* Two things in Fort Worth you can’t avoid right now: construction and a sign for a new restaurant. In the next week or so, more new restos will arrive, including a new tapas spot, Sera Dining & Wine (in Sapristi’s old digs), Tony Leland’s new Tony’s Pizza on the Near Southside and Tina’s Cocina, a new Near Southside Mexican restaurant from one of the owners of The Usual bar.
Open now and definitely worth a visit is a great little sushi restaurant on Bryant Irvin Road called Ume. I had an excellent meal there last week. Opened two weeks ago, it takes over the space once occupied by Korea House.
* Another recent opening is Jax Ranch House, which took over the Jacksboro Highway space where Iron Spurs recently opened and closed. Bud Kennedy checked it out.
* Portofino Italian Grill has become the latest casualty in a Camp Bowie strip mall, where Ridglea Jazz Cafe and Ovation have come and gone. Portofino’s closing is really no shocker, though. Prices were steep and food was more miss than hit.* I hated to drive by Uncle Willie’s BBQ last week and see that Willie Brown has permanently shut the doors to his tiny east side BBQ joint. But not far from there is a new barbecue place called South Texas Barbecue and Tex Mex Grill. Opened earlier this year, this place is truly a BBQ shack – there is nowhere to sit, everything’s to-go.
I haven’t tried it yet, but here’s a good sign: Owner/pitmaster Terrance Montgomery uses an outdoor wood-fired smoker that burns mesquite. His menu includes brisket, sausage, hot links and St. Louis and baby back ribs. There’s not much “Mex,” just nachos and tacos filled or topped with your BBQ meat of choice. 4708 E. Rosedale. 817-350-8419.
* Little Lilly Sushi, recently awarded four stars by the Dallas Morning News, unveiled its fall menu last week. Photographer Robert Strickland took some great shots of several of the new dishes, which include kakuni and wagyu ishiyaki.