Sunday, August 22, 2010


Got Grace?

If you don't have Grace on your Restaurant Week list, then you need to make some modifications or else miss out on the best Restaurant Week meal FWJoey and I have ever had. I recently wrote that our dinner at Bailey's Prime was the best Restaurant Week experience we have had, but Grace has now taken that title from Bailey's.

For our first course, I had the roasted pepper soup and FWJoey had the baby back ribs. I actually liked the Asian flavor of the ribs a little better than my soup, however, I was still pleased with the soup because it was a nice, light way to begin the meal. The second course was the Central Market course consisting of a beautiful Maine diver scallop and Berkshire pork on a bed of al dente black eyed peas. This "Surf and Turf" course should not be missed. It was one of the highlights of the night.

FWJoey and I next enjoyed the petite filet served alongside polenta and a sweet corn succotash. The filet was well seasoned and delicious. For dessert, FWJoey ordered the peach cobbler and I tried the red velvet cake (even though I am not a huge cake fan). We preferred the peach cobbler, but FWWhitney gave high marks to the red velvet cake.

Restaurant week menu is $35 for all four fabulous courses (assuming you have the vouchers from Central Market for the Surf and Turf). For an additional $20, you can have a perfectly paired wine with each course. I recommend the wine pairing without any reservation as each wine we tried was great.

Grace is offering its Restaurant Week menu through August 4th so it isn't too late to make your reservations.

777 Main Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 877-3388

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Take Your Appetite to BAILEY'S PRIME During Restaurant Week

Bailey's Prime Plus was hopping last night as Restaurant Week, benefiting the Lena Pope Home, kicked off. If you are looking to take full advantage of the $35, three course menu (four courses if you have your Central Market voucher) offered during Restaurant Week, I recommend Bailey's.

Here's the breakdown of the Restaurant Week menu (You can add wine pairings with each course for $15 per person):

1. Central Market "4th" Course (served as our starter) - Crispy Fried Calamari with two dipping sauces. I was impressed by the preparation of the calamari. It's light batter appeared to be handmade and it had a nice flavor. Cherry peppers and capers were tossed with it which added a nice touch. One of the two dipping sauces had a spicy pepper kick and the other was more like a tartar sauce. The portions were enough to share so we ordered one calamari per couple (which meant we only had to use 3 of our 6 Central Market vouchers). This above-average calamari was a pleasant way to start the meal.

2. Soup/Salad Course - Choice of Lobster Bisque or a Salad consisting of baby greens, brandied Michigan cherries, blue cheese and candied pistachios tossed in a maple vinaigrette. FWJoey and I selected the Lobster Bisque while others dining with us tried the salad. The bisque was good, but unfortunately we had eaten the bisque at Lucille's earlier in the week so we couldn't help but to compare the two. We agreed that Lucille's would win this battle of the bisques; however, Bailey's was enjoyable. The salad received positive comments as well. Bailey's also serves delicious fresh baked bread. It may well be some of the best in town.

3. Entrée Course - Filet Mignon Medallions with Garlic Potato Croquettes and red wine demi glace or Cilantro Lime Marinated Salmon with Roasted Corn Mashed Potatoes & Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce. Once again, FWJoey and I made the same choice which was the filet medallions. This entree was heavenly. I was pleased that the red wine demi glace was such an appropriate accompaniment to the filet mignon since sometimes a red wine glace can be overwhelming and can take away from the flavor of the meat. Not in this case. The meat had wonderful flavor and was perfectly cooked medium rare. Each of the four medallions weighed in at 2 ounces which, when you do the math, means you get 8 ounces of filet mignon on this dish. And let's not forget the tasty potato croquettes served in between each medallion. Imagine a large hush puppy stuffed with creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Simply wonderful. Some who ordered the salmon seemed to regret not ordering the filet medallions, while another, FWJohn, said he would order the salmon again and again. The mashed potatoes served along side the salmon also received rave reviews.

