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The Filter: Events & Dining
Events   Dining

April 2006 dining out in Fort Worth

Restaurant reviews from our editors.

 Update  CAFE ASPEN This West Side favorite keeps getting better, to wit, perfectly grilled salmon atop a mound of coconut risotto. Our friend made quick work of the fragrant and flavorful Aspen Chicken Wrap—breast meat, herbed goat cheese, and spinach baked in puff pastry and topped with a drizzle of onion cream sauce. We fork-fought over the rich chocolate Amaretto flan, good to the last smidgen. Bar. 6103 Camp Bowie Blvd (817-738-0838). Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2. Dinner Mon-Thur 6-9, Fri & Sat 6-10. Closed Sun. $$ [map]

CAFE BELLA This ultra-casual neighborhood favorite struck a harmonious chord on our second visit. Of the baked pastas, cheese ravioli was the hands-down bestseller. Our friend was equally impressed with chicken Castalini, a flavorful combination of meat, sautéed artichokes, and mushrooms in a white-wine sauce with a side of pasta in marinara. BYOB. 3548 South Hills Ave (817-922-9500). Open Mon-Fri 11-10, Sat 4-10. Closed Sun. $ [map]

 Update  CAFE MODERN Architect Tadao Ando’s serene structure for Fort Worth’s Modern Art Museum is stunning; the cozy cafe affords an especially breathtaking view of the building and reflecting pond. And by the way, the food’s good too. Chef Dena Peterson puts out a satisfying roasted-garlic potato soup, yummy lasagne (smoked chicken and artichokes with roasted-red-pepper cream), and a fantastic wild-mushroom Madeira ragoût over toast slathered with creamy Texas goat cheese. Bar. 3200 Darnell (817-840-2157). Lunch Tue-Sun 11-2:30. Closed Mon. $$ [map]

 Update  JOE T. GARCIA’S Four generations of Cowtowners have relied upon Joe T.’s for their Tex-Mex fix of enchilada dinners and sizzling fajita platters. An integral part of the equation is a round of frosty cervezas and frozen margaritas in a setting replete with tropical plants, pools, and fountains. What more could a body want? Bar. 2201 N. Commerce (817-626-4356). Open Mon-Thur 11-2:30 & 5-10, Fri & Sat 11-11, Sun 11-10. Cash Only. $$ [map]

 Update  LA FAMILIA At the new, larger digs a block south, owner Al Cavazos continues to shake everyone’s hand. Thank goodness the salads are as fresh as ever and the tostadas are still not greasy. Despite an abundance of combo plates, we prefer the chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce and two crispy chicken tacos alongside. Bar. 841 Foch (817-870-2002). Open Mon–Thur 11–9, Fri & Sat 11–10. Closed Sun. $ [map]

LA PIAZZA At this rather formal Italian spot, you’ll be glad you ditched the Nikes for your hand-woven Italian loafers. As for the food, pillows of homemade pasta filled with portobello and porcini mushrooms arrived in a sinful garlic-butter sauce, and veal scallopini with potatoes Anna left our companion smiling. Bar. University Park Village shopping center, 1600 S. University (817-334-0000). Lunch Sun-Fri 11:30-2. Dinner Sun-Thur 5:30-10, Fri & Sat 5:30-11. $$$ [map]

PARIS COFFEE SHOP The daily special includes a meat and two vegetables with rolls, cornbread, and coffee or tea. Meat options? Chicken and dumplings, salmon croquettes, baked pork spareribs, and barbecue hot links. Vegetables? Lima beans, mashed potatoes, mustard greens, candied yams, baked corn, and sauerkraut. We were so happily stuffed we had to skip the pie. 704 W. Magnolia (817-335-2041). Open Mon-Fri 6-2:30, Sat 6-11. Closed Sun. $ [map]

PARK HILL CAFE The move two doors west will allow owner Mark Ketchum to offer lunch and early evening specials and eventually remain open for dinner. An amazing number of patrons traipse through this tiny shop for to-go orders or stay for salads, sandwiches on toast, and wraps. Recently, a bowl of spicy tortilla soup cured a bad case of shopping fatigue. 2974 Park Hill Dr (817-921-5660). Open Mon-Sat 10:30-3, Sun 10:30-1:30. $ [map]

ROCCO’S WOOD FIRED PIZZA At his take-out-only spot, Barclay Ryall turns out great salads, lasagne, cannelloni, and pizza. Ah, the pies—these babies have the sort of crisp, cracker-thin crusts that only a huge wood-burning oven can produce. While many of the toppings are familiar, the list also features exotica like smoked shrimp, fennel, and truffle oil. 5716 Locke Ave (817-731-4466). Open Mon & Tue 4-10, Wed-Sun 11-10. $ [map]

KGSR, National Radio of Texas