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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brownstone!! :)

Saturday night my bf and I went to Brownstone in Ft. Worth. We were in Colleyville earlier in the day so took the opportunity to go to Ft. Worth for dinner. It's just too far of a drive to go frequently.
I've been wanting to go to Brownstone since before it opened. The Executive Chef is Casey Thompson, one of the finalists on Top Chef Season 3 and also a contestant in the current Top Chef All-Stars. She's one of the favorite Top Chef contestants of all time!! So when I found out she was back in Dallas (er...ft. worth..) I was SUPER excited!!

840 Currie Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 332-1555
Price: $$-$$$

It seems to be located in a newer, up and coming area (I'm not really sure, but that's the feeling I got). There were a bunch of little shops and restaurants, all seemed really new. It was a cute place to walk around. The outdoor seating at Brownstone was really cool, but it was a little chilly to sit outside for me still. The decor inside had a lot of reds and brown tones. It was casual yet sophisticated and modern. They only take reservations for parties of 6 or more. Luckily it was just 2 of us so we were immediately seated. I thought the tables were a little small/crammed though. I liked the overall feel of the place. It was a little loud though... I think the high ceilings echoed all the chatter and noise; it was hard to hear other people talk.

Once we were seated I asked the hostess if Chef Casey was there that night. Unfortunately she wasn't since they were just wrapping up filming the finale of Top Chef All-Stars. I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to meet her. But this just means that I'll have to go back again! hehe.

Our waiter, Forest (like trees, he said...haha), was really friendly. He brought us some waters and proceeded to tell us about the specials of the night and take our drink orders.

I've seen a video of Casey Thompson making the Smoked Beet and Chickpea Hummus (baby root vegetables, Texas olive oil, sea salt) $9~ I just remembered it being so pretty and colorful. I asked the waiter about it and he said it was really good. I decided to try it. I'm not a beet fan but the color was just so vibrant and it's definitely something different. I'm always trying to sample new things! Typical hummus usually comes with toasted pita bread but this came with a bunch of fresh veggies and thin Pumpernickel chips. I asked the waiter to identify some of the veggies. There were radishes, baby carrots, radicchio, and green onions. He said the veggies change depending on what was fresh from the local farmers. Apparently there are 4 local farms where Brownstone gets its produce from. That's pretty awesome. Supporting local farms and using the freshest ingredients! The dip itself had this bold, rich magenta color...sooo beautiful! The flavor was fantastic... it had a smokiness to it, garlic-y, and sweetness from the beets. The fresh veggies paired perfectly with it. The crunch from the veggies also added a great texture with the creamy dip. I liked how I can still taste the veggies even with the dip. You can definitely tell the ingredients were super fresh! :) My bf really liked the pumpkernickel chips. It was a good change from the regular pita bread. If you like hummus, definitely check this out!

I wanted to try everything on the menu but decided on the Seared Sea Scallops (bacon-cheddar-chive polenta, green kale, browned butter) $24~ I think the polenta is what sold the dish for me. I really like grits and polenta so I'm drawn to anything with it. The dished looked so yummy. There were 5 super large, plump scallops on the plate...probably one of the best looking scallops I've had in a restaurant. The scallops had a nice sear on them and was nice and tender. The polenta was pretty tasty and had large chunks of bacon in it...can't go wrong with that! haha. The bacon added a smokiness to the cheesy polenta which also paired really well with the scallops which in itself, had very light seasoning on it. The kale added a nice contrast of textures and also a splash of bright green on the plate for aesthetics. My only negative was that the browned butter sauce was a little watery to me. I wish it would've been a little thicker. But overall, it was a great dish. The size was perfect...not overfilling but also didn't leave me hungry.

My bf got the Red Wine Braised Pork Shoulder (cheese filled pasta, glazed brussels sprouts, bacon) $21~ This was my #2 choice. Anything braised is always good in my books. haha. It also looked really good. I liked the little pop of color with the green brussels sprouts. The pork was fork tender...soo juicy. The pasta was really interesting. The texture of the pasta was almost as soft and creamy as the cheese filling. I bet they roll their own pasta. I don't think you can get that texture from dried pastas. The cheese was creamy but light in flavor so it wasn't overwhelming. The texture of the cheese and the pork worked well together and the chunks of bacon and brussels sprouts added a nice bite/crunch to the dish. I wish there could've been a little more kick in the sauce...maybe a little bit of spice? Both my bf and I also thought that it would be good on both dishes to have more greens on top. But I'm just nit picking at this point. haha. It was delicious. :)

I was pretty full at this point but can't come all the way out to Ft. Worth and not have dessert!! The waiter named off their dessert options and they all sounded so great. Definitely need to go back and try the other ones. We opted for the Smores Cake $8~ The waiter said they introduced this for Valentine's Day, but they are considering permanently keeping it on the menu. The cake was a good size. I liked the torched marshmallow on the top layer...although I think they could've torched it a little more. hehe. The cake texture was different than most regular cakes but was still really moist. I liked it a lot! Even with the marshmallow on the top and middle, it wasn't too sweet. You can definitely taste the graham cracker and paired with the bittersweet chocolate sauce it was YUMMY! A great ending to a great meal.

Chef Casey Thompson did not disappoint! I had really high hopes for Brownstone and I enjoyed everything. The service was great and the food was fantastic. I will be going back for sure, there are many more dishes I want to try and hopefully next time I'll get to meet her! :D

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