Jul 01, 2015 10:06AM
● By Dia
Situated in the third largest skyscraper in downtown Ft. Worth, on the corner of Seventh and Main streets, is Grace, a 400-seat restaurant that serves beautifully plated, modern- American fare. The fine-dining establishment was a labor of love for Ft. Worth restaurateur, Adam Jones, who named it after his wife, Caroline Grace Jones.
The two worked together for two years to make Grace a reality. Never before had a restaurant been constructed in the middle of Ft. Worth office space. It was a daunting task, considering that there had been no prior food-service tenant, but Jones was up to the challenge.
When he opened Grace about seven years ago, Jones had amassed nearly 20 years of experience in downtown Ft. Worth. He spent a decade at Del Frisco’s, and then he opened Prego Pasta House in Sundance Square only one block a way.
“Grace is 40 years of my restaurant career developed into one restaurant,” Jones says.
With Grace, he wanted to create something different. He wanted to build an establishment – a place where people can meet for great food and drinks, whether they’re closing a deal or celebrating an anniversary.
Grace is undoubtedly a special-occasion place. Crisp, white tablecloths and sparkling crystal wine glasses adorn the tables. A transparent, floor-to-ceiling vertical cellar that holds 6,000 bottles makes the statement that wine is an important part of the celebration. The entire establishment has a modern, upscale feel – from the buzzy bar inside to the cosmopolitan lounge seating outdoors.
When designing the restaurant, Jones didn’t want a lot of dark wood that is so common in steakhouse settings. Instead, Grace was designed with a softer palette. There are polished granite counters and plenty of walnut, stainless steel and large windows to let in the Ft. Worth sun.
Chef Blaine Staniford is the culinary talent behind the restaurant’s modern-American dishes. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America at age 19 and has worked at a number of high-profile restaurants around the country.
The cuisine at Grace is sophisticated, featuring dishes that emphasize purity, simplicity and flavors in tune with the seas on. “The base menu always remains, and we have some favorites like our lamb dish and prime beef which are the same all year long,” Jones says. “But the menu does change fully with the seasons.”
No matter what time of year you visit Grace, you’re in for something special. The starters are particularly appealing here. There’s chilled soup made from locally sourced corn. It’s dressed up with diced cucumber, shaved radish, and tender bits of Maine lobster. Then there’s the crab cakes, which are not to be missed. The meat is always fresh and sweet.
The scallops and lamb chops are some of the restaurant’s must-try staples. The scallops are served over delicately prepared potato pancakes, which are thick and easy to bite into. A berry sauce is an aromatic finishing touch to the lamb chops.
Prime steaks are also one of the must-try offerings at Grace – particularly the Meyer grass-fed filet. There are four steaks offered on the menu, and each is served without much fuss – just with a roasted head of garlic.
But if you happen to want fish, veal or lamb, or if you have any particular special requests like gluten-free, yo u can get it.
“Unlike local steak restaurants, we have a culinary chef,” says Jones, “so we can take on any special requests. We really offer the whole spectrum.”
You’d be remiss if you visited Grace and didn’t enjoy a glass of wine with your meal. Sommeliers Jenny Kornblum and Lioneel Penacerrada’s 38-page list is an exciting adventure for wine aficionados.
Wines, ranging from Rheingau rieslings, lovely Barolos and everything in between, are served in crystal stemware at just the right temperature. The list is updated weekly, so consider reviewing it online before embarking on your dining experience at Grace.
When it’s time to talk dessert, Grace has a dazzling sweet side. Some of the most enticing options include butterscotch pudding with dulce de leche, marcona almond crumble and salted caramel gelato, and the coconut cream pie with candied cashews, coconut mousse and Chantilly cream.
Even if you don’t have a special occasion coming up, go ahead and create one and enjoy an evening o ut at Grace.