By Meda Kessler and June Naylor
What’s new, notable and on our radar
The Fort Worth Stockyards’ new Mule Alley development continues to evolve, with chef-restaurateur Marcus Paslay scheduled to open a restaurant this month — his third in Fort Worth — in a prime spot on Exchange Avenue. Called Provender Hall — the term refers to a food supply for cows and horses — the two-story, 5,000-square-foot space capitalizes on the historic building’s natural assets, namely wood and brick, especially in the large second-floor dining room that used to be a hay loft. Now, new and restored windows flood the space with light. A massive steel staircase connects the two floors. Downstairs, the spacious vestibule also serves as a waiting room with access to the bar from a large window. An expansive shade tree and view of the Cowtown Coliseum make this a perfect people-watching spot, too. An open kitchen offers a look at live-fire cooking in a custom grill and smoker. The menu ranges from smoked chicken and pork chops to blackened shrimp and grits, buffalo tenderloin and gumbo, along with lighter options, such as oysters on the half-shell. Open from 4:30 p.m. daily at first, with lunch service to follow, at 122 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth, provenderhall.com.
Ellerbe Fine Foods
The award-winning restaurant, which turned 10 last spring, continues to evolve, now introducing a tweaked lunch menu and continuous service hours through dinner along with revamped interiors. The covered patio known as The Garden Room is joined by The Bar, both now open to guests looking for a bite in the middle of the day or a light dinner. The former foyer has a new look and a new purpose. The refreshed space now contains a wine cellar, an inviting and cozy banquette, an antique French wood table for community-style seating and a bar made from a repurposed counter from a Pennsylvania mercantile. Both are beautifully patinaed by age. Behind the bar is bold wallpaper featuring abstract magnolias, a nod to the location and Southern roots of Ellerbe’s owners. Chef Molly McCook has created a bar menu — rich cheese crackers, buttery baked oysters, skewers of pecan-smoked shrimp, beef tenderloin or tandoori chicken, a flavorful muffuletta dip — to accompany wine, beer and wine cocktails. Bar service begins at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. on Saturdays; guests also can order from the regular dinner menu after 5:30 p.m. 1501 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-926-3663, ellerbefinefoods.com.
Rotisserie At long last, Sarah Castillo launches her second chapter. The Fort Worth native and Taco Heads owner has long wished to honor her mother’s cooking on a broader scale — and now does so at a bistro bearing mom Christina Castillo’s nickname. Tinie’s offers an elevated version of Mexican home cooking from the kitchen of co-owner/chef Christian Lehrmann, starting with rotisserie chicken and crispy whole fish, among several dishes meant for sharing family-style. Trips to Mexico City helped the Castillo women and Lehrmann focus the menu, which includes empanadas as well as lighter options such as ceviche, tuna tostada and seafood cocktail. 97w architects redesigned the century-old building, whose brick walls and wood ceilings impart warmth to the two-story space, now rich with a vintage-yet-contemporary feel thanks to elevated design elements, from marbled wallpaper to modern light fixtures. The rooftop bar promises a menu of custom cocktails — such as the Ocho Uno Siete, a blend of mezcal, avocado, vanilla liqueur, lime juice and agave nectar — from business partner and noted local mixologist Glen Keely. Open from 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 113 S. Main St., Fort Worth, facebook.com/tiniesfw.
Pitmaster Trevor Sales has parked his smoker, set up a refurbished Airstream and is open for business at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Bryan Avenue. In addition to brisket, ribs and beef cheek tacos, plus flavorful sides, Sales is mixing things up with a Funkytown Hot Chicken sandwich and flat-patty burgers and french fries. Grab a seat at one of the picnic tables and dig in. 218 Bryan Ave., Fort Worth. Follow Brix on Instagram @brixbarbecue for menu updates and evening pop-ups.
Chris Magallanes and Ernest Morales have doubed down, transforming their Panther City BBQ to a nighttime eatery Wednesday through Saturday. La Pantera Tacos y Mas serves beef cheek barbacoa, carnitas, pork belly and more in freshly made tortillas, with salsas galore. 5-9 p.m. Wednesday and 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, 201 E. Hattie St., Fort Worth, facebook.com/LaPanteraTacosyMas. How about smoked quail, in addition to burnt ends, turkey, brisket, ribs, specialty sausage and all the sides? That’s happening at the new Smiley’s Craft Barbecue at 206 N. Oak St., Roanoke, facebook.com/SmileysBarbecue.
Rancho Loma Vineyards
Fort Worth gets another wine bar with the opening of this West Texas outpost in South Main Village. In a renovated patio and store space behind retail shops LTO and Winton and Waits, Rancho Loma Vineyards offers a tasting room with spots to relax while enjoying a glass of wine and snacks. White-washed walls provide the backdrop for tables and couch seating, while wood surfaces and oversize black-and-white photography — featuring bison, rattlesnakes and wild horses — add West Texas panache to the casual setting. A spacious patio and outdoor bar is at the ready, too, for al fresco drinking. The winery’s varietals include a syrah, rosé, orange muscat and red blends that recently snagged medals at the San Francisco International Wine Competition and Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo International Wine Competition. RLV is based in Coleman (near Abilene), but production is done near Lubbock, primarily using grapes from the Texas High Plains. (Note: The winery is no longer connected with Rancho Loma restaurant and inn, or Ranch Pizzeria, all in Coleman.) While sipping, enjoy a grazing menu with Veldhuizen cheeses from Dublin, a baguette with olive oil from Cordell’s in Abilene and Perini Ranch smoked beef tenderloin from Buffalo Gap. Open Tuesday through Sunday at 411 S. Main St., (entrance is in the alley), Fort Worth, 817-349-9030, rlv.wine.
