June 21, 2021

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New Italian restaurant opens in downtown Fort Well worth resort

3 min read

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The dining space at il Modo in the Kimpton Harper.

Handout picture

Hardly ever does a new cafe open devoid of weeks of publicity and hullabaloo.

But il Modo, opening Wednesday in a new Principal Avenue lodge, has quietly established up shop to turn into downtown Fort Worth’s vacation spot for Italian food stuff.

The locale is excellent: 714 Primary St., on the corner struggling with Grace, Money Grille and the steakhouse row known as the “beef block.”

“There was a will need for Italian food stuff in Fort Truly worth,” mentioned chef Matt Williams, a product or service of Chicago Italian restaurants these types of as Bar Siena.

In the 1st-floor corner of the Kimpton Harper resort, a prolonged-ago lender and the latest XTO Power creating converted for the San Francisco-based mostly Kimpton chain, il Modo facilities about pasta-generating.

Diners have a panoramic perspective of the pasta-earning tables and drying racks, and il Modo ideas in-residence pasta classes.

That translates into a good deal of pastas on the menu, along with clean seafood, mussels and a wagyu rib-eye steak with roasted garlic.

“The homeowners devoted so much house to pasta creation — they seriously want this to stand out from other dining establishments,” Williams reported.

There is not a great deal local competitiveness at this level right now. The closing a 12 months ago of La Piazza, the city’s only fine-eating Italian restaurant, and downtown’s Taverna still left Piattello Italian Kitchen area as the city’s most prominent Italian cafe, with a nod to Nonna Tata’s homestyle pastas and Gemelle’s pizzas.

Pizza is not on the menu at il Modo, despite the fact that there will be a considerably less costly lunch menu with sandwiches and salads. A brunch will be viewed as later on, Williams mentioned.

The resort also has a penthouse bar, Refinery 714. It has a full 180-degree streetscape of Main Street, the courthouse and Fort Value Conference Middle, together with a see searching down on the rooftop bar at the nearby Sinclair.

Transferring to Texas has been a culture shock for the il Modo chef, accustomed to functioning in Chicago’s tall towers.

“The structures are more compact listed here but most people is really good — actually, all people is so welcoming,” he stated. “In Chicago, you don’t wander down the avenue with strangers expressing, ‘Hello’ and ‘Good morning’ and ‘Have a great day.’ “

He’s achieved chef Blaine Staniford and proprietor Dain Adam Jones at close by Grace, one particular of the city’s greatest dining places, along with Ellerbe Great Foodstuff and Paris 7th.

“They’re excellent fellas,” he reported. “And I’m incredibly curious about barbecue.”

(That analysis might consider lengthier.)

So far, il Modo is open nightly 817-332-7200, theharperfortworth.com.

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Really worth person who covered significant faculty football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, 7 political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature periods. Given that 1985, he has also written additional than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas eating, places to eat and food stuff.

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