Leslie Brenner re-reviewed FT33: She was mighty impressed with Matt McCallister's trailblazing Design District spot when she gave it four stars last year, but McCallister & co. have elevated things even further with an impeccably trained staff, the addition of a great new pastry chef Maggie Huff, and a newly introduced tasting menu. Plates are "meticulously composed" and leaning toward the "New Nordic-style" but never show-offy, cocktails are "thoughtfully mixed," housemade charcuterie is excellent, and McCallister can make a stunning plate out of something as mundane-seeming as chicken. Overall, he's "one of the most talented young chefs working in the country today." Five stars. [DMN]
Scott Reitz checked out Dee Lincoln's Steak & Burger Bar: "Dallas needs another steak and burger place like it needs another freeway," but Del Frisco's co-founder Dee Lincoln is doing said steaks justice at her new Uptown spot, where the standout ribeye "celebrates the primal flavors of butter, salt and the lusty char of intensely seared beef." Burgers don't quite measure up to that level, though, and are "merely good," with ground beef sourced from Local Yocal rather than ground in-house. Skip the less impressive entrees like "rubbery" roasted chicken and disappointing desserts, and stick to the steaks and steakhouse-y sides like a solid wedge salad, Brussels sprouts and Kennebec fries for a satisfying meal — as long as you don't mind the "youthful" vibe that sometimes means groups of drunk women and dudes in backwards baseball caps. [Observer]
Teresa Gubbins went to Mot Hai Ba: The tiny Lakewood spot from Good 2 Go chefs Jeana Johnson and Colleen O'Hare offers not only great food, but "the addition of something incomparably unique to the local dining scene." The food here "is a revelation," with familiars like "first-rate" banh mi sandwiches and pho served at lunch, plus a can't-miss chargrilled pork belly and meatball noodle dish. Dinner treads into less-charted waters with tempura frog legs and fantastic shaking beef, "an exotic cousin to the beef tips you'd find at a steakhouse." [DFW.com]
ELSEWHERE: Nancy Nichols went to Trufire Kitchen & Bar in Southlake; SideDish drank at Lee Harvey's; The Taco Trail visited La Mexicana in Denton; Fort Worth Weekly checked out Zio Carlo and Tina's Cocina; Wood Smoke Meat went to TMBBQ Fest.
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[Photo: Stephen Masker/EDFW]