Cork & Pig Tavern
Try This: So. Cal Pizza
2869 Crockett St. | corkandpig.com
The unfortunate reality of a town with so many restaurants is that, sooner or later, some of them are going to close. The rapidity with which this happens in Fort Worth makes Felipe Armenta’s accomplishment sound all the more impossible: He has opened one, two, three, four restaurants, all within a few years and miles of one another, and all remain open. It's a feat unmatched by any other contemporary Fort Worth chef.
Two opened in 2016: Press Café on the Trinity River and Cork & Pig Tavern in the newly christened Crockett Row at West 7th development (Pacific Table opened in 2013, and his first restaurant, The Tavern, opened in 2010). Press Café has lovely riverside views going for it, but Cork & Pig — which took over a primo end-cap spot where AF+B once thrived — has the bigger, bolder menu and crazy-extensive wine list. In a way, it picks up where AF+B left off, offering tricked-out variations of American-food staples, like deviled eggs decorated with pancetta; pizzas topped with avocado and barbecue sauce; and a mac and cheese mash-up made of smoked gouda, goat cheese, sharp white cheddar and fontina.
Armenta sees C&P less as a piece in the West 7th puzzle and more as a standalone neighborhood restaurant. "That's something that's really missing from that area," he says. "There are a lot of chain restaurants and a lot of bars but very few neighborhood restaurants, places where servers remember your name and what you ordered last time you came in. That's what we're striving to become, that restaurant you visit on a regular basis." Parking, he stresses, isn't difficult at C&P. "People sometimes forget there's valet parking, right in front of the restaurant," he says. "And it's free."