FeaturesThe Neighborhood


By January 20, 2022 March 18th, 2022 No Comments


Steak frites hit the spot after a fast-paced game of pickleball. They’ll also do even if you’re just hungry. Photos by Meda Kessler

Courtside Kitchen: Eat, play or do both

This casual eatery/bar is home to the 107’s first public pickleball courts. The former HQ of the Mopac Event Center has transitioned nicely into a restaurant thanks to the addition of more windows and slide-up glass doors allowing diners a better view of the action on the courts. And the menu is not your typical bar food. Complimentary crispy pickles start every meal. For snacking, we like the chunky pimento cheese with crispy sesame crackers and the hummus. Substantial entrees include steak frites with a just-right chimichurri sauce. If you’re  spectating, you can dine courtside or hang out in the faux-turfed garden kept warm by plenty of heaters. Sign up for classes if you’re a pickleball novice; equipment rentals are available, too. Learn more on the website. 1615 Rogers Road, 682-255-5751, courtsidekitchenfw.com

JD’s Hamburgers headed to Westland

Look for a new burger spot this spring way out on Camp Bowie West, past Loop 820, in the community of Westland. The brainchild of Gigi Howell, a veteran of the Fort Worth restaurant scene, JD’s is named for Howell’s grandfather. She plans to keep it simple with burgers plus a few old-school family favorites such as deviled eggs and banana pudding. There will be a small bar, too. Due to space constraints, the kitchen will be built in a shipping container. The backyard will be set up with picnic tables and a stage for live music. 9901 Camp Bowie West, jdshamburgers.com

Barbecue shrimp, hush puppies and a Caesar salad are among the menu items at The Fitzgerald.

The Fitzgerald fills a big space with a bold menu

Many of you know the Ridglea space from its Cafe Aspen days. It later transitioned into the Blu Crab, which found new life last spring in Colleyville. After sitting empty for more than a year, the Camp Bowie spot has been revitalized by chef Ben Merritt and Christopher Lynch, his business partner. Merritt found success with his first restaurant, Fixture Kitchen and Social Lounge on Magnolia Avenue, but closed Ben’s Triple B, a casual cafe near Texas Wesleyan, in 2021. He’s betting the third effort will be a success. Merritt has wrangled the 8,000-square-foot space into three concepts, including a light and bright front dining room with bar. The clubby Regal Room in the middle has moody lighting and leather furniture, while a spacious back patio enjoys a separate entrance. The Fitzgerald, named for Merritt’s favorite gin cocktail, has a seafood-centric menu with enough beef options to keep meat eaters happy. (Chef Callie Doyle is back in Fort Worth and heading up the kitchen.) There’s also a Southern accent thanks to the grilled oysters, barbecue shrimp and light, but flavorful hush puppies. 6115 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-349-9245

Exepect the unexpected at Don Artemio Mexican Heritage

With his warm demeanor and knowledge of food and wine, Adrian Burciaga won over hearts and stomachs during his stint as general manager of Café Modern in Fort Worth. Burciaga and acclaimed Mexican chef Juan Ramón Cárdenas are opening the second location (first in the U.S.) of Don Artemio in Fort Worth’s Cultural District. (Cárdenas guest-cheffed at Café Modern several times.) The original Don Artemio is located in Saltillo in northeastern Mexico, a city known for its tile, which — along with concrete and clay — is used extensively throughout the Fort Worth restaurant. Large planters trucked in from Mexico will help define the outdoor dining space in the front of the restaurant and add a lush feel when filled with greenery. As far as the food, diners can expect authentic dishes, including the signature cabrito along with aged beef, nopalitos, ceviche, tacos, homemade mole and a bar/cocktail menu offering Mexican wine along with mezcal and tequila. “We really want to emphasize the Mexican heritage,” says Burciaga, referencing everything from the food to the art. Museum Place, 3268 W. 7th St., donartemio.com

Quince: From San Miguel to Fort Worth

The popular restaurant in San Miguel de Allende with spectacular rooftop views will have a location in Fort Worth sometime in the new year. The former Bartaco space in the WestBend shopping center off of University Drive is getting an extensive makeover, although we’re pretty sure they can’t re-create that view. While a menu has not been released, the Mexico version is accessible online and features ceviches, bowls, fish, burgers and more. 1701 River Run, Fort Worth

Pizza Verde: Plant-based pies and more

Vegan restaurants are still an anomaly in Fort Worth, so the opening of a plant-based pizzeria has received a warm welcome. Even meat eaters, us included, appreciate the crisp-edged, nicely chewy crust and a clever combo of ingredients. Originally a pop-up pizzeria, Pizza Verde has expanded its menu from those offerings, but the potato-leek pie remains a crowd favorite. And, in major news, we are now fans of kale thanks to the house salad. Beer and wine are available, as are a couple of desserts, including locally made gelato. The dining space is small, but takeout is an option. Follow PV on social media for updates. 5716 Locke Ave., 817-349-9852, pizzaverdetx.com

Birria tacos are made tableside to ensure they have that crispy exterior. Photos by Ralph Lauer

Paloma Suerte: Tim Love’s Tex-Mex

Chef Tim Love’s newest Stockyards project (the name translates to “lucky dove”) aims to open this month in Mule Alley. The Tex-Mex restaurant nestles up to the path above the creek edging the development, which puts it directly across from Love’s Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. Part of the outdoor patio is shaded by a lovely old-growth oak. Indoors, look for a cactus garden, warm desert hues on the breeze block wall and a lofted ceiling filled with colorful strips of cloth to resemble a massive piñata. (The look is replicated with a weather-friendly version hanging from the oak.) Expect classic Tex-Mex with some dishes, such as the queso and birria tacos, made tableside from a rolling cart. “We want dining here to be an experience, too,” says Love, who’s also building a private club above the restaurant. Mule Alley, 122 E. Exchange Ave.


Into the Garden: New year, new look, new location

The longtime Camp Bowie resident is now settled in at its new location at The Shops at Clearfork. While we’ll miss the character of the one-time icehouse that homed the shop for 21 years, the new store is more than double in size, with walls of glass funneling in natural light on three sides. A 950-square-foot covered patio showcases furniture collections, including lines such as Kingsley Bate and Brown Jordan. Into the Garden stocks plenty of patio, porch and sunroom accessories, too, from pottery and pillows to outdoor rugs. Giftable items include books, candles, puzzles and artwork. A grand opening event is being planned for the spring. The Shops at Clearfork, 5133 Marathon Ave., 817-336-4686, intothegardenoutdoor.com

The relocated Into the Garden shop features thoughtfully grouped garden accessories, gifts and, of course, patio furniture. New lines include Generation Bee products; classics such as Chilewich rugs remain among offerings. With the change of address comes an updated logo, too.