4. Dessert Course - Choice of Peach Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Streusel Topping or Brownie Sundae served with Coffee Ice Cream topped with English Toffee, Candied Almonds and Hot Fudge Sauce. My sweet tooth was craving chocolate so I ordered the Brownie Sundae. I found myself enjoying the coffee ice cream and those yummy toppings more than the brownie. FWJoey tried the Peach Crisp and thought it was a refreshing way to end the meal. It was light and summery. Others in our party thought the peach crisp should have been served warm, which seems like a valid point.

This was our first time to go to Bailey's for dinner. The atmosphere was opulent and sophisticated. Despite being a full house, the restaurant did not get too loud so we were capable of having nice conversations with our friends. The service was slow at times, but overall acceptable in light of the delicious food.

Bailey's is offering its Restaurant Week menu August 13 - 29.

Bailey's Prime Plus
2901 Crockett Street, Fort Worth, TX, 76147
(817) 870-1100

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Pho Que Huong Has Staying Power

Pho Que Huong is a new Asian bistro located in the Chapel Hill complex near Central Market in the space that previously housed Texadelphia and Crescent City Beignets. I have seen several restaurants fail in this location, but based on the meal FWJoey and I had there last week, I think Pho Que Huong has staying power. Pho's menu is huge and offers several noodle soups, stir fried noodles, vermicelli dishes and fried rice. They even have a couple of sandwiches (which are both $3.95) and a few salads (priced at $5.95).

FWJoey and I started with the Vietnamese egg rolls (2 for $2.95) and the shrimp spring rolls (2 for $3.50). Both were good, but the Vietnamese egg rolls were excellent! I enjoyed them so much that I got a second order to go to eat with my leftovers. The shrimp spring rolls were not as good as those that can be found down the street at Edohana sushi, but they were still quite enjoyable.

For my entree, I ordered the chicken pad thai flat noodle ($7.95) and it was delicious. I took home over half of it and enjoyed it just as much the next day. FWJoey's sauteed black pepper beef with steamed rice ($8.50) was also delicious. The beef was delightfully tender and juicy and exceeded expectations. The only disappointment was that the menu indicated the beef dish was spicy and it was not spicy at all (FWJoey likes the burn of a spicy dish).

If you are on the fence about trying this place, check out its website and I think you'll be convinced that trying it is a good idea (the pictures are very appetizing). If FWJoey weren't already planning to cook tonight, I'd be going back to Pho.

Pho Que Huong
4601 West Freeway
Fort Worth, TX 76107-5496
(817) 737-3111


A Few Hits and Misses at Tillman's Roadhouse

There are a lot of things to like about Tillman's. I mean where else are you greeted with complimentary popcorn and peanuts drizzled with truffle oil? All of the appetizers sounded great but our group settled on the trio of fries ($9) and the fried pickle cup ($7). Both were fantastic! The fries would be too much for FWJoey and I to eat alone, but they were great for a group of 4-6. As for the pickles, I think I could have eaten the whole order myself. They are that good. The brown mustard served with the pickles elevate the wonderfulness of the dish.

My taste buds didn't get as excited about the entree selections as they did about the appetizers mainly because most of them sounded a little heavy. With the exception of the salmon, the choices were very masculine (think pork chops, beef tenderloin, ribeye, chicken fried steak, chili pie and ribs).

I decided to try the BBQ Pork Spareribs served on white cheddar mac and cheese ($23). The rub on the ribs was good, but verged on being too sweet and the mac and cheese was solid. Overall, I thought the dish was good, but because it was so heavy, I will try something else on our next visit. FWJoey wasn't too impressed with his chicken fried hangar steak ($24).

I have heard good things about the salmon entree so I look forward to trying it. I have also tried the pork and brisket quesadillas ($10) which I thought were good. They seemed like an appetizer that could be ordered as an entree for those wanting something less filling.

