Style and Substance: FW Market + Table opens Monday

Photo by Nancy Farrar

FW Market + Table

2933 Crockett St.

Owner Todd Fiscus , along with Executive Chef Kalen Morgenstern, have pulled out all the stops in their total revamp of the concept, menu and design of their Tillman’s Roadhouse space in West 7th development.

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The former “glam-rock” interior, which had tons of heavy wood, velvet and chandeliers, has given way to an understated modern/loft vibe, with relaxing greys and blues highlighting the walls which are still wrapped in pickled wood tones. Shelving goes floor to ceiling and is used to attractively display the carefully curated variety of pantry staples for purchase.

The Market side of things will officially open on Monday Oct. 19 (hours are Mon. – Thurs. 7am – 9pm, Fri – Sat 7am – 10pm, and Sun. 9am – 9pm).

The invitingly open front space (bar area) will serve as seating for the breakfast crowd who will stop in for some freshly brewed Avoca coffee and something light on the way to work, and then do double-duty for those meeting friends for a snack and craft cocktail on their way home again at night. You can alternately take your beverage and snack to the patio. Once the loft residents of West 7th find their way downstairs, I predict FW Market + Table will be their second living room.

Old wine storage bottles were transformed into pendant lighting over the casual dining area which is mostly adjustable metallic and wooden stool seating with communal high top blue metal tables. Fiscus was behind all the design and layout of the space. His day job is in design and party planning, after all, at his namesake Todd Events which has a notable presence in both Dallas and Houston.

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Take home prepared meal options, as well as made in house grab-and-go, pre-packaged items like pickles and pimento cheese, are in refrigerated cases along the back wall. A tempting glass jar display has a variety of cellophane wrapped goodies like cookies, delicate cheese puffs with a hint of cayenne, and even soy-marinated beef jerky that shaved incredibly thin, all within handy reach of the cash register.

Fiscus said, “I think the whole hearty home style cooking thing is past its prime. People are looking for a new way to eat and lighter fare. It seems everyone has some kind of dietary restriction these days and we plan to cater to those needs at FW Market + Table.”

Morgenstern came on board with Tillman’s as Sous Chef three years ago, and has found her vision has meshed amazingly well with the owners. Proving that great minds really do think alike: during the dreaming stage, both Fiscus and Morgenstern came up with a separate sample of what they wanted to see on the new menu. When they showed each other, they were both pleasantly surprised by how similar their vision for the new restaurant was.

With plenty of healthful options FW Market + Table is certified by the Blue Zone Project, the Fort Worth project that aims for a healthier city. The new menu is chock-full of great ingredients and tempting presentations. At the soft opening I sampled tender gluten free pancakes ($7) sweetened by fresh banana, oat and egg in the batter. They have a light cinnamon hint and are topped with fresh berries and maple syrup.

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Surrounded by some of the city’s best burger spots, Morgenstern wisely went in a different direction. The burgers at FW Market + Table range from delicious house-made beef patties to alternatives like turkey, salmon, chicken or even vegan black bean burgers − choices to suit everyone’s taste.

The Brocollini Salad ($6 small, $11 large) is tossed in a caramelized shallot vinaigrette with kale, salty prosciutto, crunchy marcona almonds and crumbles of blue cheese. The Vegetable Flatbread ($9) comes on thin focaccia, topped with winter squash, mushroom, pepitas, shallot and grated cotija drizzled with house-made kale pesto.

The Table part of the equation, which will have its own side entry, has blue high-backed banquettes and vibrant blue rooster artwork. It will come online next (hours will be Wed. – Sat. 5pm -10pm). “Table will be our finer dining component with a constantly changing menu, perhaps changing as often as every week,” says Morgenstern, “We are planning themed dinners, collaborations with other local chefs, and possibly creative menus to explore like vegan, or all game nights.” Construction is still underway, look for Table to open sometime in November.