So long, 2013. Hello, 2014 and a ton of coming-soon restaurants. Here’s a look at some of the new Fort Worth restaurants scheduled to open this year (so far):Cane Rosso: After whetting our Neapolitan appetites by selling pies at Swiss Pastry Shop and out of a mobile truck at Times Ten Cellar, Dallas-based pizzeria Cane Rosso makes a permanent home in Fort Worth for its Neapolitan-style pizza and savvy social media quips. Occupying the sleek Near Southside building that momentarily housed Ryan’s Fine Grocer & Deli, it should be open late January/early February. AF+B: Opening Jan. 10, the latest resto to arrive in the W. 7th area comes courtesy of Consilient, the same restaurant group that gave us Fireside Pies. A menu hasn’t been posted yet, but they’ve been Facebooking photos of chef Jeff Harris’ fancyfied American dishes, such as quail wings in sorghum hot sauce and wood-grilled sterling lamb. Pastry chef is Laurel Wimberg; the two worked together at Craft in Dallas. Most recently, Harris was executive chef at Bolsa. Good signs, all. 24 Plates: It looks like tapas are finally taking hold in Fort Worth. Following the arrival of Sera and Hot Damn Tamales’ introduction of a tapas menu comes 24 Plates, one of two new restaurants opening in a new development on W. Magnolia, east of Hemphill. Owner and onetime chiropractor Joel Kleven’s first restaurant is taking over the spaces occupied long ago by Maria’s Mexican Food and WF Laurence Fine Flowers. Opening sometime this spring. Velvet Taco: If you’ve eaten at the original store in Dallas, you know this a good thing for Fort Worth. Yes, we have a dozen other taco places, but Velvet Taco’s upscale tacos are different than most (I love the burger taco and the falalfel taco; does that make me a hypocrite?) and they’re going to keep late hours, until 4:00 am on weekends. I can’t wait. Opens Jan. 6. Pizza Snob: A new, locally owned fast-casual pizza shop similar in concept to Pie 5 in that personal sized pies will be cooked super fast. But instead of a conveyor oven, first-time restaurant owner Jim Wisniewski will use an Italian “rotating stone deck oven” to cook your pie in about 90 seconds. They’ll have traditional toppings but also supposedly more gourmet toppings, too. We’ll soon find out. The TCU-area spot opens Jan. 6. Spice: Joining 24 Plates in a new W. Magnolia development is Spice, a new Thai restaurant from the same family that has brought us three other local Thai restaurants, Thai Select, Thai-Licious and Thai Rice & Noodles , that offer some of the best Thai food in the city. Early February.
Fuego Burger: Cheffy Mex-Mex dive Salsa Fuego announced a few months ago that the restaurant will move a few feet over to the old Red Dragon space and that Salsa Fuego’s current digs will morph into Fuego Burger. Makes perfect sense to me. One of the reasons I go to Salsa Fuego is for the excellent burgers. Look for a summer opening.
Kona Grill: The national chain takes residence in the W. 7th development, serving macadamia nut chicken, various kinds of sushi and flatbreads and designer cocktails. Mid to late January.Park Tavern: Gastropub chain moving into the City Place development on the northwest end of downtown. The Dallas location bills itself as a “wine bar, sports bar and microbrewery.” The Dallas menu includes dishes such as chorizo deviled eggs, street tacos, a cornbread chicken sandwich and shrimp and white cheddar grits. Could be open by summer. Last November, Bud Kennedy reported that Primebar and Boca Chica Tapas will also open locations in the City Place development. Spring/summer.
Taco Diner: After years of rumors, Taco Diner finally opens a store in downtown’s Sundance Square, where it’ll join another M Restaurant, Mi Cocina. If you haven’t been to any of Taco Diner’s other North Texas locations, expect nearly 20 different kinds of tacos, a myriad of accompanying sauces and an upbeat atmosphere. Late winter/early spring.