Grapevine’s Main Street Bakery is absolutely delicious. I close my eyes as I take a bite into my chocolate eclair and it brings me back to my college days of studying abroad in Paris. My sister’s raspberry tartlet and the comparison is undeniable. Grapevine’s bakery knows what they are doing… quality ingredients, gorgeous presentation and super delicious! Next time you are enjoying a day in Grapevine make sure and take the time to stop in say hello and pick up some amazing treats!
Restaurant Review: Fred’s Texas Cafe
Going to all of these fine restaurants over the past nine weeks has taken its toll on my wallet, so this week I decided to try some place a little less expensive. It’s hard to go to all of the best restaurants in Fort Worth on a college student’s budget. I tried Fred’s Texas Cafe this week. It’s a Fort Worth staple and has an authentic cowboy charm. The atmosphere at Fred’s is very laid back and rustic. They have live music almost every night of the week and an outdoor stage area. Fred’s is located in the West 7th area. It has been there long before all of the new restaurants and Movie Tavern were being developed. It’s managed to stay unchanged by time and the modern renovations going on all around it. Fred’s is a true escape where you can leave all of your worries at the door.
I ordered the Blue Cheese Burger and Fries. It was a half-pound burger with melted blue cheese, grilled onions, pickles, lettuce, and tomato. I love blue cheese, so I thought this burger was amazing! I really liked the way that the blue cheese was melted and warm. The fries that came with the burger were pretty good too. They reminded me of the fries at Dutch’s but they had more flavor and weren’t soggy. Next time I may add bacon to the burger to add even more flavor.
My boyfriend Stephen ordered the Patty Melt and Fries. It was a burger patty with grilled onions and melted cheese served on Texas Toast. He loved it. The Texas toast was very buttery and the flavor of the grilled onions went perfectly with the melted cheese.
Overall the food was good, but what I really liked about Fred’s was the atmosphere and friendly wait staff. Fred’s won the award for best burger and best patio for 2010 from FW Weekly and was rated as one of the fifty-one best burger joints by USA Today. Last year Fred’s was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. The show featured Fred’s Pan Seared Rib-Eye Steak with Chipotle Brown Butter and the Green Chile Lamb Stew. Their Quail and Eggs dish was voted one of Tarrant County’s top twenty-five dishes by Fort Worth, Texas Magazine.
I will definitely be going back to Fred’s soon and I plan on going when there’s live music. Next time I’ll be trying one of their famed dishes. They also have Sunday brunch from 10:30-1 p.m. that has a delicious breakfast menu with items of southern and Mexican influence. They also have fun theme nights like gourmet pizza night every Wednesday, Fish Fry Bingo, and Country Sundays.
Saint Emilion is considered by many to be the best French restaurant in Fort Worth. Being a lover of French cuisine and fine dining, I knew that I had to try this restaurant to see for myself. After looking at the menu online, I immediately called to make reservations. Their menu offers classic French cuisine with an influence from the Saint Emilion region in southwestern France, where the chef is originally from. The atmosphere inside of the restaurant is quaint and intimate. There are only about fifteen tables inside, which create a feeling of exclusiveness. The dim lighting and French country decor create a comfortable ambiance.
The wine list is extensive and offers unique wines from around the world in all different varieties. To accompany my meal, I ordered a glass of the Pinot Noir from Routestock Cellars in Willamette Valley. It had notes of raspberry, cherry, violets, and spice. My boyfriend, Stephen, had a glass of the Malbec from Chateau Famaey in France. He said it was the perfect compliment to his steak-frites.
To start off, I ordered the Saint-Jacques du Chef, Jumbo sea scallops prepared in a light and flavorful butter garlic sauce with sauteed carrots. The scallops were cooked perfectly and the way that the chef prepared them they were bursting with flavor. The carrots were light and were the perfect and unexpected accompaniment to the scallops.
My friend Erin started off with the Lobster Soufflé, which is only served on Wednesdays. The soufflé was phenomenal. I love lobster to begin with, but this soufflé was baked perfectly. The crust was light and fluffy and the lobster on the inside was tender and had a delicious, creamy sauce poured on top that put this dish over the top. This appetizer is a must try if you are a lobster fan.
Stephen started off with the Country Duck Pâté Maison. This dish has been one of Saint Emilion’s specialties since they opened. It features homemade duck pâté with pistachios served with French condiments. The dish came with pearl onions, olives, and Dijon mustard.
