Checking Tables: Caterina's by Tim Love Brings Old-School Italian Fare to Cowtown

Checking Tables: Caterina’s by Tim Love Brings Old-School Italian Fare to Cowtown

Fort Worth Dear Tim Love, known for his bold take on Southwestern cuisine at his Lonesome Dove Western Bistro and elsewhere, has opened a New York-style Italian restaurant in Stockyards, the vibrant western entertainment district where visitors can shop, eat, and watch the cattle all go by in time. afternoon.

Caterina doubles down on Love’s commitment to Italian food, following the 2019 opening of Gemelle, which leans Italian but makes room for jalapeno-topped pizza, rabbit-snake sausage and other Texas staples. There is no rattlesnake to be found in Katrina, as the combined menu is purely Italian – Katrina’s name means “pure,” according to the restaurant’s website. Classic dishes include beef carpaccio Piedmontese, Casio e Pepe, Rigatoni alla Vodka, Linguine Ale Vongol and Parmesan veal chop.

Likewise, the simplified wine list is in keeping with the well-established regions and names of Italy, with the bulk of offerings made up of reds from Piedmont (the appearance of Cerreto, Bruno Giacusa, and Paolo Scavino) and Tuscany (Sasica, Tignanello and Ornellaia vie with a number of Brunellos’ attention for diners). However, there are some great surprises from Sardinia, Friuli, Veneto and beyond. Eleven displays by the glass join a thoughtful cocktail menu, perfect for a pre-dinner libation or a quick drink at the bar, which is open for walk-ins.

Blake DeWater, general manager of Love’s Queenies, in nearby Denton, designed the wine program in collaboration with Love and Caterina general manager Fausto Belloli, who grew up in northern Italy. Description of DeWater Menu wine spectator As “eclectic, elegant and refined selections complement the flavors of timeless Katrina cuisine.” He is happy to “honor the culture [of Italy] By helping to create a menu that is not only dominated by Italian selections, but completely devoid of the “usual suspects” from Sonoma and Napa which, given their knowledge, can sometimes overshadow great Italian wines in a small list. “

The absence of the Napa Cabernet isn’t the only thing that sets Caterina apart. The restaurant has made quite a stir for its traditional in-house politics: Staff wear crisp white shirts, red ties and jackets, and jackets are required for gentlemen diners. In order to maintain the intimate vibe of Sinatra, guests are required to (gasp!) put their cell phones in a bag, provided upon server arrival, for the duration of the meal. Those seeking an Instagram-worthy selfie or a place to text during a meal may want to look elsewhere. But for anyone craving an authentic, uninterrupted taste of old school Little Italy—increasingly hard to find, even in New York City—Caterina is well worth a look.-how much

Popina founders, James O’Brien, and Chef Chris O’Dade teamed up once again, in a different Brooklyn neighborhood. (Teddy Wolfe)

Maialino Alum opens Gus’s Chop House in Brooklyn

For years, wine specialist James O’Brien has worked at Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer and Mailino at its original venue, which is now closed. wine spectator Award winning restaurant, eventually becoming its manager. In the summer of 2017, O’Brien co-founded his own restaurant with chef Chris McDade: Bobina, a Southern Italian-focused establishment in Brooklyn’s Columbia Street Waterfront District. Last August, O’Brien and McDade debuted their next concept at Carroll Gardens, Gus’s Chop House, where wine and meat are the stars.

“When the space came up, we really jumped on it,” O’Brien said. wine spectator By email. “It was important to [the former owner] To pass the restaurant on to the folks who were centered around the neighborhood, because it’s been there for a while and built a great community.”

The meat-friendly 300 wine program is largely seasonal, as are Gus’s by the glass and cocktail menus. France is central, with much of the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux, and there are more California, Chile, South Africa, Italy, Spain and Germany, among other regions. Burgundy fans can enjoy bottles from areas such as Mugneret-Gibourg and Roulot, while a selection of Champagnes includes names such as Jacques Selosse. However, the menu offers many valuable wines, with over 110 bottles priced under $100.

“The spirit behind the list is like [that at] Bobina: Producers are doing the right thing,” explained O’Brien. “I think producers are farmers versus winemakers, people who make the right decisions in the vineyard and make wine with little or no interference.” O’Brien notes that the wine list will evolve over time, influenced by local preferences and broader movements in wine market.

    The dining room in Gus's chop house with dark banquettes, dark wood tables and fireplace cover

Gus’s Chop House’s dining room evokes the toppled homes of the past. (Teddy Wolfe)

McDade weaves multiple influences into the Gus menu: traditional take-home dining, European cuisine and regional produce. “Everyone has their own idea of ​​what a steak or a side of potatoes might taste like,” the chef said. “Our job is to introduce nostalgia while thinking about how to prepare a dish in a different way or using ingredients that might be unexpected. Self-control plays a huge role in our process.” The result is dishes like hash brown and smoked salmon roe, mackerel with peanuts, cabbage caraflex in subpies, and chicken with French onions. There are, of course, lamb, pork, and beef cuts to choose from, including pork room and New York dry strip.

Inspired by the bistros and chopping houses of Europe, the Gus team worked with local designers and artisans to conceptualize the restaurant’s interior, from the cherry wood bartops to the heavy-duty tables. Outdoor seating on the rooftop of the restaurant will be available in the future. Guests can also expect wine events; Before officially opening, the restaurant hosted a dinner that highlighted Jean-Louis Schaff wines, and there are plans for a similar dinner in the future.

“We’re creating the restaurant we want to eat at, and we hope that others will feel the same,” O’Brien said. “The food is simple but delicious. The wine list has something for everyone. And the atmosphere is fun. “—CD

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