Fort Worth In mid-January charismatic Fort Worth chef Grady Spears (formerly of the Chisholm Club and Lambert’s) hung out his shingle, offering equal parts steakhouse fare, Mexican food, and home cooking. As someone remarked, “Grady doesn’t do teensy-weensy, precious, cutting-edge food.” No, sir. An early visit led off with two crispy appetizers, one a tostada featuring chile- seasoned shredded quail with a side relish of roasted corn and red bell pepper, the other a taco of braised cabrito with accompanying guacamole. Both were great, in a glorified-bar-food way. Surprisingly refined, though, was a cream of roasted carrot soup with just a bit of heat. Excellent. Main courses varied from a semi-tough, semi-tasteless beef tenderloin with green-chile mac and cheese to a huge, fantastically tender serving of pork shank on maple syrup–tinged mashed sweet potatoes. The setting is plain but pleasant, and the food definitely has promise. We’ll be back. Bar. 2443 Forest Park Blvd (817-922-9980). Dinner Tue–Thur 5–10, Fri & Sat 5–11. Closed Sun & Mon. $$–$$$ W+


Dallas Every dish at this new Asian fusion spot in North Dallas can be tailored to your specified heat level, and after sampling some “mild” dishes, it was evident that the “spicy” ones could be used as a method of cruel and unusual punishment (don’t let the soothing dining room, with its lavender walls and sedate black and white accents, lull you into a false sense of security). On the upside, a fiery dish of pork simmered in a garlic-chile sauce and stir-fried with broccoli, snow peas, and asparagus worked wonders for our metabolism. And we welcomed the cooling fresh basil added to the shrimp-and-chicken spring roll; it was sublime. The kitchen draws on the traditions of Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and Thailand. Bar. 5301 Alpha Rd, at Noel (972-991-7622). Lunch Mon–Fri 11–3. Dinner Mon–Thur 5–10, Fri & Sat 5–11. Closed Sun. $–$$ W+