For my entrée, I ordered the Chef’s beef special of the day, which was a rib eye accompanied by rosemary mashed potatoes, asparagus, carrots, and tomatoes. The rib eye was really good; however, it did have a considerable amount of fat on it. I ordered it medium rare and it was juicy and tender. The mashed potatoes were velvety and rich. I really like the rosemary flavor. The chef definitely has a gift for cooking vegetables. The asparagus on my dish was the best I’ve ever had. The way he prepared it infused the asparagus with tremendous flavor.
Erin also had one of the chef’s daily specials for her entrée. She ordered the Sea Scallops a la Carbonara. Her scallops were prepared perfectly, just like mine. The dish came with six scallops on top of a bed of pasta with pancetta bits in a light creamy carbonara sauce. Despite the richness and boldness of the flavors, this dish was very light.
Stephen ordered the Steak au Poivre for his entrée. This dish consisted of a Black Angus New York Strip in a classic black peppercorn sauce with Frites (Fries). His steak was delicious and came with a scrumptious brown sauce for dipping. The fries were also very good.For dessert we all shared the Tuile aux Mures, which came with mixed berries warmed in a raspberry liquor with fromage blanc in a crunchy pistachio-coconut cup. This dessert was out of this world. It was decadent and delectable. The warm berries lightened the dish up and went perfectly with the rich custard and sponge type cake that they were on top of.
I thoroughly enjoyed Saint Emilion and highly recommend it to anyone who has a love of fine French cooking. I enjoyed the seafood dishes the most. Make sure to try a dish that has scallops in it when you come! For more information on their location and menu click here.
This week we decided to try out Ellerbe Fine Foods located on Magnolia. Ellerbe was recently awarded Bon Appétit Magazine’s 10 Best New Restaurants in America! Ellerbe has also been featured in Texas Monthly and D Magazine. After reading all of these rave reviews, we couldn’t wait any longer to go here and try it out for ourselves.
Upon arriving, we were pleased to find that Ellerbe offers complimentary parking. We received a very warm greeting by the staff and were immediately escorted to our table. The décor is a unique balance of elegance and comfort.
We started with an order of the Anna Marie Shrimp Toast. The dish came with Carter Farm homegrown tomatoes, creamy Italian dressing, and DMC Caciotta served on top of a piece of toast. We also ordered the Braised Rabbit and Brie Crepes with grilled Doak Farm peaches and crispy shallots. Having never tried rabbit before, I couldn’t I resist. The rabbit meat was delicious! It had a wonderful smoky flavor and paired perfectly with the smooth mildness of the Brie.
Next up, the Grilled Duck Breast and Stone Fruit Marmalade with sweet corn risotto, house-made bacon, and wilted cabbage. The duck was cooked perfectly. The sweet corn risotto really brought out the flavors of the duck and was the perfect compliment.
We also ordered the Chef’s Choice Steak, which was a top sirloin “baseball cut”. It was served with a Port Reduction; Brie mashed potatoes and lightly dress arugula. The steak was awesome!Our waiter informed us that this steak had been voted the second best in Fort Worth. The meat just melted in my mouth and was unbelievably delectable. To me there’s nothing better than a steak and potatoes combination. These Brie mashed potatoes were out of this world. The smooth hints of butter, cream, and Brie were heavenly. I liked how they included the bed of arugula to balance out the flavors and cut through the creaminess of the mashed potatoes.
There was no way we could pass on dessert when everything else had been so amazing. We ordered Maw Maw’s Bread Pudding served with Whiskey Sauce and Pralined Texas Pecans. As if this wasn’t enough, we also ordered a scoop of their Dulce De Leche ice cream. There aren’t words to express how satisfying this dessert was. The bread pudding is one of the owner’s grandmother’s recipes. It was literally a slice of heaven. It was sweet and had a hint of cinnamon and nuttiness. The bread pudding was moist and the Dulce De Leche ice cream was the perfect compliment. The ice cream was cool and refreshing. The flavors of caramel and cream went perfectly with the bread pudding.
Restaurant Review: Reata Fort Worth, TX
Our dad was in Dallas this week for business, so he came to Fort Worth on Wednesday evening to take me out to dinner. We dined at Reata, one of Fort Worth’s most popular restaurants. Reata specializes in fine Southwestern cuisine. When you eat at here you have to request to sit on the roof top, weather permitting. Reata has a beautiful rooftop bar and dining area that overlooks downtown and is lit up with twinkling lights at night. The ambience is relaxing and will make you feel like you’re on top of the city.
My dad ordered a bottle of wine for the table. Their 2008 Estancia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles from Keyes Canyon Ranches was on special. This bottle of red was delicious. For having just been opened, it was very smooth and already tasted like it had opened up. I would definitely recommend this wine.
