You Gonna Eat That? Cafe Modern
Cafe Modern is a vibe. They were closed throughout COVID and only reopened in May of 2021. They have been reopened under Wolfgang Puck's restaurant group, their first foray into Fort Worth.
The kitchen is lead by Chef Jett Mora, who has worked for Wolfgang for a decade. He moved his family from Los Angeles to Fort Worth to take the helm of Cafe Modern. He will maintain the seasonal focus and looks to local farmers for guidance and support in doing so.
The food is more in the fine dining vein. To get a feel for the place without spending as much, they are open for lunch and brunch as well. The sights are worth it. It is visually one of the more beautiful atmospheres you can have in Fort Worth.
You can also check out the Museum of Modern Art while you're there. They offer half-priced admission on Sunday and free admission on Friday.
Cafe Modern is GLOBAL cuisine. They bring a bit of everything to the table.
Appetizers - $8-15
Entrees - $13-22 (Lunch); $13-35 (Dinner)
Cafe Modern is located in the Arts District, inside the Modern Art Museum, at 3200 Darnell Street in Fort Worth.
Parking here is actually not bad, especially considering we are in the Arts District which is notorious for having challenging parking. They benefit from the Museum having an established and quality parking lot, both directly beside the entrance and directly across the street for any overflow needs. And, it's free - no validation needed!
It's hard to talk about this place and not immediately mention the atmosphere. Not that the food isn't worth noting, because it very much is, but the atmosphere here is hard to top.
You just feel fancy when you're here, even in the middle of the day! It is quiet, uniquely designed, and they have baby ducks!
GREAT FOR/FRIENDLY TO
Healthy - Lots of fresh ingredients and options for those being careful about what they eat.
Vegetarian - Many items on their menu are designated vegetarian friendly.
Events - I've seen several small events here. Looks really lovely.
Happy Hour - Cocktails and yummy snacks with a view!
Business Lunch - Easy to get to and easy to impress those you are with.
Patio - I've not been able to sit on the patio yet, but I've seen people out there and I felt envy about it. It's a beautiful setting.
Date Night - You can't go wrong here for a date night, or day. My husband and I have even done a brunch date and hit up the museum after.
WHEN I WAS THERE
This particular time I was there for lunch with a friend on a Tuesday. I did make reservations (I usually try to) and it wasn't necessary per-say, but I've been where my reservation is what got me a window seat over a walk-up customer. And you're gonna want that window seat!
WHAT TO EAT
A highlight of some of their items:
Chorizo Stuffed Medjool Dates - Nueske's Bacon, Provolone, Pimento Pepper-Tomato Sauce, Grilled Bread
Black and White Bucatini - Sauteed Shrimp Scampi, Lemon Herb Breadcrumbs
Chinois Chicken Salad - Napa Cabbage, Radicchio Slaw, Julienne Chicken Breast, Candied Cashews, Crispy Wontons, Sesame-Ginger Dressing
Sicilian Melt - Eggplant And Portobello Agrodolce, Fontina Cheese Blend, Sourdough
Charred Kalbi Beef Bowl - Marinated Flank Cut Beef, Chili Garlic Rice, House Kimchi Pickled Vegetables, Ssamjang Sauce, Fried Timberview Farms Egg
What I had today:
Blistered Shishito Peppers - Grilled Local Stone Fruit, Braised Beets, Fresh Mozzarella, Kelly Farms Honey
Chef's Choice Toast - salmon, capers... yeah you know where this is going
Potato Soup - loaded potato, that day's soup.
Simple House Salad - Crisp Farm Tender Greens, Local Tomato, Red Onion, Sunflower Seeds, Crumbled Goat Cheese, Champagne Vinaigrette
Corn Bread Muffins - complete with whole kernel corn, fresh from the oven.
As usual here, you might hear how those things sound and they sound "standard", but when they bring them out to you, they very much are not. Presentation and quality/freshness of ingredients is a focus here, and it works!
The kick of the shisitos with the sweetness of the fruit and beets and creaminess of the mozzarella paired really well together. I thought this dish worked in taste, texture, and definitely in the looks department!
The Chef's Toast that day involved a salmon spread with capers, tomatoes, and microgreens. Again, hit all the marks and was a perfect size to have for lunch with a small salad or something.
My friend really enjoyed her soup and salad. The soup wasn't what we were expecting when the server said "loaded" potato... and boy was it better! It was silky smooth and had a wonderful depth of flavor. The salad has a great light feel to it. My friend left happy and full, but didn't feel bad about herself after either.
TIPS FOR MY FOODIES
Don't rush your meal here. Go when you have time to take your time and really enjoy the atmosphere. This is a great place to just "breathe".
The menu changes up a bit with the seasons. There are new things to try every few months and Chef Mora says they will continue to adjust the menu as needed and as he is inspired to do so.
I am so glad Cafe Modern reopened and is back to serving up high-end food in a unique atmosphere. This place is a real jewel and I hope it remains open going forward.