FW Market + Table
2933 Crockett St.
Crockett Street welcomed its newest venue, FW Market + Table, in mid-October. The fine-dining component was added to the mix in November, and diners are just now dipping their toe into the water.
When owner Todd Fiscus and executive chef Kalen Morgenstern completely revamped the decor and menu of the former Tillman’s Roadhouse, their vision was to have a restaurant/bar that served breakfast through dinner and every snack or sip in between. For some reason this idea has proven confusing to some.
The more European model, where many neighborhood pubs, cafes and bistros serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, seems ideal in this West Seventh Street urban village. But it may take some retraining for people who prefer clear-cut categories. In time, I think, locals will become regulars when they embrace the fact that they can dine in as well as pick up grocery staples or prepared take-home items.
The same bar that used to be reserved exclusively for cocktails in the evening is now an equally comfortable spot to clear your in-box in the morning over a cup of Avoca coffee or pressed juice.
Table has its own separate side entrance, is enclosed by floor-to-ceiling drapes and is open for dinner Wednesday-Saturday nights only. The Market side has been so packed at breakfast and lunchtime that the owners have opened overflow seating in the Table dining room with its pops of blue, three focal chandeliers and bold Warholesque roosters. The room is decidedly linear with soaring stripes and coordinating blue high-backed banquettes and has a Danish vibe.
Table is a moving target. The plan is for it to change seasonally, even monthly or weekly, but Morgenstern plans to keep an eye on the items people are requesting and keep those around on a more regular basis. On a recent weekend I enjoyed her rustic six minute egg ($10). It is an appetizer featuring a tender mound of mushrooms that are flash-fried, leaving them with crispy edges. A soft-boiled egg is sliced in half and the runny yolk adds to a classic (white wine and French onion) Lyonnaise sauce.
The prawns ($21) served atop barley with garda pepper and a beurre blanc sauce were a hearty portion. Five fluffy, butterflied, tail-on shrimp were drizzled with a light apple beurre blanc. The toothsome and spicy barley provided a nice heat to the dish and was a great complement to crispy and tart julienned apple slices.
We were not as fond of the Cornish hen ($19) topped with a sprig of sage. It was served alongside a nice herb duxelle in a shallow dish with a colorful carrot jus. The tasty carrot jus had a hint of spice and an almost barbeque quality. Cornish hens are a lot of work to begin with − like quail, they are the blue crab of the winged-world. And this half of the hen did not make a filling entrée.
Farm side dishes are mostly intended to be shareable. The winter squash ($8) was a mixture of roasted squash, goat cheese and Brussels sprouts with a melting disc of house-prepared compound pistachio butter. While it was not her most attractive composition, I would eat this blend over grain or pasta, or even in a big bowl as a vegetarian meal all its own.
I think a constantly rotating menu may be a tough sell for Fort Worth audiences. Table might be a little ahead of the curve on that. People are creatures of habit and don’t like surprises in general, especially when they have a specific food craving to satisfy.
What do you want for dinner? This question is usually answered before folks head out in one direction or the other. Some people will appreciate market-fresh creativity and are willing to sample unfamiliar items, but that is a more limited group of patrons. For that reason, I hope Table settles on a selection of proven winners and keeps them on as a constant backbone for an ever-changing menu.