61 Osteria set to dazzle
Chef/culinary director Blaine Staniford looks both tired and excited. No wonder, as he prepares to open his third downtown Fort Worth restaurant (Grace and Little Red Wasp continue to hum along).
The long-awaited Italian eatery fills a big spot on the ground floor of the 21-story First on 7th building across from Burnett Park. “Osteria” is an Italian word referring to a place serving wine and simple food with a focus on local specialties. Staniford says he’s not focusing on a single region of Italy on his menus for lunch, brunch or dinner, and family-style dining on Sundays. “I’ve learned so much about pasta and the many factors that go into making even a simple dish. It has been challenging but so much fun.”
He is proud of his staff and excited about the new facility. “The amount of culinary talent that’s come together is incredible and super inspiring for me. And one of the exciting features in the kitchen is a custom-made wood-burning hearth.” Wines focus on Italian producers, and the cocktail program also will feature Italian classics.
From what we saw on an early December tour, it’s all worth the wait, from Staniford’s focused menu of housemade pasta to the architecture and design, inside and out, from Gregory Ibañez, co-principal of Ibañez Shaw Architecture, an award-winning firm based in Fort Worth. The high-rise originally was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of New York City and includes an expansive granite plaza with a site-specific Isamu Noguchi triptych. The restaurant’s patio will complement the space with dining tables, outdoor sofas and a fire table. Inside, the word “sexy” comes to mind, thanks to the many curved booths, a favorite style of owner Adam Jones.
An abundance of natural materials includes walls of deeply veined marble from India in earthy green and brown tones and a massive centerpiece of hanging aluminum chains that form shimmering light boxes in the dining room. Restrooms feature black granite flecked with metallic veins illuminated by Italian light fixtures. The original floor-to-ceiling windows remain, allowing for lots of natural light in the space. After dark, passers-by will be drawn to the glow from inside.
Look for a late January-early February opening.
500 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 61osteria.com
Quince, the Cowtown version
Quince, the newest addition to Fort Worth’s WestBend development, is inching closer to an opening date. This transplant from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (it’s named for its address, Cuna de Allende 15), looks sharp with a curved bar and striking furniture (yes, we took a peek through the front door) and a back patio. The entryway is set into a portico; frosted glass signage allows diffused light into the lobby. Expect a menu of “global-inspired” cuisine, from Texas beef to French-inspired pastries.
WestBend, 1701 River Run, Fort Worth, quincerooftop.com/fw
Felipe Armenta’s expanding empire takes on new challenges
The chef/owner’s mother ship, Armenta Restaurant Group, owns and operates a diverse handful of eateries in Fort Worth — Tavern, Maria’s Mexican Kitchen, Press Cafe and Pacific Table — along with Cork & Pig Tavern in Southlake (operated under a different partnership). It’s an incredibly productive pipeline of eateries that seem to become instant fan favorites. A West Texas outpost, Cowboy Prime, opened in Midland in late December, and now Armenta’s focus is on yet another culinary genre in Cowtown with Margot, a French bistro concept projected to open in February 2023 at the former site of Corner Bakery. Armenta also plans to stoke up whatever fire it takes to get F1 Smokehouse from a trailer at The Trailhead at Clearfork into its first brick-and-mortar location early in the new year. But wait, we’re not finished yet. Cooking up more excitement, Armenta hired 2-star Michelin chef Graham Elliot, known for his 10-season judging stint on Gordon Ramsey’s TV series MasterChef and, subsequently, Bravo’s Top Chef, to help him wrangle new projects. Elliot will join Armenta in developing menus for The Duke, a new steakhouse, and is on board as head of culinary operations for all the ARG restaurants. As for The Duke’s opening date, no word yet.
Margot 3150 S. Hulen St., Fort Worth
F1 Smokehouse 517 University Drive, Fort Worth
The Duke The new build will be located next to the Hyatt Hotel on East Exchange Avenue
Fifty Fifty Food Trailer
When Justin Brewer grew weary of working in restaurants, he struck out on his own in a mobile kitchen. He opted for sandwiches for their versatility and what he knew would work best in his custom food truck. “From scratch” are the key words, as Brewer uses top-quality ingredients, including locally made breads and fixings from area farmers, such as Dryad Grove mushrooms in Weatherford for his deep-fried Hot Honey Schroom sandwich and organic microgreens from Skye Farms in Willow Park, run by his brother, Travis. Dana, their mom, helps Justin and is the muscle behind those hand-cut thick and crispy fries. Follow on social media to book them or to find out where they’re parked.
Healthy growth for R + R
A steadily increasing number of clients interested in integrated nontraditional healthcare has generated plans for Restore + Revive Wellness Center to expand its services into a new building early in the spring. Designed by Ibañez Shaw Architecture, the nearly 7,000-square-foot, two-story silver metallic-clad building — just three doors down from the current location, which will stay open — is being created to channel natural light all day. In line with R + R’s integrative approach to healing with a focus on root cause therapy (as well as preventative health practices), 20 provider and treatment rooms will accommodate patrons receiving IV vitamin therapy, vitamin injections, detox foot soaks, ozone and infrared saunas, IV ozone and more. Additional tenants signed up to occupy the building include nurse and nutritionist Dabney Poorter; Taylor Dukes Wellness, a functional medicine practitioner; and Fort Wellness Counseling. Also look for pelvic floor physical therapy, dry needling, lymphatic and prenatal massage from Livewell Collective; acutonics, brain lymphatics and biofeedback from Julie King; and nontoxic nails by Tricia Cooper (with more wellness practitioners expected). The current building, a restored home at 5001 Byers Ave., will remain operational even after the new facility opens; plans for its use have yet to be announced.
4927 Byers Ave., Fort Worth, 817-720-6220, restoreandrevivefw.com