Friday night we drove out to Fort Worth and spent the night there in order to attend a special event on Saturday morning. Taking the concierge’s recommendation, we went to a really nice dinner at a restaurant near the hotel called Grace. If you ever find yourself in Fort Worth and in need of a dinner that is delicious, seasonal and a little on the fancy side, we highly recommend it. (And we apologize in advance for the low-light, low-quality photos — still a little shy to bring out the big, good camera at a restaurant).
Grace was just the type of restaurant we were looking for that night. The atmosphere is very nice — a little on the romantic side, with dim lighting and tables far enough apart from each other that it feels more private. Our waiter was wonderful and we could tell he was a fellow foodie, based on his recommendations and descriptions of the food.
First up — a half dozen oysters. I will freely admit that I’m generally a wimp when it comes to raw oysters. I usually require saltine crackers in order to be able to eat them (place the oyster on the cracker w/ a generous dollup of cocktail sauce). But, being a little more on the fancy side and not exclusively serving seafood, Grace had no saltine crackers available. No worries, I decided I could handle the smaller oysters sans saltines. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised — they were possibly the best oysters I’ve ever had. Our waiter told us they were from Canada and somewhere in New England (sorry, not much help for the oyster aficionados out there). Anyway, they were really good. So good that Dan kept threatening to order another half dozen for dessert.
Grace does a lot of seasonal dishes and accordingly, has a nightly specials addition to the regular menu. Our excellent waiter raved about the calamari salad, so we couldn’t resist. It was really good, with the calamari “cooked” ceviche-style, then served over greens including peppery arugula and tossed with a lemon and olive oil-based dressing. Our only criticism of this salad was that it was a little over-dressed and there was perhaps a bit too much oil in the dressing.
I ordered the duck confit for my entree. Our waiter said it tastes like Thanksgiving, and he was right. The duck was roasted and served over creamy polenta with a tangy sauce that had cranberries and mushrooms in it. The duck was amazing. If you’ve never had duck, but you like dark meat from chicken or turkey (legs or thighs), then you will like duck. This particular dish was good, but very very rich. Small bites.
We ordered potatoes au gratin as our side. Again, delicious, but also very very rich. I had 2-3 bites, each of which was sublime.
Considering that we were in Fort Worth (aka “Cowtown”), and the fact that I try to restrict his red meat consumption to about once per month, Dan ordered the petite filet with bernaise sauce on the side. This entree also came with a half head of roasted garlic. We have had roasted garlic like this a few times before, and every time we wonder why we’ve never cooked it at home. While spreading the delectable morsels of roasted garlic on pieces of bread throughout the meal, we promised each other (and you) that we would definitely roast some garlic at home the next time we cook a recipe that uses the oven for at least an hour. Seriously, the stuff is that good. Oh, and the steak with bernaise was delicious too.
Overall, we would rate Grace in Fort Worth 4 out of 5 gavels.
Finally, a brief note about the special event we attended on Saturday. We are so grateful to everyone who supported us (financially and otherwise) when we participated in the National Brain Tumor Society’s 5K walk to raise money to fight against brain tumors. Thank you.
This event is and will always be near and dear to our hearts because Dan’s dad Tom passed away from a brain tumor in August 2008. We walk and raise money to celebrate Tom and to support and help others going through the same ordeal.
This is the second year we have done the walk, and it is an amazing and emotional event. The above sign on this little guy’s wagon pretty much sums up the experience. His mom is a brain tumor survivor and was pulling the wagon. Really fast, actually. We had a hard time catching up so I could get a good shot of the sign. We aren’t exactly what you would call “in shape.”
The NBTS gives out t-shirts for the walk participants. The shirts for the brain tumor survivors are a different color than the other shirts — we assume so that they will stand out and can be appropriately honored (it is a sad and hard fact that brain tumor survivors are relatively rare). This year’s survivor shirts were blue. For every blue shirt we saw that day, there were equal parts joy, hope, sadness, missing, wishing and optimism.
During the opening ceremonies, they said that this 5th year of the DFW walk had the most walkers and raised the most money of any prior year. We will do our best to be there next year to hopefully up the ante even more. We love and miss you, Tom/Dad, always.