Fixe Your Eyes on This Clearfork Restaurant

Clearfork’s Fixe Southern House offers upscale dining with a Creole twang.

When you pass by the porch swing at the entry, it sets the stage for the “Southern House” part of the Fixe Southern House equation. Nearly three years ago, chef James Robert, who hails from Louisiana, opened his first restaurant in Austin. When it came time to expand his popular comfort food eatery, he bypassed the safe bets of Houston or Dallas and chose Fort Worth’s Clearfork development instead, where the restaurant opened in January. 

Fixe’s open floor plan gives patrons a front-row view of the restaurant’s bustling kitchen. Empty frames, dangling lights, sliding barn doors and a hodgepodge of antique diningware as décor give the restaurant the right amount of modern rustic vibe.

The feel is homey, but not kitschy; in fact, the effect will barely be noticed by most. The seating is exceptional with cozy, high-backed side chairs circling four-tops with rich butcher-block-topped tables.

Fixe Interior

A full bar features a smashing happy hour menu — served from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 2 p.m. to close every Sunday. The whiskey and bourbon list is extensive, and the wine list ranges from $40 bottles to a 2014 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon for $695.

Fixe Biscuits ($9), which come three to an order, are truly some of the most perfect specimens I’ve ever tasted. Paired with whipped Steen butter (a popular brand among Louisianians), their crusty, tan exterior gives way to doughy bliss. You can add a few optional condiments to your taste for $1 each, including honey, spreadable ’nduja (a spicy pork salami) or fresh apple butter — but none are required.

Jack Salad

The Jack’s Salad, a recent offering on the DFW Restaurant Week menu, is a leafy salad tossed with a creamy, roasted jalapeno green goddess, crispy chicken skin and dried pears. The Beet Salad ($10) is a regular menu item. A shareable mound of lightly pickled beet chunks is piled atop a pickled ranch dressing, producing delicate curds. The beets are a salty, acidic and creamy treat. Beet fans will relish this dish.

Shrimp and Grits

Some menu offerings use straight-forward dishes with traditional Southern appeal as a springboard, like the shrimp and grits, which the restaurant lists as Pescavore ($16) under the Anson Mills Antebellum Grits section. This updated version includes four plump Texas-sourced grilled shrimp and ups the ante with unusual elements like freeze-dried corn, shrimp butter and bottarga (salty, cured fish roe). The stone-ground grits have a dense texture, and the addition of Meyer lemon zest was nice.

Other creations take some imagination. If you can’t quite picture how the ingredients listed will come together, it then becomes a trust exercise.

The Confit of Duck ($28) is a prime example. Described with a “Steen lacquer,” the tender duck is basted in its own rendered fat and more Steen syrup. The duck topped chewy pearls of Anson Mills blue barley, a dried fruit mostarda (with blended figs, dried cherries and raisins) stewed in a mustard-tinged syrup. The plate was finished with sliced asparagus in a brown butter cream sauce. The delicious outcome is far from anything you might consider simplistic Southern staples.

Location: 5282 Marathon Ave.

For Info: 682.707.3965, fixesouthernhouse.com

What We Liked: The relaxed, upscale environment, creative menu and professional staff.

What We Didn’t: Found a few lingering shells on the grilled shrimp.

Recommendations: Do not go to Fixe without getting your biscuit fix. This is the “must-order” place to start.