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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

FWB Food & Wine: The Wild Mushroom celebrates one year in Fort Worth

At the original location of The Wild Mushroom in Weatherford, chef Jerrett Joslin won numerous accolades and a loyal clientele. But last November he relocated the fine dining steakhouse to a new address in West Fort Worth.

The space has undergone many transformations in recent years and was home to Aventino’s Italian for decades. Most recently Ray’s steakhouse proved that the west side was indeed ready to embrace fine dining once again. Ray’s had great food but also a bit of an identity crisis with its disjointed hodge-podge of Italian landscapes and plastic grapes mixed awkwardly with rusty stars and “cowboy-up” kitsch.

Joslin’s team tidied up the space with a cohesive and polished result. The shotgun flow runs from an intimate patio out front, through the grown-ups-only bar area with live music on the weekends, into a swank private dining room with a view of the new glass wine cave and the main dining room beyond with its sturdy rock wall. One of the main door-facings has been widened with an attractive and airy effect. It is now a classy space to enjoy the chef’s high-end menu.

The Seafood Indulgence ($54 for two) is a spectacular display. It is filled with jumbo shrimp, crab cake, fried oysters, calamari, Maine lobster and crab legs. It is the ideal splurge if you are feeling indulgent. The ahi tuna ($15) is a hearty portion of clean-tasting ahi strips perched on a bed of wakame (seaweed) and drizzled with red pepper pesto. A slice of jalapeno lends a nice spice, while cream cheese and avocado slices balance the heat, and wakame adds a crunch to the dish.

The signature filet ($51) is a lovely, tall, 8-ounce prime filet medallion topped with lobster meat and a rich béarnaise sauce. Whipped potatoes are on the side. We would have enjoyed a green element on the plating as well, but that is a small critique. The steak was nicely seasoned and served medium-rare, just as requested.

A double-cut grilled New Zealand lamb chop ($40) caught my eye on this visit. Lovely rare chops were draped with blueberry compote and paired nicely with parmesan and basil risotto. The dish is a riff on a similar one that chef Joslin had on a recent trip to visit his in-laws in Sweden. (Don’t you wish your in-laws lived in Sweden?)

“When I travel I like to bring something back and make it my own. I tweaked it a little, but the end game is the same.” he said. I thought the blueberry compote was a nice twist on a classic mint jelly.

This is one of those “save room for dessert” restaurants, so you should know that going in. I am sure the crème brulée is delicious, it’s just that I have never been tempted to try it. The Wild Mushroom is famous for its cheesecake!

I am not even a fan of cheesecake in general, but this version is just different. Every flavor is fluffy, creamy and homemade. We sampled a trio from the nightly selection. The pumpkin was nice, but the lemon ice-box topped with a layer of whipped cream was even better, and our hands-down favorite was the blueberry with (I suspect) more of their blueberry compote blended right into the mixture.

As The Wild Mushroom celebrates its first year in its new location, it seems to have been embraced by the neighborhood. When we visited again on a recent Saturday night, it was filled with Assembly Ball attendees in formal attire and special occasion diners, as well as west side locals, all equally enjoying the atmosphere.

THE WILD MUSHROOM STEAK HOUSE & LOUNGE

3206 Winthrop Ave.

817.570.0340

thewildmushroomrestaurant.com

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