Fort Worth Date Night: Paris without the Passport

by Michael Bloomberg
June 17, 2010

Do you know the feeling you get when your significant other says, “We need to talk?” How about when a parent grabbed you by the hand (or back of the neck) and took you to a private area, stooped down to your level and began talking to you while pursing his or her lips? Or, what about that moment of uncertainty when your boss calls you in his office and, as you are entering, asks you to close the door?
Something similar happened to me recently. A feeling I hadn’t felt in a long, long time. A couple of weeks ago, I opened an e-mail from one of the editors of the Fort Worth Business Press “asking” me to meet him the following week at Bistro Louise. In over two years, this has been the perfect relationship. I write a weekly column, I hit “send” and then, it happens again the next week. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
A face-to-face meeting? What had I done? How could they not like all these “Date Night” suggestions. Really? That’s kind of like not liking puppies. But, it was Bistro Louise. Even if I was getting reprimanded or let go, at least I would go out with a great meal.
It had been a while since dining at Bistro Louise. Such a quaint, romantic spot all snuggled away in the middle of Hulen Street. But, once you enter, that’s the last you remember about being in Fort Worth. Actually, there’s really no recollection of Texas.
Louise Lamensdorf still runs this great eatery that dons her name. Get her talking about her restaurant or her menu and she is still as excited as she was when she first discovered her passion for food as a child while helping her French grandmother in the kitchen. We met on aWednesday night. As it turns out, we were lucky to discover a new little-known secret that is sure to take Fort Worth by storm.
Bistro Louise recently launched a new menu, “Paris on Your Plate.” This menu is offeredevery Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5-7:00pm. It also includes 1/2 price bottles of wine and $5.00 premium cocktails from 5-9pm. But, the food is the star of this show. The idea behind the menu is much like a bistro in France. Have a glass of wine while enjoying a small appetizer or entree. Still not full? Order another. Or, order several and just share. Whether in the bar or on the patio, you are sure to get lost in conversation and thoroughly enjoy your selection.
We opted for several different items. The hardest part was not ordering. It was sharing. We started with appetizers and my thoughts were just to devour it all. Let’s just say that the Crostini of Crusted Goat Cheese served with Baked Grapes and a Chardonnay syrup was a home run right outside of the box. But, it was what came next that had me purring like a kitten. Pecan Crusted Jumbo Frites. Yes, pecan-crusted potatoes. The combination of the potato, the breading and pecans was indescribable. Kudos to Bistro Louise for using large chunks of pecans in this appy. Many eateries just use a pecan dusting. There is no doubt what you are eating in this dish.
Mister Editor order the Famous Bistro Crabcake with House Salad. I opted for something a little less “French.” It just kept catching my eye and by the time it was time to order, I gave in. On the menu, it’s called the Blue Cheese Buffalo Burger served with Louise’s Tri-Color Chips. I had to throw a hitch in their giddy up.
“Do you want the blue cheese or would you rather have English Cheddar?” I’m a cheddar guy and that didn’t take long to answer. Which prompted my synapses to start firing and the following question ensued, “Got any crispy bacon?” Server’s response: “You mean like crispy, Applewood Smoked bacon.” “Uh huh,” I said in a wimper. I can’t tell you how great this bacon cheddar burger was. You will have to find out for yourself. But, I’m sure the way it comes on the menu would more than suffice.
By the end of dinner, I had long forgotten the origination of this meeting. As it turns out, “Editor” really just wanted to thank me for writing this column and that he enjoys reading it weekly. I was humbled and a little honored. However, at the time, I didn’t take into account that reading my column actually falls within his job description. Nonetheless, it just goes to show and reinforces the old saying that “97% of what we worry about, never happens.” Fortunately, the only thing we had to worry about after dinner was what desserts were going to be ordered. Let’s just say that the Spanish Crema (think about if Flan and Creme Brulee had a baby) and the Chocolate Snobbish Cheesecake were the big winners. Besides myself, that is, who can breathe a sigh of relief to continue writing another week.

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