By Meda Kessler and June Naylor
In The Works
61 Osteria gives restaurateur Adam Jones a triple threat in downtown Fort Worth
In what might be the dining surprise of the summer, Adam Jones announced his third downtown restaurant, 61 Osteria, which will open in 2022. (Jones already owns Grace and Little Red Wasp, plus he has long been a downtown resident.) The street-level space is in the redeveloped 21-story First on 7th building (formerly Bank of America) at 500 W. 7th St., Fort Worth. Current tenants include Neighbor’s House Grocery and Buon Giorno Coffeehouse. One of the cool features is the plaza, where 61 Osteria diners can enjoy al fresco dining and cocktails facing Burnett Park. And of course, there are the iconic sculptures from Isamu Noguchi anchoring the space. Joining Jones will be Blaine Staniford, the longtime chef at both Grace and Red Wasp. Look for the menu to feature classic Italian food with simple but flavorful ingredients. The restaurant will have a wood-burning hearth, rotisserie and pasta room. Italian is hot, hot, hot right now, as crowds at downtown Fort Worth’s Il Modo, inside the newly opened Kimpton Harper, illustrate. On deck is Tre Mogli Cucina Italiana, the new Fort Worth restaurant from chef Stefon Rishel and the Trident Restaurant Group.
This family-friendly eatery is located at 401 S. Main St. and is hoping to be open by fall.
Ober Here puts Filipino food on the map
Cooking in a food truck is hot work, especially when the setting sun beams into your service window. But chef/owner Mark Guatelara has kept his cool ever since opening his Ober Here Filipino food truck in Fort Worth for dinner service. Born and raised in the Philippines, Guatelara worked in big hospitality kitchens before COVID-19 forced him to reevaluate his culinary career. He loves to cook and wanted to give people a chance to experience his native cuisine — with a few tweaks to make it accessible to everyone. He also wanted to serve a late-night crowd. And so, Ober Here was born. Guatelara has found an audience of young and old (we pick up dinner when he opens at 6:30 p.m.). And there’s good reason: The substantial rice bowls feature generous portions of grilled chicken thigh (our favorite); glazed and slow-cooked pork butt; honey shrimp; housemade corned beef; and Guatelara’s tasty version of Spam. There’s also a vegetarian picadillo. Add to that the pickled papaya salad (read more about that on Page 52), a fried egg and a generous sprinkle of annatto fried garlic. Mixed all together, it’s a flavor bomb and big enough to share. Be sure and try the lumpia, a Filipino-style egg roll (bet you can’t eat just one). Online ordering runs smoothly (choose your pickup time); delivery also is available. The truck is parked behind Hotel Revel at 1165 8th Ave., 682-760-3904, Fort Worth, oberhere.com/food. Check the website, oberhere.com, for hours; the truck is closed Sundays and Mondays. Watch the social media page, facebook.com/eat.oberhere, for updates.
Mama Gina’s serving food with a side of love
Regina Smith (better known as Mama Gina) has been catering since 2018 and, with some of her proceeds, cooks for and helps feed the clients of Mission Arlington. Smith recently opened her own brick-and-mortar in a neat little strip center in Fort Worth. She tidied up the space, a former catering kitchen, added a few tables and chairs and got busy behind the stove. With daughter April Hall helping out, Smith is turning out breakfast, lunch and dinner with Friday specials. Plates of shrimp and grits; smothered ranch chicken, one of her specialties; meatloaf; baked chicken; and more come with two sides. Dirty rice, collard greens, fried cabbage and Smith’s sweet and spicy green beans are just a few of the options. Leave room for dessert, especially if sweet potato pound cake is available.
8651 John T. White Road, Fort Worth, 682-360-3755, mamaginas.biz
By Michael Hiller
Guest chef adds a notable French accent to Up On Knox
If you’re a fan of French bistro cooking — grilled seafood, generous salads, steak and frites — head to Up On Knox right now. Bruno Davaillon, the former top chef at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and Bullion in downtown Dallas, is temporarily the “resident chef” at this high-key brasserie on the edge of the Katy Trail. Davaillon is a native of France who earned Michelin stars while in Las Vegas. He has overhauled Up On Knox’s menu with craveable plates such as the rich tomato tart strewn with torn basil, a menu special that tastes as if Davaillon has magically distilled the summer sun onto a pastry crust. Half shell oysters, ice-cold and briny; spicy, wood-fired prawns; and creamy burrata heaped with prosciutto and grilled Texas peaches remind us why Davaillon ranks among the most talented chefs in town. “I don’t know what the future holds, but right now, I’m not going anywhere.”
3230 Knox St., Dallas, 469-250-4007, uponknox.com
Nick & Sam’s goes big with Japanese beef
Authentic Japanese prime beef is nothing new at this Dallas steakhouse or at others in North Texas (B&B Butchers and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse routinely carry exquisite and pricey cuts, too). Samir Dhurandhar, the chef and co-owner of Nick & Sam’s, has outdone them all, adding an off-menu 5-pound A5 wagyu rib-eye imported from Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture. At $1,280, it’s the most expensive steak in town, yet Dhurandhar says they can’t keep enough on hand to meet demand. “We normally get them in on Wednesday, and they’re usually gone midway through service on Saturday,” Dhurandhar says. “Large parties love them.”
3008 Maple Ave., Dallas, 214-871-7444, nick-sams.com
Apothecary beckons with mood galore
This intimate Greenville Avenue offshoot of restaurateur Tanner Agar’s popular Rye bar and restaurant in McKinney ticks all the right boxes for a fine night out: dark, moody vibe (plush velvet seating, cool wallpaper, estate sale bric-a-brac); boozy cocktails with interesting ingredients (toasted oat syrup, clarified tomato stock, scallop bottarga); and an inventive nibbles menu (a dessert of three edible candles, flavored with pina colada, chocolate bitters and raspberry, has been an early hit).
1922 Greenville Ave., Dallas, 972-850-9192, apothecary.bar
Michael Hiller is a Dallas restaurant and travel correspondent for 360 West.