Made in the USA
May 02, 2014 02:51PM
● By 16560
American Food and Beverage (AF+B)
For this month’s installment, we head to Cowtown for brunch at the newest outpost in the Consilient Hospitality empire, headed up by Tristan Simon. If you have dined at Fireside Pies, The Porch, Hibiscus, Victor Tangos, CBD Provisions or The Front Room, then you are familiar with Simon’s restaurants.
AF+B (American Food & Beverage) is similar in look, feel and menu to its sister restaurant, CBD Provisions, located in Dallas’ Joule Hotel. Having dined at both establishments, it’s clear that AF+B shines much brighter in the execution of its menu. The main reason for this is the restaurant’s executive chef, Jeff Harris, of Craft (now closed) and Bolsa fame. Harris is a protégé of Tom Colicchio (owner of the Craft restaurant chain and co-host of “Top Chef”) and has proven to be a star chef in just about any kitchen he works in.
You have to pay close attention to actually find the restaurant, which is located in Fort Worth’s West 7th mixed-use development. The exterior is comprised of a wall of windows, dark steel and a lone sign made up of a slender four-sided pole with the letters AF+B screened onto the sides. The interior is more inviting but still leans towards minimalism, although there is liberal use of wood in the ceiling, on the floors in the main dining area and tabletops throughout, made of reclaimed walnut to warm up the interior. The bar is topped with a cast zinc surface backed by massive wood shelving for liquor and beer taps.
Chef Harris sources much of the menu’s ingredients from local farmers and producers, and the menu notes that because of this, a certain dish might not be available due to the small quantities that these local sources produce. The menu is simple and easy to understand with sections for snacks/small plates, larges plates and sides for lunch, dinner or brunch. Everything, even the condiments, is house-made.
Our foursome dived right into the menu with a plan to order many things so we could share and try as much as possible. We ordered the house-made pastries that for this particular morning were jalapeño bread and banana walnut muffins served with whipped butter and seasonal apricot jam. We added a cup of the grass-fed beef chili topped with cornbread crumble, sour cream and pickled jalapeños. The chili had just the right amount of kick and, much to my delight, no beans.
We moved on to the large plates with the arrival of the twice ground, grass-fed beef burger cooked perfectly and served with a side of hand-cut fries. It wasn’t the most spectacular burger any of us had sampled, but it was a solid choice. The grouper sandwich had the largest chunk of fried fish we had ever seen; it was definitely fork and knife territory. Again, it was cooked perfectly with no oily sogginess and topped with a pickled slaw and slightly spicy remoulade sauce. Our next two large plates were recommendations from our server. The duck pot pie was a high-end take on the usual chicken version with flaky crust outside and generous hunks of duck and vegetables inside. The turkey pastrami sandwich was good but didn’t live up to the “best sandwich on the menu” promise of our server. Finally, we had a side of AF+B’s version of mac & cheese but made with their house-made rigatoni, cheddar and bacon. The service was excellent, and the relaxed atmosphere added to our enjoyable brunch experience. You won’t be disappointed in this new star of the Cowtown dining scene.
2869 Crockett St., Fort Worth
AFandBFortWorth.comFish City Grill
It’s crawfish season at this renovated seafood eatery
Dave and Mary Garner are perhaps best known as the owners of Wildwood Grill, a Southlake staple since 2009. In December 2013, the restaurateurs also acquired Fish City Grill, a seafood lover’s haven. Since taking over the Southlake location, Garner has hired new staff and completed a $50,000 renovation. After giving it a fresh coat of paint, reupholstering chairs and booths and adding other personal touches like artwork and a chalkboard detailing daily specials, Dave says the restaurant now has the atmosphere it was missing before. “We wanted it to feel like a cozy neighborhood restaurant as opposed to a Pappadeaux you might find near a busy highway.”
Fish City Grill’s menu reflects its unique ambiance. Dishes like the oyster nachos (fried oysters with chipotle tartar sauce and fresh pico de gallo) and crispy calamari (topped with Parmesan and kosher salt and served with olive aioli and Thai chili sauce) offer surprising twists to everyday seafood favorites. Other Fish City must-trys include fish and chips, honey chipotle shrimp tacos, crawfish etouffee and the crawfish po’ boy. The grill sources its crawfish from Louisiana — the tasty creatures are caught, delivered overnight and always cooked to order. On April 19, Fish City kicked off its all-you-can-eat crawfish Saturdays.
Also popular are the weekly chalkboard specials that range from all-you-can-eat Alaskan snow crab to sea scallop with lemon scented rice and marinated sliced tomatoes.
"Fish City Grill is a nice complement to what we offer at Wildwood Grill and Mary and I are committed to bringing the same high level of service and our personal touch to Fish City Grill,” Dave comments, noting the restaurant has already catered an event for Southlake Style magazine and is participating in other community activities.
Fish City Grill
2750 E. Southlake Blvd., Ste. 130, Southlake