Getting something less filling is key if you are at Tillman's with a group because you will want to have room for dessert. The table side s'mores ($14) are unique and fun. I was told that the chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers are made in house which is impressive to me. Each order comes with marshmallows in three flavors that change (our flavors were maple, orange and coffee). Delicious!

Tillman's Roadhouse
2933 Crockett Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107-2908
(817) 850-9255


Terra is Tasty!

A great addition to the West 7th development's restaurants is Terra Mediterranean Grill. Terra offers tasty treats such as smooth hummus, warm pita bread, fresh tabouli, tzatziki, falafel, roasted vegetables (which includes great mushrooms), various kababs (beef, lamb, chicken, shrimp), gyros and moussaka. If all these choices sound overwhelming to choose from, I suggest going to Terra at lunch to enjoy its buffet (which is not offered at dinner). The buffet runs about $12 which I think includes your beverage, and is a great way to sample many of the delicious offerings.

Terra's atmosphere is more casual than other West 7th restaurants and it has some inexpensive, snack like options if you don't want a full blown meal. One example is the zattar bread ($6) which is baked pita bread topped with a mixture of olive oil, mediterranean spices (think garlic) and lemon.

There is an indoor/outdoor bar that may be nice once this summer heat has subsided.

Terra Mediterranean Grill
2973 Crockett Street
Fort Worth, Texas
(817) 744-7485


Brownstone...Let's hope it gets better...

As a general rule, I like to give a restaurant a few months before trying it out. With Brownstone, however, I didn't follow my general rule because there was so much buzz about it that I just couldn't say no when another couple invited FWJoey and I to join them on opening night. I was prepared for slow service (which was a good thing since our server forgot to put in our entree orders), but I wasn't prepared to be so disappointed with the food.

When reviewing the Southern inspired menu, it was challenging to find an appetizer that I really wanted to try. It wasn't that the choices sounded bad, they just didn't sound like what I wanted to eat at a chic, new restaurant on a Friday night. Selections included biscuits with venison sausage, chicken pot pie, crispy chicken livers, a beet and chickpea puree, and pork riblets. We ended up trying the biscuits with venison sausage ($13) and the crispy chicken livers ($9). Both were okay, but I would not order either of them again. Next time I would likely try the chicken pot pie ($3.50 each) if it isn't sold out.

Upon the recommendation of our server, I tried the chicken stuffed chicken ($22) for my entree. I am not sure what the roasted chicken was stuffed with because all I could taste was an overwhelming herb (which I think was thyme) that affected the entire dish. I did not like it. FWJoey tried the braised kobe cheeks ($24) which was topped with a sweet cherry red wine sauce. One bite of this dish was enough for me. Not only was the sauce too sweet, the texture of the braised meat seemed mushy rather than tender. Perhaps that is just the texture of kobe cheeks (I wouldn't know since this was my first time to try them) rather than a flawed cooking technique, but either way, I found it to be off putting.

I thought the best dish we tried was the Texas Quail Breast appetizer which was a pasta stuffed with quail in a tomato butter sauce. This dish was ordered by our friend, FWCB, as his entree and I wish I had done the same thing. Since our dinner at Brownstone, I have suggested to friends that he/she should order the quail pasta appetizer as an entree. Well, I guess others thought that was a good idea too because the Texas Quail Breast is no longer offered as an appetizer. Instead, it has been transformed into a $21 entree. Smart move on Brownstone's part.

On a positive note, I enjoyed the atmosphere at Brownstone and the drinks were unique and yummy. The Tequila Berry Cobbler ($11) was a winner and so was the Dark and Sour (if you like rum).

Brownstone definitely has potential. Despite my unimpressive first meal, I intend to give it another try after a few more months of being open. I am confident the kinks will be worked out in a matter of time. Sometimes when you have a not so great experience at a restaurant, you leave thinking "I'll never be back." That wasn't how I felt about Brownstone. When leaving I thought, "I really want this place to succeed and will be back to give it a second chance."

840 Currie Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107-2940
(817) 332-1555

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