Thursday, December 26, 2013
TruFire Kitchen and Bar ~ Southlake, Texas
So the dry spell ended with a visit from the Tampa Pound, one of my business partners who has graced these pages in the past. I tend to note places like this to try on "expense account" money first, and then if proven to be good, I'll return. Yea, the RJG can be cheap at times... TruFire sits in the SW corner of the Southlake Town Square, near the new Del Frisco Grill. I believe there were a couple of sports bars here prior, which is the wrong location for that kind of venture. TruFire is the modern kind of American restaurant that is chef driven, but not necessarily expensive or overly fru-fru. The menu is definitely Mediterranean focused, with a specific Italian flair. After ordering a bottle of wine, we decided to try the "Paddle Board" appetizer which is a sampler of high quality meats, cheeses, spreads, and breads. Probably they went across the street to Central Market to get the ingredients, but that's not a complaint. It was quite good. The TP went for the Spicy Garlic Noodles, which I would describe as an Asian/Italian fusion with shrimp, chicken, arugula, prosciutto, romano cheese, mushrooms, and crushed red pepper. He loved it (more on that in a bit). I tried the chicken parm. Since none of the official Italian restaurants in NE Tarrant know how to make it, I figured I had nothing to lose. They have a "small" portion and a large. I went with the small. Fortunately. My goodness, it was a full serving by itself and I could not imagine devouring a large. Large, small, makes no difference if it isn't any good. Ah... but it is. Fantastic in fact! Easily the best chicken parm I've had in the area. No longer do we have to venture to Dallas for this dish. A nicely seasoned and breaded mix and then it's baked to perfection. It's actually crispy like it's supposed to be! It's served with linguini. I tend to be a traditionalist, and want something similar to spaghetti, but I was willing to go with the flat noodle. The other issue I have with linguini, is most places don't know how to cook it, and leave it mushy. Not TruFire! It was al dente. And the pomodoro sauce is delicious, very similar to what you would actually get in Italy rather than New York.We passed on dessert and decided to head over to the RJG household for some beers and music (yes, The Tampa Pound is another music head like the RJG and Mr. Music). It was here that The TP starts weaving his tale about dinner to Mrs. RJG, who starts salivating. She looks at me, points her finger and declares "You're taking me there... ... and soon!"
And so it came to pass, about a week later on a Saturday afternoon, Mrs. RJG and I ventured over to the Town Square for some Christmas shopping and a lunch at TruFire. We skipped the appetizer and each had a Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale (a good brewery from Maryland). She had exactly what she came for: The Spicy Garlic Noodles - and "add a little more spice" she said. She absolutely loved it! It was everything the TP described to her. I had to try the Chicken Parm one more time just to see if the dinner the other night wasn't an anomaly. Nope - exact same. Perfect. As we were chatterboxing with a couple of other patrons of the restaurant, as well as the waiters, it turns out the two dishes we each ordered are perennial favorites of many.
With great food and reasonable prices, consider TruFire a regular stop on the RJG tour.