Monday, February 28, 2011

Ellerbe Fine Foods. On Magnolia.

Ice cream dessert at Ellerbe
Ellerbe Fine Foods is located in an up-and-coming neighborhood of Fort Worth: the north-Fairmount / hospital district on West Magnolia.

This is a guest post by Travis Cooper

The ambience is a trifle odd, but peaceful and pleasant nonetheless. The stark contrast between varnished industrial concrete floors and wooden ceiling rafters actually works. The very soft background music, though composed of a combination of modern pop and covers of older rock/pop, also seems strangely fitting (one of the songs was a woman doing a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” and somehow it didn’t feel out-of-place). The colors are soft and pleasing to the eye: light green and white. Tall, large windows give the interior a feeling of space and a view of West Magnolia – it feels more “open” than most restaurants.

Soon after we sat down, the waitress brought bread, butter, and salt to our table. Apparently the bread – French baguette – is flown in daily from La Brea bakery in Los Angeles. The butter is unsalted, since they provide coarse sea salt to add to the butter and bread. The bread was tasty and of good texture, and the butter and salt were a good combination.

We ordered rabbit terrine as an appetizer: rabbit pate on toast, over arugula with pistachios and wine-soaked cranberries. It was decent, but I’ve only had pate once or twice, so I’m no expert, and besides, I’m not a pate kind of guy.

The two entrees were absolutely wonderful. The wife had boar, rubbed in spices, over mesquite bean blinis fried in cinnamon, accompanied with fried pieces of cactus (“nopalitos”) – a very unique and very tasty dish. I had pheasant, served over arugula and cornbread stuffing/dressing, topped with little pieces of fried squash and bacon and with a barbeque-esque glaze. I don’t usually like stuffing, and squash doesn’t do much for me, and I had never tried pheasant before, so it was a risk. But, the waitress highly recommended it (one of at least two recommendations that were perfect). It was one of the best entrees I’ve ever had – perfect texture, combination of flavors, size, etc. An astounding dish.

We had oysters on the side – I’ve had oysters only once or twice, and never liked them, but thought I’d give it a shot – and they were quite good. The wife would have preferred them a little more cooked, but then again she doesn’t like her ribeye or filet rare/medium-rare, so . . . Anyway, I liked the oysters, though the texture of oysters does disturb me a bit.

Dessert was splendid. The wife got rice pudding brulee – it was just what it sounds like. The rice pudding was perfect: texture, temperature, and flavor were just right. I got a chocolate mousse dish (called “shokinag pave”) that was tremendous: a layer of stiff but creamy chocolate mousse, covered in melted chocolate sauce with chicory, topped with caramel corn. We split a glass of Sauternes (dessert wine) – brilliant choice (recommended, as was the chocolate mousse, by the waitress).

The service was very good though not excellent (we were very low on water once or twice). As I said before, the waitress’s recommendations were all of them brilliant, for which we were very grateful.

All in all, I would go back to Ellerbe’s again before I went back to two of my favorite restaurants: Saint-Emilion and the Reata. So, yes, two thumbs up on an absolutely wonderful all-around dining experience.

Editors Note: Mr. Travis Cooper teaches Philosophy at the College of St Thomas More. He is about six months from completing his doctoral dissertation. Travis is married with three children, and lives in the Meadowbrook area of Fort Worth, Texas.
Ellerbe Fine Foods on Urbanspoon


Francis Shivone said...

Thanks Travis. I hate to admit that I haven't been yet. Now I'm going.

Sunni R. said...

It's been a while since I've been to Ellerbe Fine Foods- glad I saw this review to remind me to go back. Glad to hear they are going strong, but I have a question. I could be mistaken, but didn't they put out there that they were working the local/seasonal angle? How is flying bread in daily "local?" I will make sure to ask next time I visit.

jackie100 said...

I'll have to try this place out. I like pate with french bread a lot. I've had duck pate and chicken pate but never rabbit. Sounds kind of exotic.

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