Restaurants / Openings

No Ordinary Italian Restaurant — Kimpton Harper Hotel’s Il Modo Sets Itself Apart

New Retreat in Fort Worth Revitalizes a Historic Building

BY // 08.20.21

The Kimpton Harper Hotel reimagined Fort Worth’s century old Farmers and Mechanics National Bank Building, bringing a new contemporary Italian restaurant dubbed Il Modo and a penthouse level bar known as Refinery 714 to the city’s dining mix.

But how do they stack up? I stopped by to check out what all the fuss is about.

The original copper doors of the building have been retained and now serve as decorative pieces near the bar of Il’Modo. While the downstairs dining room is not vast, it has a cool, Grand Central Station feel to it — with modern leather banquettes, drum lamp shades and walls clad in white subway tiles.

Il Modo – meatballs in house marinara
Delicate meatballs in house marinara with fresh shreds of basil. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)

Il’Moda doesn’t have a vast menu either. It’s slim but balanced, with one chicken dish, one steak, four fresh pastas and two fish options ― a salmon dish and a whole branzino.

For starters, we nibbled on the meatball appetizer as well as the fresh burrata served with a grilled sourdough slices and a cherry apricot mostarda (jam with a hint of mustard). Both were yummy.

The three large meatballs were mostly meat and parmesan cheese, not bound together with bread crumbs, making for a light texture. The meatballs were served in the chunky house marinara with fresh basil and a dusting of parmesan. The ball of burrata was just right ― not too runny, not to chewy. It made for a nice start with the cocktail course.

Discover De Beers

Swipe
  • De Beers June 2022
  • De Beers June 2022
  • De Beers June 2022
  • De Beers June 2022
  • De Beers June 2022
  • De Beers June 2022
  • De Beers June 2022
  • De Beers June 2022
  • De Beers June 2022

I sipped the Queen of Salerno with amaretto, lemon juice and triple sec, a dash of angostura and a splash of soda — the lightest, summery concoction imaginable.

Il Modo – Queen of Salerno
Queen of Salerno – the amaretto and lemon cocktail of choice. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)

I was confused by the section labeled “Raw Bar” since the two items listed underneath it were both cooked seafood. The shrimp were poached but appeared meaty, and the king crab legs were obviously cooked and chilled as well.

One order of the chicken with its potato and leek puree and a lemon jus was hearty and just fine. But the flaky branzino definitely is a splitable feast, though it lacked true sides, getting served with a dish of wilted spinach. Served spread eagle on wooden cutting board, the house specialty took up most of our two top table. Next time we’ll try the pasta.

Il Modo – broiled sea bass with wilted spinach
Branzino – broiled sea bass with wilted spinach is the house specialty at Il’Modo. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)

For dessert, the tiramisu came layered into a large coffee cup. All the telltale flavors were present, from the pretty dusting of cocoa on the top layer of whipped cream (be careful though, that first bite can be a doozy). The espresso soaked lady fingers and mascarpone whip were delighful.

Upstairs at the Kimpton Harper Hotel, you’ll find the relaxed bar Refinery 714. There are many layers of casual seating to relax with friends or a date for an after dinner drink. The after-work crowd is just beginning to show up since the hotel is still so new and kind of a hidden Fort Worth secret.

There is a small menu featuring bar bites, and even a hamburger, for noshing while taking in the views from the high perch.

Il Modo – Refinery 714
Refinery 714 is a hidden gem with penthouse views at the Kimpton Harper Hotel. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)

Il’Modo is not your typical Italian restaurant scene. Sans the typical Tex-Italian menu, and without a shred of Little Italy kitsch in the design, it’s a grownup space with a very contemporary take on this old-world cuisine. It makes for an enjoyable food world in downtown Fort Worth.

Featured Properties

Swipe
X
X