With a Classy Vibe and Menu, This Clearfork Eatery is Getting Rightful Buzz

Don’t let the pub-esque name fool ya; Doc B’s, which the Clearfork area welcomed last August, is full of class and culinary delights.

Opening its original location in Chicago in 2013, Craig Bernstein named the then counter-service grill after his late father, Dr. Robert “Doc B” Bernstein. As the company has grown, it has morphed into a swankier table-service dining experience, with an enticing menu and highly trained staff.

Now a mini-chain, Doc B’s is in expansion mode. Two locations are still in Chicago, three restaurants now call Florida home (and a fourth is expected to open in Aventura by next summer), with three in Texas — Austin, Dallas and now Fort Worth.
I found the vibe and the menu to be an unexpected surprise. Upon entering, I was confronted with a sleek oval bar topped with lush stone and an open, glass-walled kitchen beyond.

The lively atmosphere is minimal with clean lines. Linear rows of banquettes marry with the long rows of wooden slats that cover the ceilings and flow down the walls, adding to the excellent acoustics. Tabletops are butcher block with same warm tones, and slate gray floors recede with a running bond pattern. Black-and-white photos of iconic Chicago landmarks decorate the walls.

The menu is eclectic with plenty of fairly priced sandwiches and burgers, as well as filling salads, and most entrées fall in the twenties.

We chose the Jumbo Lump Crab “Stack” ($18) to begin. While not appropriate for sharing with just anyone (your forks will touch as you scrape the bottom of the shallow bowl), it is plenty to share. 

The stacked ring with avocado forming its base has layers of diced mango alternated with lump crab meat tossed in a bright, mustard vinaigrette. The dish is topped with arugula and is resting in an interesting ponzu sauce. Sweet mango, peppery arugula, creamy avocado, tangy vinaigrette and salty ponzu — this stack is the definition of umami.

I’ll be back to try The Plate ($16), which reads like a vegetarian dream of kale slaw, cucumber salad, broccoli, quinoa and a grilled artichoke. Next time.

For my main course, I chose the Simply Grilled Faroe Island Salmon ($27). I would highly suggest this entrée as the clean-tasting salmon was cooked to perfection. Well seasoned, yet simple, the salmon was served with lovely hash marks. It was tender without any translucence in the middle, like a chef really kept his eye on it from prep to plate. This hearty serving was accompanied by Doc B’s killer kale slaw (could make a meal of this alone). The slaw is delicious, with chewy chopped kale tossed in a lemon and Parmesan dressing with julienne of carrot and red cabbage. The plating includes a remoulade sauce, sliced tomatoes and a cheesecloth-wrapped lemon half ready to squeeze on the side.

You’ll be tempted by Rob’s Double-Decker Chocolate Cake, but I found it a bit on the dry side. Go for the Housemade Key Lime Pie ($8) instead. It is one of the best in town, right up there with the Tavern’s version — no kidding. The ideal balance of sweet and tart, the pie has a dense graham cracker crust and a dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream. The trick is that this version adds a hit of cinnamon to the filling, and it really works.

Doc B’s has a nice covered patio for dining al fresco and is a great happy-hour stop as well, between 4 and 6 p.m. The thing I liked most (no offense to the kiddies) is that even with a few flat screens in the bar, Doc B’s feels like an adult atmosphere.