Tagliatelle Bolognese brings braised brisket, veal and pork based sugo with aged parmesan at 61 Osteria. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
61 Osteria - Restauranter Adam Jones and chef Blaine Staniford open their third restaurant, 61 Osteria. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
Quince - Like many dishes at Quince this fresh seafood ceviche dish is a fusion of Spanish and Asian influences.
Brix Barbecue - with its upper deck and shady picnic tables underneath.
Maiden Fine Plants & Spirits is a first of its kind vegan fine dining experience. (Photo by Near Southside, Fort Worth)
Teddy Wong's - Alongside dim sum and dumpling, there's Peking Duck on the menu at Teddy Wong's.
Walloon's - Filled with historic charm, Walloon's feels so familiar. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)
Emelia's - Chef Preston Paine leads culinary efforts at the new Emelia's and Blue Room inside Fort Worth's Crescent Hotel
The Victorian main house of the soon to open Saddlerock Winery and Tasting room in Fort Worth.
While 2023 had its ups and downs, Fort Worth foodies were treated to an array of exciting new arrivals to the city’s ever-expanding restaurant landscape. But which spots stand out as Fort Worth’s Best New Restaurants?
Here’s a look at PaperCity Fort Worth’s picks, plus a peek at what’s on the horizon for the 2024 Fort Worth restaurant year.
Asian Restaurants Wonders
One familiar lament centers around the lack of quality Asian food in Fort Worth, but things have taken a turn for the better with four new openings.
First to arrive was Quince, a dramatic Latin/Asian fusion restaurant perched overlooking the Trinity River in WestBend. This location is Quince’s second romantic restaurant (the original can be found in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and a third opened in Austin). The wild and wonderful menu includes sushi rolls like the Frida with fresh hamachi bathed in a citrus sauce with the Latin flavors of serrano and sriracha.
Musume, which opened inside the Sandman Signature Hotel in downtown Fort Worth last August, deserves a spot on Fort Worth’s Best New Restaurants of 2023. But when (or if) we’ll see it again remains in question with a real-life tragedy and the fate of its victims rightly taking precedence.
A presumed natural gas explosion rocked the restaurant on Monday, January 8, injuring at least 21 people, including three employees, according to owner Josh Babb’s social media post. At publish time, there is no word on if or when Musume will return to Fort Worth nor of the structural damage and fate of The Sandman Hotel after the blast ― which inhabits a century-old building in downtown.
The former basement bank vault in the historic building had been transformed into a Japanese tatami dining room. And the lavish menu at Musume included everything from upscale sushi and tableside ramen cart to sharable specialty plates like miso-marinated black cod and Wagyu cooked over hot rocks.
The investigation into the explosion continues.
This summer chef Andrew Dilda, who lives in California, returned to his roots opening his first restaurant in Fort Worth. Dilda’s Eazy Monkey took over the former Fixture spot on Magnolia with its wild pan-Asian, pan-everything menu. Dilda went down the rabbit hole with approachable items including a Dan Dan chili dog, cheeseburger fried rice and catfish bao buns. There’s a mushroom noodle salad featuring local Black Cat Mushrooms and a fun vegetarian corn rib dish.
Teddy Wongs brought a bonafide dumpling and dim sum paradise to the corner of Rosedale and Lipscomb. The soup dumplings and handcrafted dim sum are sided by items like mapo tofu, fried rice and garlic pea shoots. It’s a collaboration of Wishbone & Flynt chef Stefon Rishel, Jeffery Yarbrough of Club Clearview and Blind Lemon, and Patrick Ru, the chef behind Bushi Bushi Dim Sum. There’s even a little takeout market.
A Vegetarian and Vegan Moment
Dreamboat Donuts & Scoops
Two new vegan additions arrived last summer at the new PS1200 development on Sixth Avenue. First, Spiral Diner founders Amy McNutt and James Johnston opened Dreamboat Donuts & Scoops providing a childlike playground filled with sweet treats you can feel good about. From yeasty clean donuts with fresh fruit glazes to scoops of ice creams made with nut milks.
Maiden Vegan Fine Plants and Spirits joined Dreamboat, showcasing the full potential of vegan ingredients in a first-of-its-kind fine dining, multi-course vegan seasonal tasting menu.
Heirloom Garden Cafe
Heirloom Garden Cafe also brought plant-centered dining to Archie’s Gardenland. Chef Kevin Martinez utilizes what’s fresh from the garden increations that change seasonally. While not strictly vegan (many items at Heirloom include meats, egg and cheeses — adjustments can be accommodated), this new outdoor oasis is garden-inspired.
Belen Hernandez’s vegan Mexican restaurant Belenty’s Love found its home on Bluebonnet Circle a few years back. Her son Sammy Garcia opened a similarly styled vegan Italian spot nearby at 3522 Blubonnet Circle called Vida Cafe last summer.
