their signature items at various sampling stations. Guest chefs include Ben Merritt of Fixture, Lina Biancamano of Mod Bakehouse, Jason Harper of Trio New American Cuisine and Kari Crowe of Melt Ice Creams. www.gofrogs.com.

A Second Look at Trio

Jason Harper is ready for his close-up. The Trio New American Cuisine chef and owner has renovated his Colleyville space to better match the food on the plate, he says, adding a stunning wine list and expanding dinner service in the process.

“We started out years ago as a little cafe just doing soups, sandwiches and salads,” Harper says. “I was dying a little bit inside because my background is in fine dining.”

The new modern rustic dining room features French country touches and design elements like exposed brick, driftwood walls and contemporary artwork by renowned pastry chef Rick Griggs. Dinner is now served Tuesday through Saturday, and Trio’s new wine list includes selections from Oregon, France, New Zealand and Argentina. (Patrons can still BYOB for a $12 corkage fee.)

Harper’s fall menu, which will launch late this month, will feature some of his favorite flavors, he says, like cauliflower, truffle, sage and brown butter, as well as red snapper and schnitzel entrees. Other new menu items available now include pork belly empanadas, Hatch chile Gulf crab on wonton crisps and fluffy duck fat biscuits for the table.

Reserve now for Trio’s chef’s tasting dinner, to be held monthly on the last Wednesday. This month’s five-course menu will include cabbage rolls, beef carpaccio, steamed black cod, caramelized clay pot chicken and Vietnamese tres leches cake. (6:30 p.m. Sept. 28, $80 or $120 with wine pairings). 8300 Precinct Line Road, Colleyville, 817-503-8440. www.trionewamerican.com.

Revolver Taco Lounge on the Move

After five years on West Seventh Street, numerous accolades and more than one threat to close because of landlord disputes, Revolver Taco Lounge will move to Forest Park Boulevard this month in a space that once housed Sera Dining & Wine and Sapristi.

Owner Regino Rojas, who landed in Fort Worth by way of Chicago, will continue his culinary homage to his native Michoacan, Mexico, with dishes like roasted goat, chile en nogada — a poblano pepper stuffed with chopped pork and beef and garnished with walnut sauce and pomegranates — and traditional mole made by his mother, Juanita.

The new space is nearly three times the size of Revolver’s original site, allowing more room for Rojas’ popular lunch buffet, which includes unlimited breakfast tacos, Mexican coffee and agua fresca. Also look for a ceviche bar and Rojas’ wide selection of fine sipping tequilas. 2418 Forest Park Blvd., Fort Worth. www.revolvertacolounge.com.

Getting Wild in Downtown Fort Worth

After months of construction, Dallas-based Wild Salsa will open inside One City Place this month, boasting a wide range of regional Mexican flavors, from lamb shank barbacoa to Sonoran enchiladas with elote cream.

The colorful, festive restaurant will also feature taqueria-style street tacos, tortas (Mexican sandwiches made with oblong, crusty white bread) and skillets of wood-grilled fajitas with chicken, beef or Gulf shrimp.

Then there’s the salsa. Four varieties include the restaurant’s namesake version, which is piquant with habanero pepper, carrots and garlic, and the spicy and sweet grilled pineapple pico. Don’t miss the margarita menu (lime juice is hand-pressed) or the pitchers of house-made red sangria, and make plans for happy hour, tequila tastings and weekend brunch. 300 Throckmorton St., Fort Worth. www.wildsalsarestaurant.com.

Hurley House Finds a Home

When Katherine and Timm Sasser lived on Hurley Avenue in Fort Worth’s Fairmount neighborhood, their home became a popular destination for dinner parties, events and Katherine’s baked goods. Soon, the “Hurley House,” as friends called it, was the site of catered showers, birthday parties and a weekly pop-up bakery.

“While we lived there, hospitality really became a way of life for us,” says Katherine. While the Sassers no longer live in the original Hurley House, the couple has opened a storefront and event space with the same name in southwest Fort Worth. Customers can visit for prepared family meals to-go (the menu changes weekly), boxed lunches, breakfast breads and sweet treats, including Katherine’s signature sparkle cookie sandwiches stuffed with vanilla butter cream.

She says baking and cooking was a necessary component to inviting people over. “I started teaching myself how to cook and discovered I really loved the process of it. I devour cookbooks like novels.” Look for hospitality classes, which will feature menu planning and recipes, to begin later this month. 5512 Bellaire Drive S., Fort Worth, 817-349-8934. www.hurley-house.com.

Healthy Eating with a View

Indulge in food and drink with little to no regret? That’s the premise behind HG Sply Co., the popular paleo-inspired restaurant and bar from Dallas that has opened a second location in Fort Worth. Located in the WestBend development overlooking the Trinity River, the 4,400-square-foot restaurant (a 7,000-square-foot patio is on the way) touts a tasty menu of hearty, healthful cuisine made with all-natural, responsibly sourced ingredients.

