Anna Caplan reviewed Hanabi Ramen & Izakaya: Fort Worth's "first dedicated ramen restaurant" serves eight different varieties of the Japanese noodle soup, from tonkotsu to tsukemen, or dipping ramen. Soups are "bedecked with rich ingredients like pork belly and ajitama — a soft-boiled egg that has been seasoned in a soy-based marinade" that "lends otherworldly richness to the already-nuanced broth." Some of the small plates like gyoza and edamame prove "pedestrian"; instead, go for the takoyaki, "a sweet pancake-like batter encasing bits of chewy, salty octopus." Overall, "you would be hard-pressed not to treasure the arrival of Hanabi." [DFW.com]
Nancy Nichols reviewed San Salvaje: Despite some misgivings about the name, she seems to be a big fan of Stephan Pyles' newest venture. The menu is "inspired by the cuisines of South America, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Cuba," and heavy on the Peruvian fare; standout dishes include tacu tacu, "a common rice and bean cake [that] gets a first-class upgrade" with foie gras and banana chutney, and llapingachos, a sort of Ecuadorian potato cake made with "eggs, pickled jalapeños, green olives, cilantro, basil, and cotija cheese" that's "light and airy as a souffle." Desserts are "spectacular," particularly a caramel-y pudding made with lucuma fruit, and the creative cocktail menu is heavy on the pisco, a "potent Peruvian brandy." [D]
Scott Reitz went to Stock & Barrel: Chef Jon Stevens' new Bishop Arts restaurant is reinventing classic Americana with dishes like standout wagyu meatloaf, "a thick, juicy burger, a salad featuring iceberg lettuce, wood-grilled steaks and roast chicken." "Addictive" crab fritters are a must, and the "french fry program" includes excellent crushed Yukons with a smoky paprika-laden mayo. Octopus ceviche with grapes and Marcona almonds is "a little chewy, but it's fresh and bright with acid," and a baby iceberg salad is "the steakhouse classic against which all other wedge salads should be judged." [Observer]
Leslie Brenner ate at Grill on the Alley: This Galleria restaurant is "a quiet, civilized place for a good business lunch." A classic chicken potpie is "terrific," "a well-seasoned cheeseburger" is cooked just right, and an old-school crab and shrimp Louie makes for an ideal (albeit rather pricey) lunch. Dinner is somewhat less successful, and more expensive, at $46 for over-sauced Dover sole and $44 for unevenly cooked lamb chops. "The wine list is pricey, too," but service is generally "self-assured and usually on top of things." [DMN]
ELSEWHERE: Teresa Gubbins reviewed Lark on the Park; SideDish checked out Pera Wine & Tapas; The Taco Trail hit Taqueria Las Marias in East Dallas; Daniel Vaughn went to Schmidt Family Barbecue in Bee Cave and Killen's Barbecue in Pearland; Fort Worth Weekly tried Greasy Bend Burgers.