Eat DrinkFeaturesRadar: Dining Out

RADAR

By guruscottyMarch 2, 2022No Comments

Radar

Compiled by 360 West Staff

Tricks of the Trade helps you make a better cocktail

While alcohol superstores offer quantity, the curated stock of this “boutique” shop delivers more surprises. Brands are limited to those chosen by owner Megan McClinton. The longtime bartender wanted better hours — she’s also a mom — and a chance to focus on educating shoppers on the fine points of spirits. She offers an interesting assortment of everything from amaro to bourbon to mezcal, including brands she sleuthed out for specific cocktails. There is a small selection of wine, mainly French, selected with the sage advice of Alex Sahliyeh, her business partner. There are nonalcoholic beverages from Lyre’s and Seedlip, chilled pre-made mixers including local brands, canned cocktails and a fun selection of mini bottles of spirits, including bitters. The small sizes make great gifts along with books and bartending tools such as classic wood muddlers and ice tappers. McClinton is a wealth of information — recipes, how terroir affects agave plants, flavor profiles of gin — and offers tastings on Fridays and Saturdays. We’re on board with McClinton’s motto: “We all drink, so let’s do it well.”

219 S. Main St., Fort Worth, 817-349-9266, tricksbottleshop.com

Bottle offerings include nonalcoholic brands including Lyre’s and a wide selection of mezcal. Photo by Meda Kessler

Photo by Meda Kessler

Special orders: Roy Pope and Neighbor’s House

Small specialty grocery stores in Fort Worth are too often overlooked as options for those seeking something different for dinner. Notably, Roy Pope and Neighbor’s House Grocery feature a rotation of daily specials for those who like a little culinary continuity in their life. Tuesday is beef enchiladas day at Roy Pope, and Friday is steak night at Neighbor’s House. Dine in (Roy Pope also has a patio) and you can enjoy an adult beverage. At Neighbor’s House, located on the western edge of downtown Fort Worth, choose from a wagyu filet or rib-eye cooked to order with sides of asparagus and a loaded baked potato (served on a real plate!) plus a generous salad. Check the chalkboard for beer specials and wines available by the glass or purchase a bottle. There’s free parking with validation. Watch their social media pages for updates.

Roy Pope 2300 Merrick St., Fort Worth, 817-732-2863, facebook.com/roypopegrocery

Neighbor’s House 500 W. 6th St., Fort Worth, 817-334-0526, facebook.com/Neighborshousegrocery

CiBi Italian Restaurant: Pasta with a pedigree

Nostalgic for flavors and service from the late La Piazza? Heed the opinion of Anna Ciraci Panagopoulos, who helped dad Vito Ciraci run his legendary Fort Worth restaurant. Asked about CiBi Italian Restaurant in Willow Park, Panagopoulos says, “The food is yummy and legit.” She would know: CiBi is the creation of two La Piazza veterans — owners chef Matteo Clivati and manager Fausto Belloli (C and B, get it?). As authentic as you can find in North Texas, CiBi’s dinner menu is notable for handmade pastas, such as agnolotti from the Piedmont region, scarpinocc from the Lombardy region and mandilli from Genova. At lunch, the lush lasagna stars thin sheets of fresh pasta layered with rich beef ragu, béchamel, mozzarella and tomato sauce. Beef meatballs (served at lunch and dinner), simply dressed with a lively marinara and Parmesan, make for a good starter or entree. Cheese lovers should order the burrata (ours arrived a bit too chilled), drizzled with a balsamic reduction and served over arugula and cherry tomatoes. The wine list offers an admirable depth of Italian varietals. Need pizza to go with that vino? Check out options with such toppings as aged prosciutto, soppressata, artichoke hearts, ricotta and Gorgonzola.

119 S. Ranch House Road, Willow Park, 817-441-1656; book online. cibirestaurant.com 

Casoncelli alla bergamasca, a stuffed pasta similar to ravioli, is served in a rich, buttery sauce. Photo by Meda Kessler

TIDBITS

Mac’s On Main to expand The Grapevine restaurant plans to triple in size, including the addition of a private-dining/events space as well as a bigger kitchen and office. Chef/owner Rena Frost will continue to serve fresh seafood, grass-fed beef and seasonal specials, but promises a couple of surprises to come. “We are hoping to be done with construction in the early part of April,” Frost says. She expects to only close the restaurant during the final week of construction. Follow on social media for updates.

909 S. Main St., Grapevine, 817-251-6227, macsteak.com 

Lili’s Bistro closes for “refresh” The popular Fort Worth restaurant on Magnolia Avenue announced Feb. 13 that it was temporarily closing for 30 to 90 days to work on menus, the concept and staffing. Fingers crossed that the turkey burger and other favorites make the cut.

1310 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-877-0700, lilisbistro.com

DALLAS

The Bistecca Alla Fiorentina includes a porterhouse and flamed bone marrow. Photo by Michael Hiller

Lombardi Cucina Italiana open at The Star

The team behind Taverna, Bistro 31 and Toulouse Cafe & Bar (among others) has revamped a space at The Star at Frisco and made it an Italian charmer. Alberto Lombardi, who owns Lombardi Family Concepts and its 16 restaurants, collaborated with chef Danilo Di Nardo to open Lombardi Cucina Italiana. Glass-bauble chandeliers, olive trees and expansive windows are the backdrop for Di Nardo’s coastal Italy-inspired menu with a focus on housemade pastas, risotti, wood-grilled seafood and hefty steaks.

6655 Winning Circle Drive, Frisco, 469-200-5677, lombardicucina.com

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken says, “Hello, Texas”

Nashville-based Hattie B’s, regarded as one of the original purveyors of the pants-on-fire style of spicy chicken, has roosted in Deep Ellum. It’s the first Texas location for the brand, though several more are planned throughout Texas. The family-owned business specializes in spicy chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and half-birds, all doused in sauces that range from mild to incendiary. Bourbon-laced drinks, frozen cocktails and sparkling wines are said to make the burn less intense; ditto for the banana pudding and peach cobbler.

3000 Main St., Dallas, 469-425-8100, hattieb.com

Photo courtesy of Hattie B’s

Sweetgreen expands to Deep Ellum

Sweetgreen, the fast-casual restaurant known for combining healthy food, bold flavors and an eco-friendly ethos, has opened its third store in Deep Ellum, its third in Dallas. What we love on the current menu: Miso-roasted root vegetables served with a sesame oil and ginger dressing and the Hot Honey Chicken with warm quinoa, blackened chicken, kale-cabbage slaw and a spicy honey sauce.

2614 Main St., Dallas, 214-833-8103, sweetgreen.com

 

Michael Hiller is a Dallas restaurant and travel correspondent for 360 West.