I started off with the Field Greens salad. It comes with Texas Goat Cheese, San Saba Pecans and Sherry Wine Vinaigrette. This is probably my favorite salad in all of Fort Worth. The dressing is the perfect mix of tang and smoothness and it’s not over-powering. The creaminess of the goat cheese checks the dressing and blends nicely with the candied pecans.
My dad ordered the Chopped salad, which came with Pablano Buttermilk dressing. I really enjoy a good chopped salad. This one reminded me of a club salad. It came with bits of bacon sprinkled on top along with pieces of boiled egg, a slice of gingered apple, and tomatoes. The Pablano Buttermilk dressing did a wonderful job of tying all of the flavors together.
For my entrée I had the grilled Mahi Mahi topped with Lobster Florentine. The fish was accompanied with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. This is one of my favorite dishes at Reata. If you love fish, this is the dish for you. The Mahi Mahi was cooked perfectly. It was flaky to the touch and slightly crisp on top. The Lobster Florentine consists of chunks of delicious lobster meat in a decadent cream sauce with wilted spinach stirred in. Reata’s mashed potatoes are out of this world! They are so creamy and garlicky. These mashed potatoes are so good that you could just order a plate of them for your entrée! The green beans added a nice crunch and some green to the plate that helped lighten it up and balanced the creaminess of the potatoes and sauce.
My dad had Reata’s Chicken Fried Steak with Cracked Pepper Cream Gravy. The same delicious garlicky mashed potatoes and green beans accompanied it. This is a true down-home Southern meal. The chicken fried steak was perfect and the gravy really made this dish a home run.
When you come to Reata, you have to save room for dessert because all of theirs are amazing. We had the Dessert Tacos with Caramelized Bananas and Chocolate Gravy. The taco shell was made out of caramel and was filled with vanilla bean ice cream drizzled with chocolate and caramel and had bits of strawberries and bananas sprinkled on top. My mouth is watering just thinking about this dessert, it was the perfect end to the perfect meal.
For more information visit Reata’s website.
This week I went to Lili’s Bistro on Magnolia. There are a lot of really neat restaurants on Magnolia that most people don’t know about. Lili’s is located right next to the Spiral Diner, which is all vegan, and Nona Tata, a delicious family-run Italian restaurant. The area is being renovated and is quickly becoming one of Fort Worth’s hotspots for dining.
From the outside Lili’s is picturesque and quaint. There are tables out front where you can dine once the temperature drops. I will start off by warning you that Lili’s is very small on the inside. There are only about ten tables, so make sure to call ahead and make reservations, especially on Friday and Saturday. The atmosphere was relaxed and intimate. The dim lighting and rich colors on the walls added to the cozy ambience.
I ordered the House Wedge to start with. It had crisp iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, bacon crumbles, and Gorgonzola dressing. I love simple salads and all of the flavors went to together wonderfully in this. I was worried that the Gorgonzola dressing was going to be a bit overpowering, but it had a nice creaminess to it that toned it down a notch.
My friend Erin started with the Bulgher and Berries. This was a unique dish made with cracked wheat, cranberries, dried cherries, banana chips, pistachios and cilantro in a citrus vinaigrette. The citrus vinaigrette was very refreshing and married all of the different ingredients together nicely. Overall the dish was very light and healthy.
For my entrée I ordered the Petite Fillets. This came with two perfectly cooked tenderloin fillets prepared medium-rare, topped with grilled pears and Gorgonzola cheese, served with black pepper gnocchi on the side. I loved this dish. The meat was extremely tender and just melted in my mouth. The grilled pears were a unique addition to this dish. The pears counter balanced the Gorgonzola nicely. I was hesitant to order this dish when I read that it came with black pepper gnocchi, thinking that it would have an overwhelming peppery taste to it. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the gnocchi. It was served in a creamy cheese sauce with a little bit of black pepper cracked on top. The creaminess of the cheese really toned down the black pepper, making the end result a perfect blend of flavors.
Erin ordered the special for her entrée. The special was seared sea scallops topped with an almond thyme pesto served over a bed of acorn squash risotto. She absolutely loved this dish. The sea scallops were cooked perfectly, not chewy or rubbery, and paired impeccably with the risotto. The risotto was rich and creamy, adding more depth to the dish while the hearty chunks of acorn squash lightened up the heaviness of the risotto.
For dessert we split a piece of the banana upside down cake. It was divine. I usually don’t save room for dessert, but this was totally worth the extra calories. It was moist banana cake topped with fresh bananas and a brown sugar butter glazed.
Overall I highly recommend that you try Lili’s Bistro. We were thoroughly pleased with everything that we ordered and the service was outstanding. Visit their website to peruse their full lunch and dinner menus: www.lilisbistro.com