IN THE WORKS
Goat Hills Grill
Soon after football returns to TCU this fall, a new white-tablecloth restaurant from the founder of Bob’s Steak and Chop House will welcome fans to the campus area. Bob Sambol and business partner Ric Levit break ground this month on Goat Hills Grill, a 9,500-square-foot fine-dining restaurant at Sandage Avenue and West Berry Street. Sambol says the two-story Goat Hills Grill won’t be a steakhouse, but prime beef fans won’t be disappointed. “It’s not going to look like a Bob’s or feel like a Bob’s. Yeah, we’ll have great steaks for sure, but the menu will be completely different. It’ll be my foray into the kind of restaurants I grew up with in New York.” The restaurant’s name is an homage to the former Worth Hills golf club in that location, which Dan Jenkins, the prolific sportswriter who lived in Fort Worth until his death last year, affectionately called “Goat Hills.” “Dan used to write about playing golf, drinking and hanging out with his buddies there, so he called them ‘The Goat Hills Gang,’” Sambol says. “After Dan died, his widow, June, and son Marty gave me boxes of his sports memorabilia. We’re going to pay homage to Dan with a special room inside the restaurant where we’ll display it all — souvenirs, pin flags from the major golf tournaments he covered, photos with Dan and all the famous golfers he played with.” The free-standing restaurant also will provide catering for an adjacent Hyatt hotel, which Sambol says is scheduled to open in October, around the same time as Goat Hills Grill. — Michael Hiller
Wild Acre Brewing Co. expands from its downtown area home base with the addition of a full-service restaurant with on-site brewing operation in west Fort Worth. Look for a late March opening with a daily lunch and dinner menu from chef David Hollister, 6473 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, wildacrebrewing.com.
The Southside Rambler takes over the former La Zona space, opening later this month. Owners Kevin and Julia von Ehrenfried, whose Tipsy Oak in Arlington is a popular eating-drinking spot, aim to serve burgers, salads and appetizers as well as cocktails, beer and wine both inside and on an expanded patio with multiple decks. 1264 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth.
Moxie’s Grill & Bar, with locations in Dallas, Plano, Houston, Miami and throughout Canada, should be open in late April in Southlake Town Square in the former Café Express space. Look for a menu of tuna ceviche, sushi cones, Korean cauliflower, French onion soup, prime rib-eye and red Thai curry bowl. Tom Galardi, owner of the Dallas Stars, is also the owner of Moxie’s. Expect a hockey-friendly environment, as well. 1472 Main St., Southlake, us.moxies.com.
The Burroughs Kitchen, a planned soul food eatery on Fort Worth’s South Main Street, has ceased construction. Owner Gauge Xavier posted on social media and in a newsletter that “financial hurdles have consumed more than we are able to continue to bear” over the past two years. He plans to continue pop-ups, announced at soulfooddfw.com. Plans for the brick-and-mortar Campo Smokehouse are on hold and consulting chef-restaurateur Lou Lambert says that at present there are no plans for the barbecue trailer to resume service at the Clearfork location in Fort Worth. Cowboy chef Rodney Lambert is searching for a new home for his Uncle Daddy’s Burgers & BBQ after closing the Cityview location in Fort Worth.
Avocados are always in season at a new restaurant that recently debuted in Trinity Groves. Created by the trade group Avocados from Mexico, AvoEatery incorporates the fruit into nearly 30 dishes at the restaurant, including avocado toasts, a five-flight guacamole plate, a maple-farro salad, a quinoa-avocado bowl, grilled salmon with avocado-mango salsa and even a chocolate brownie whose batter incorporates mashed avocados. Beverages get the green treatment, too: Bartenders sweeten some cocktails with avocado honey, chill others with frozen avocado ice cubes, and serve iced tea spiked with dried avocado leaves. 3011 Gulden Lane, Dallas, 469-436-7231, avoeatery.com
A top-to-bottom remodel delivers a fresh, new look for the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary this year. The design is lighter, brighter and more elegant, thanks to new fixtures, finishes and art. The wraparound patio is now enclosed with accordion-style glass doors that fold back to let the outside in. And the updated menu features elevated seafood options and higher quality steaks. Rosewood Court, 2101 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, 214-965-0440, ocean-prime.com.
Primo’s MX Kitchen & Lounge
The recently opened Tex-Mex restaurant occupies the same space in Uptown that its namesake, Primo’s Tex-Mex Grill, occupied for 28 years until abruptly shuttering in 2013. The new Primo’s shares a similar name and a Tex-Mex focus, but the two have little else in common. Statler Dallas hotel owner Mehrdad Moayedi and operating partner Jeffrey Kollinger are calling the shots at Primo’s MX, whose menu offers both classic Tex-Mex dishes and modernized spins such as guajillo chili-rubbed beef tenderloin with roasted poblano demi-glace and crisp-fried jalapenos stuffed with smoked chicken and asadero cheese, tacos filled with Impossible meat and classic combo platters. 3309 McKinney Ave., Dallas, 214-935-5111, primosuptown.com
Michael Hiller is a Dallas restaurant and travel correspondent for 360 West.