In October, Charlsye Lewis, owner of Boulevard of Greens reimagined the snug spot along Magnolia, opening Vice Burger in the space ― with all the vices (burgers, fries, hotdogs and shakes) and no shame thanks to its unique plant-based ingredients list.
Big-Time Barbecue Takes A Bow
Some of Fort Worth’s best barbecue spots (including a few that are Texas Monthly anointed) opened their first-ever brick-and-mortar locations in 2023.
Trevor Sales of Brix Barbecue moved his operations from the longtime food trailer at the heart of South Main Village to a new permanent home at 1012 South Main. Same neighborhood, new digs. Complete with a covered dining and rooftop dining spaces. Smoked meats are served by the pound including Brix’s now barbecue famous Texas porchetta pork belly.
Or take the complete journey with the Tour de Brix (serving two to four people) or the S. Main Smorgasbord (a hearty sampler that serves eight).
F-1 Smokehouse which began as a pop-up trailer near Felipe Armenta’s Press Cafe, opened its first ever brick-and-mortar on University Drive, bringing a new kind of barbecue to Fort Worth. Unexpected menu items include smoked guacamole, smoked prime rib with charred broccolini and blackened salmon with Mexican corn relish. (You’ll find more on what else Far Out Hospitality has up its sleeve later in this story).
Dayne’s Craft Barbecue
At long last, Dayne’s Craft Barbecue finally found its permanent home in Aledo at 100 South Front Street. The perfectly peppered meats include bacon brisket, pork spare ribs, housemade sausage and monster beef ribs. Sides include flamin’ hot street corn with that telltale Cheeto dust and fresh apple slaw.
Fort Worth Fine Dining
Restauranteur Adam Jones and chef Blaine Staniford opened one of Fort Worth’s most notable fine dining restaurants Grace in 2008. It was followed by a more casual bistro — Little Red Wasp. The duo opened another lavish Italian restaurant ― 61 Osteria ― in January of 2023.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been enjoying 61 Osteria’s gorgeous dining room, bar and patio for a year already. The menu is a stunner with wild boar pappardelle, ricotta stuffed serpent and skate wing picatta.
The opening of two new topnotch hotels along Camp Bowie brought their own dining delights.
The Crescent brought Emilia’s, a new restaurant named in honor of Fort Worth’s Italian sister city Reggio Emilia. Emilia’s features a stellar Italian-menu of its own, created by chef Preston Paine. Burrata with roasted tomato jam leads, followed by shellfish towers, crudos and carpaccio await. The fresh pasta course is awe-inspiring as well.
An even more VIP liar dubbed Blue Room is set to open within the restaurant in a matter of weeks, bringing its own seasonal menu.
Bricks and Horses
Bowie House, an Auberge resort, added its own fine dining with Bricks and Horses. Chef Antonio Votta took the all-too-familiar steakhouse model out for a unique spin. You’ll find a delicate Crab Louie; a spinach, pecan and goat cheese salad; and scrumptious scallops with Thai basil on his menu.
Marcus Paslay’s newest Walloon’s brought a touch of drama to Magnolia as well. PaperCity Fort Worth provided the first look inside the gorgeous new restaurant that Paslay calls “Chicago meets New Orleans” when it opened in late July. His From Scratch Hospitality owns Clay Pigeon on White Settlement, Piatello Italian in Waterside and Provender Hall in Mule Alley too.
As far as Walloon’s? Think raw bar delights, lobster rolls, grilled trout and classic moule mariniere.
Far Out Hospitality’s dynamic duo of owner and chef Felipe Armenta and Chicago celebrity chef Graham Elliot wowed Fort Worth foodies with their first French restaurant — Le Margot. Oysters are dressed in rose gelee and caviar. Stylish and traditional dishes include duck confit, coq au vin, steak frites and chardonnay braised mussels.
The Le Margot menu is one of the most expansive to date for any of Far Out’s restaurants.
Fort Worth Restaurants to Look Forward to In 2024
Still to come is a ribs-only restaurant from three of the original Goldee’s Barbecue founders Jonny White, Lane Milne and Jalen Heard. Ribbee’s is expected to open soon, repurposing a former Sonic Drive-In at 923 E. Seminary Drive.
This year Far Out Hospitality also plans to open its second Press Cafe in Aledo and its second Cowboy Prime in The Fort Worth Stockyards.
Saddlerock Wine Bar will open in a historic Victorian mansion located at 731 Samuels Avenue soon.
La Coquetta from chef Juan Rodriguez also will be opening near The Stockyards.
Oak & Eden Whiskey’s first Fort Worth tasting room is coming to Clearfork.
Rockfish will return to town at 6333 Camp Bowie.
Westland Restaurant Group plans to reopen Margie’s Italian and Pulido’s Mexican.
Terry Black’s Barbecue is opening a new restaurant location at 2926 West Seventh Street.