by Malcolm Mayhew, @foodfortworth
Just the other day, I received a seemingly simple question on Facebook. "Hey, where should I take my wife for our anniversary? I'd like to try a new place." As a longtime restaurant reporter and reviewer, people have come to rely on me for such valuable insight — or at least this dude has.
As I began to type "Istanbul Grill" — a personal fave that often pops into my mind when I think of new night-on-the-town dining spots — I thought, well, maybe they'd like that new charcuterie place. I typed: "You gotta try this place called...." Oh, you know what, I thought to myself, hitting the delete button, he should take her to that new restaurant in … and before I could start typing out my third suggestion, I realized my mind was racing. "Where should I eat?" is now officially the hardest question to answer in Fort Worth.
I can't think of another time when so many exceptional new restaurants have opened in and around Fort Worth. Part of the surplus, of course, comes from new development. For the past several years, our city has been one big hard-hat area, with new developments springing up left and right, north and south, new restaurants in tow. Other restaurants have simply replaced old ones, popping up because someone had a dream and some cash. As such, our dining options have dizzyingly multiplied.
Which leads to this Best New Restaurants list, an ode to our city's newest, best and brightest. Reflecting Fort Worth's full-speed-ahead attitude toward new ideas as well as our city's unbreakable love for the traditional, picks range from a thrilling Italian restaurant whose ethos goes against the grain of every other Italian restaurant in this city, to a hip fried chicken emporium, to a Cuban café housed in a strip mall.
First, a note: This list spans restaurants that opened between summer 2015 and summer 2017, meaning the avalanche of recent arrivals — such as Hopdoddy and Rise No. 3 – aren't eligible for best-of consideration until the next list, in 2019.
Here, then, in no particular order, are the best restaurants to open over the past two years. Dig in, y'all.