Corporate chef Danyele McPherson’s bill of fare (which has evolved beyond the “paleo”) features shareable appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts, as well as HG Sply Co.’s signature bowls, composed of the customer’s choice of “hunted” protein (Texas chicken, Scottish salmon, Kobe beef, quinoa “meatballs” and more) and “gathered” ingredients, like sweet potato hash with yellow coconut curry, poblano-cauliflower grits and zucchini pasta.

Entrees specific to the Fort Worth location include Gulf shrimp boil with Niman Ranch andouille sausage and coconut butter corn on the cob, and HG chicken-fried steak over mashed sweet potatoes with green beans and mushroom gravy. Former Winslow’s Wine Café chef Eric O’Connor is HG Sply Co.’s chef de cuisine, and the restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner with brunch soon to follow. 1621 River Run Drive, Fort Worth, 682-730-6070. www.hgsplyco.com.

The Return of Tokyo Café

It has been just more than two years since beloved west Fort Worth restaurant Tokyo Cafe went up in flames after an overnight electrical malfunction. No one was hurt, but the lives of owners Mary and Jarry Ho were forever changed.

At the time, the husband-and-wife duo was preparing to open Cannon Chinese Kitchen in south Fort Worth, not rebuild Tokyo Cafe from the ground up. Re-opening this month, Tokyo Cafe is completely revamped, but only in look and feel, Mary promises.

“There’s been so much anticipation and people already know what they’ve been missing,” she says. “We really want to do our best first before we start going crazy with expanding the menu.”

Customers will find a brighter, modern farmhouse look with an intimate sushi bar and slightly larger dining area, along with longtime menu favorites like beef and chicken bowls, ramen and sushi rolls. The restaurant is also adding a full bar, and cocktails will be simple yet classic to start.

“Jarry and I are both very nervous,” Mary says. “But I think we’re both ready.” 5121 Pershing Ave., Fort Worth, 817-737-8568. www.tokyocafefw.com.


Ugly Pug, the popular year-round black lager from Rahr & Son’s Brewing Co., will transition from bottles to cans this month as demand grows for canned craft beers. The pioneer Fort Worth craft brewery plans to transition several beers to cans after purchasing new canning equipment that’s doubled capacity to 1,200 cases a day.

“Cans are more portable, eco-friendly and prevent unnecessary light and oxygen from breaking down the hops in a beer,” says owner Fritz Rahr.

To celebrate the launch, Rahr will host a special tour and tasting event from 5 to 7:30 p.m.Wednesday, Sept. 21 ($10). Attendees will receive a “Chug a Pug” pint glass and Ugly Pug will be featured on tap. The event will benefit DFW Pugs Rescue Club, and food trucks will serve dishes made with Ugly Pug for purchase. The official Ugly Pug mascot, Oscar, will also be on-site for photo opportunities. 701 Galveston Ave., Fort Worth, 817-810-9266. www.rahrbrewing.com.

The 30th annual GrapeFest, which features the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation, will take place in Historic Downtown Grapevine, Sept. 15-18. This year’s event will feature wines from Texas, California and Australia along with craft beer, live music, festival food and a shaded champagne terrace for sampling premium bubbly. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and children ages 6-12. Admission is free Thursday, Sept. 15, and until 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16. www.grapevinetexasusa.com/grapefest.

Taco Diner, which closed its Southlake location in July, has opened a new Fort Worth location in the new 63-acre Waterside mixed-use development in west Fort Worth. The Dallas-based chain boasts a diverse menu of handmade Mexico City-inspired tacos as well ceviche, salads, enchiladas and hamburgers. The new Waterside location features a spacious patio, dining room and bar, as well as the popular Mambo Taxi sangria swirl margarita. 5912 Convair Drive, Fort Worth, 817-763-8840. www.tacodinerrestaurants.com.

Avoca Coffee Roasters will launch Morritos, an award-winning Colombian coffee sourced from Giraldo, Colombia, as well as a coffee subscription service just in time for National Coffee Day on Sept. 29. Avoca fans across the country will be able to sign up online to have the Fort Worth roaster’s beans delivered right to their door. Morritos, a full-bodied brew with notes of dark chocolate, maple, raisin and cherry cola, will be available in 12-ounce bags for $25. www.avocacoffee.com.

Darren McGrady, former chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana and Princes William and Harry, will host a cooking class called “Fit for a Queen,” at 11 a.m. Sept. 17 at Food Saved Me in Southlake ($69). The owner of Eating Royally Fine Dining personal chef service in Dallas will prepare lunch while sharing stories of his 15 years with the royal family. The menu includes shrimp, kale and quinoa salad, sous vide beef tenderloin, three-cheese polenta and salted caramel cheesecake. Food Saved Me, 535 S. Nolen Drive, Southlake. www.eatingroyally.com.

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