Nearly every bit of news about Eddy Thretipthuangsin makes me a little sadder these days. When it was first announced that Eddy would be leaving Pakpao, the white hot Thai restaurant in the Design District, my disappointment was tempered by my hopes for his next destination. I fantasized about the talented chef who hailed from Thailand opening a small, quirky restaurant in East Dallas or Deep Ellum, where his menu could be even a little more adventurous than it already was at Pakpao. I'd eat there every night.
Then Bite City Grill came along, to open in Fort Worth with Eddy at the helm. East Dallas and Fort Worth are far apart, and Eddy was no longer a hometown hero. But I still tried to remain positive, rationalizing that the occasional trips to see the museums in Forth Worth would give me an opportunity to land some spicy Masaman curry.
But when Bite City Grill announced it would open on March 20 I found myself clinging to a silk thread of hope. With dishes including lemon grass clams and five spice short ribs on the menu, you might think Bite is embracing Eddy's Asian roots, but then the beef carpaccio and lamb meatballs with manchego (a Spanish cheese) throw you through a loop. The pizzas (OK, flatbreads) are even more confusing, using Japanese, Italian and French flavors, and by the time your eyes reach the chopped salad all the excitement is gone. This is just another menu.
Bite may be a fine restaurant when it opens, but it's not making the best use of Eddy's kitchen skills. Dallas and Fort Worth have enough modern American menus. When Eddy left I hoped the heady curries and aggressive, pungent fish flavors he embraced at Pakpao were at worst, moving a little further away. Now it looks like they're gone completely -- a shame, because we need more kitchens willing to embrace foreign cuisine cooked with real soul.
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Bite City Grill, 2600 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, (817) 877-3888