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FWB Food & Wine: Piattello planning for a late December grand opening

Piattello Italian Kitchen

Avoca Coffee Roasters

Spiral Diner – Denton

Mercury Chop House

By Courtney Dabney

One of the first local restaurants to open in the new Waterside development comes from chef Marcus Paslay, owner of Clay Pigeon on White Settlement Road. Piattello (which is Italian for clay pigeon) will feature freshly made pasta dishes, some of which the chef has been exploring in his daily pasta specials over the past three years.

The 5,300-square-foot Piattello is located between the just-opened Steel City Pops and Taco Diner. A shady patio overlooks the Grove open space at Waterside. The restaurant was designed by Mitchell Garman Architects, with an open kitchen in the main dining room and a stunning central bar.

“Piattello’s menu will stay close to my cooking philosophy of what’s in season and freshest,” said Paslay. “I’m excited to breathe new air into the world of Italian cuisine, while crafting traditional dishes that have my own unique spin.”

The casual and modern interior is tied together by bold tile work with antique details. The pizza oven will be faced in red penny tiles as well and will turn out wood-fired pizzas. Soup, salad and antipasti will add to the menu. Piattello Coffee Bar will open each morning, featuring products from Fort Worth’s AVOCA Coffee Roasters, as well as a selection of breakfast items such as muffins, pastries and yogurt parfaits.

Mercury Chop House finds home

When Waters restaurant leased the location of the former Mercury Chop House on Main Street in downtown Fort Worth, that move sent Chop House owner Zack Moutaouakil in search of new digs. And when Vivo 53 abruptly closed at 525 Taylor St. in the Tower, that restaurant left everything behind, including the dishes. So now Chop House will take over that space. The new space is more dramatic, thanks to the Tower skyscraper’s exposed concrete support structure, but the base of the Tower will do just fine as a backdrop to Moutaouakil’s elegant, upscale menu once carpet and curtains soften the space. He plans to open by mid-December.

Mercury Chop House, a classic New York-style steak house, opened in 2000 and was purchased by Moroccan-born Moutaouakil, along with the Cowtown Diner next door, on July 4, 2009. “I have 23 years downtown. Our regulars, our name downtown give us a large base and they’re happy we’re coming back,” said Moutaouakil, who had become a consistent presence in the downtown dining scene.



A new limited-edition coffee called Una Esperanza Nueva (“a new hope”) will debut for 2017. Sourced from La Esperanza farm in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, the coffee will be available exclusively at AVOCA Coffee Roasters’ locations on Magnolia Avenue and Foch Street and online at

La Esperanza farm is owned and operated by the Villatoro family, which produces some of the world’s best coffees. AVOCA purchased the entire production of Una Esperanza Nueva. “We’re proud to support family-run farms, which put so much love and dedication into producing great coffee crops,” said Garold LaRue, co-owner of AVOCA. “Una Esperanza Nueva is carefully cultivated and processed, important factors in AVOCA’s seed-to-cup philosophy.”

When brewed, the coffee has flavorful notes of papaya, cacao nib, chocolate and brown sugar. The special roast will be available in 12-ounce bags for $25 and 32-ounce bags for $60 from late December until it sells out.



The Spiral Diner and Bakery has leased a 3,369-square-foot retail space in The Railyard at 608 E. Hickory St. in Denton. The popular vegetarian and vegan restaurant was opened by Amy McNutt in 2002 and has two other locations – one in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas and the other on Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth. Spiral Diner is setting its sights on a December opening in Denton.

The up and coming Railyard area on Hickory Street, near the DART train station, seemed the ideal spot to locate another Spiral Diner and Bakery. The restaurant has been serving up tasty burgers, hearty sandwiches, hot plates, cookies, cakes and ice cream that is 100 percent plant-based for nearly 15 years.

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